After I left college, I began working in the financial sector for one of the major banks and I thought that this was the industry I would spend my life working for, working my way up the career ladder and I really saw it as a job for life. Yes, it was a secure job, but I knew then that any promotions would only come if someone left but through positions becoming available due to retirements or sadly deaths.
People didn’t leave the bank. At the time I was ok with that, but I soon became bored and wanted to be more challenged, so I swapped jobs working in finance for one of the investment firms which was a bit more challenging than the bank,
and had more opportunities for promotion.
I believed I was happy doing the job I was doing, going into the office every day sharing with a like-minded individual who I really got along with, getting the job done but having fun as we did it and ignoring any niggles I had about the company and the role.
Then I went on holiday.
I had a great time, sending my days relaxing, lying on a beach with friends, going out for some fantastic meals and dancing late into the night in the local bars and clubs. It was great fun, and we had an amazing time. I was sad to leave and come home and back to reality.
Going back to work.
The night before I had to go back to work, I remember for the first time ever, feeling apprehensive and wishing I didn’t have to go in the office the following day. I knew I wanted to catch up with the colleague I shared my office with but, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing everyone else or stepping foot in the building, I didn’t want to get involved in the culture of moaning about the role, the bosses or even the clients.
I just wanted to work somewhere where I enjoyed the work and was valued and respected as an individual, Where I could develop, learn, and hopefully progress upwards in my career.
First Day Back
As I walked into the office the next morning, I remember feeling a sense of apprehension and like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I was telling myself it won’t be that bad, it’s just the holiday blues, once you get stuck in and working you will feel better about it all.
As I got to my office door, I felt the urge to turn around and walk away but I forced myself to walk in and that first twenty-minutes wasn’t too bad, my colleague and I went and got a coffee and sat in the office chatting about my holiday and what she had been up to whilst I had been away and I felt myself starting to relax a bit.
Then the door opened and over the next hour or two, time and again a colleague or one of the bosses walked in and under the guise of asking about my holiday proceeded to moan about the work, about each other, about the bosses, about the staff in fact it felt like moan just about everything.
I could feel myself getting more and more fed up the more they talked, the feelings and thoughts of I don’t want to be here got stronger as time went on and then what I did next shocked the people around me but nowhere near as much as it shocked me….
I stood up, packed my bag and announced, “that’s me, I’m done I’m leaving.”
My colleague looked shocked and said, “What do you mean, you’ll be back tomorrow” to which I responded, “No that’s it I’m leaving, I’m fed up with everyone coming in here every day and moaning and I don’t want to do it anymore” and with that, I walked out.
Halfway down the stairs my boss caught up with me and asked me to come back and reconsider and my reply was “not my mind is made up it’s the right thing for me to do. I told him I would send him my resignation letter later” and with that, I left.
I got in my car and set off home. Home being back at my mum’s house. I was calm and felt peaceful on the way home and felt like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t know what I would do next, but it still felt so much better than, I now realised that apart from the holiday, how I had been feeling for months.
Then I pulled up on the drive at my mums and as I sat in the car, I could see my mum through the window doing some washing up and it was at that point even though I was twenty-five I had that moment of doubt. My mum had worked all her life as a teacher, whilst raising four children and for a period of that time, it had been on her own, after my dad passed away, providing for us all her life and instilling in us a sense of needing to be responsible for our own life’s and destinies and here was me walking out of a secure job and having no idea what I was going to do next. What was she going to say?
As always, I underestimated my mum and her response was amazing, she asked me why I was home, and I told her what had happened and what I had done. She then asked so what are you going to do now, and my response was I’ll phone a couple of temp agencies today and look for an office job for now whilst I figure out what I want to do. Her response to that was, ok you go and do that, and I’ll make you a cup of tea. No drama, no fuss and in making me a cup of tea she signalled so much without words, it was just an acceptance of me and that she supported me.
Over the next few days, I had a couple of interviews with the Temp Agencies and the following Monday I had my first assignment providing sickness cover for a car rental company doing basic office admin and customer enquiries. This was followed by a couple more, weeklong, assignments before doing another two weeks back at the car rental firm. At that point, I was offered a temp position working for a delivery company doing some manual data entry and filing which was for, a four-week period. I accepted that and after two weeks when they came back and asked would I extend the role, to a twelve-week contract and look after a couple of other people at the same time, I happily said yes. I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and the twelve weeks would take me up to the New Year which felt perfect for me.
Just before the New year I was invited in and offered the role on a permanent basis and I accepted as I was enjoying the work and the people and it meant I had guaranteed employment whilst I made my mind up about what it was, I wanted to do.
I did that role for several months before a vacancy came up for a supervisor’s role became vacant and since I was enjoying working for the business but just wanted something more challenging, I decided to apply and stay where I was for the time being.
This was the start of my journey into the supply chain and logistics industry and whilst I didn’t realise it at the time, I had found a career that I would love and would become successful in.
Many times since I have wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t had walked out that day and stuck with a career in finance. Every time I think about it I am more convinced than ever that the decisions I made that day were the right ones for me.
It set me on a path that led me to a career I loved and was lucky enough to achieve and win several awards also allowed me to invest time in myself and my personal development that would later allow me to take another step and change careers again to become a counsellor and coach alongside becoming the creator of my own inspiration cards and start my journey to becoming a published author.
What decisions have you made in life that have changed the path you are travelling on?