Best Job Ever.
10 years ago (almost to the day) I left the Best Job Ever.
Ok, so maybe not the BEST job. But certainly a job where I felt valued, rewarded for my efforts and could see a clear career path ahead. I got along with my boss like a house on fire and genuinely enjoyed going to work each day and supporting him and the business.
You see, I was leaving to have a baby. I thought I would return after 6 months maternity leave. I had it all planned out. But anyone with a child of their own will know that sometimes you just can't plan everything.
I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty of it all, but the reason I didn't return to the Best Job Ever was because I was suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety. I couldn't bare the thought of leaving my baby girl in long child care at the tender age of 6 months. And the GFC had taken a hold of the market and people were being let go left, right and centre. Especially in the property industry, which is where my job was.
I opted out. I unsubscribed from corporate life. I asked for redundancy and decided to take the opportunity to start my own business. It went well. Really well. Within 6 months I was earning more than what I was in my Best Job Ever. But I worked my butt off - day in and day out - with little rest, and no supportive boss or career path. It was hard dealing with clients and managing staff. So I planned to exit and sold the business.
And then I launched another business. And then I had another baby. And then my marriage failed. And then I went through the rollercoaster ride which is separation, or as Gwenyth Paltrow calls it "conscious uncoupling", which sounds a whole lot nicer than what it's really like. In reality it's a shit sandwich. And then of course comes divorce, moving houses, uprooting children's' lives and massive change for everyone involved. It's such a shitty time.
And then my second business failed. I fell out with my business partners. And then I went through my second depression. All the while trying to keep my shit together for my kids, keep a roof over our heads and ensure their emotional needs were being met. I took jobs contracting wherever possible, based purely on location and/or convenience. I wanted to be in close enough proximity to the kids at childcare or school so I could get to them quickly, and I wanted the work to be easy enough that I didn't have to bring it home with me at the end of the day. I needed flexibility when the situation called for it, and I always asked to work from home wherever possible so that I could be there when the kids were sick - which was often.
With my divorce settlement I decided to invest in myself. I didn't know what the future would hold for us all, but I knew that it would likely be that my girls were going to rely on me financially for some time, so I needed to earn enough money to be able to provide a home for them and give them all of life's necessities. So I enrolled into university and planned on getting my MBA so that I could re-enter the workforce.
I also knew that they were reliant on me emotionally and I needed to get my own shit together. Divorce is a funny thing! You see, it really shines a spotlight on your shortcomings, of which I had many. Some people choose to blame the world for relationship breakdowns, which I tried for a little while, but the reality is that it takes two to tango. I had to take a long walk down a hallway full of mirrors and really take a good look of myself. And then I set about working on the parts I didn't like.
I'm still working on those parts.
So 18 months ago I finally graduated business school with my MBA. And I'm still doing therapy because even though I'm not in an unstable place emotionally, I firmly believe it's important to check in with yourself as much as possible so things don't slip. I've also given up drinking alcohol. That's helped a lot.
I've also gained a few more things besides my masters certificate and my hangover-free Sundays. I've partnered up with a wonderful chap who is incredibly hot and is 100% supportive of me, my girls and my career. And with him came two additional daughters who I now consider my step-kids, although it is unofficial. They play such an important role in our lives, especially in their relationship with my own two girls. And of course, it really does go without saying that I've met some AWESOME chicks who share my vision in business and in life and we've come together to build and manage the YDY brand. I'm so very lucky!
Six months ago I decided it was time to go back to corporate life and I set about finding the Next Best Job Ever in this decade long story. I have spent the last 6 months searching high and low for a role where I felt as though I would be valued, appreciated, part of a great team, and knew I would be rewarded for my efforts. It was a hard slog, finding the Next Best Job Ever. There were many tears and recruitment dickheads I had to deal with along the way. I was offered a couple of roles, and did briefly consider taking them, but knew I had to stand firm with my vision for finding the Next Best Job Ever. Nothing less!
If I had stayed with the original Best Job Ever, I don't know how life would have turned out. I may have remained working where I was and moved slowly up the ranks. I probably would have more superannuation in the kitty and probably would have taken a few more overseas holidays. I probably would have NOT laid awake at night wondering how I was going to make ends meet because a client hadn't paid my bill, or worried about how i was going to take unpaid leave with the kids during school holidays. Maybe I'd still be unhappily married...
Who knows. It doesn't matter now anyway.
What I do know is that I chose my own adventure and ended up at the destination I was always destined to reach anyway. And my path helped me to learn new skills, I forged many great new friendships, learn a shitload about how business and the world works, built resilience, and learnt a whole lot about myself along the way. The road was rocky and treacherous but I never take the easy route. I took the route that was right for me at the time. And I did it my way.
Thank you for that!
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