One of the issues I had when my happiness plummeted was believing in myself. As I mentioned previously, I was in a job where I was unappreciated, under-paid and generally miserable. I worked with people who thrived on drama and puffing themselves up at the expense of others. It was wearying and draining every day - but I stayed.
One of the main reasons I stayed was because we needed the regular income, but the other reason was hiding underneath. Basically I was too scared to leave because I believed I'd never get another job. I truly thought that all those 20 something bright sparks would be chosen over me and I'd be too old and too ordinary to ever be chosen by another employer.
TAKING A LEAP OF FAITH
About a year after the Great Marriage Meltdown, my husband had started working part-time while he studied and I couldn't stand things in my job any longer. I bolstered my courage and (while my boss was away!) gave my notice to the Practice Manager. I figured I was on the way to enforced retirement at 53 but that was still better than continuing to work there.
If something is making you really unhappy then sometimes a drastic step is needed and that was my drastic step. I took a few weeks off and then started looking at the Jobs Vacant section online and applying for a few positions. Imagine my surprise when I was offered an interview - I came second place (first runner-up in beauty pageant terms). A bit disheartening, but I kept looking and along came another job, another interview and lo and behold - a job offer!
STOP LISTENING TO THE NEGATIVE COMMITTEE
What I learned from all of this was - I needed to stop limiting myself. As a midlife woman I had lived with the thought that I didn't have the skills, or the personality, or the presentation to compete with younger women. How naive I was! Employers are often looking for mature women who bring life experience, compassion, a strong work ethic, and empathy to the workplace. We are a force to be reckoned with!
If I hadn't taken the risk and left my old job, I'd still be feeling that way, I would have no idea there were work environments out there where I could feel positive about earning a living. I was my own worst enemy when it came down to the nitty gritty - I needed to step up and be brave enough to change - and with that change came a change in my attitude, my confidence and my skill set.
A few months ago I was head-hunted (who'd have thought!) by a surgeon working at the same hospital. He made me an offer too good to be true and I now earn 30% more per hour than in my original job, work three days a week and I'm really enjoying what I do - a big step in the right direction for regaining some of that lost happiness. When I was sitting still, brooding, resenting, being miserable, and refusing to make any changes it sucked me dry - stepping out of my comfort zone and seeing where it took me has changed my life!