Wednesday, 6 July 2016

STEP #2 ON THE JOURNEY TO HAPPINESS ~ CHANGE WHAT YOU CAN

Step #2 on the Journey to Happiness - make some changes if you can

PLAYING SAFE

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!


It’s painful to look at the ways you’ve limited yourself, but you need to look. You are the catalyst for the change you’ve been yearning for. I promise you won’t die. You will come alive. Change is necessary. Don’t be afraid to shed your skin

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.

HEAD HUNTING

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!

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Step #2 on the Journey to Happiness - make some changes if you can


39 comments:

  1. It's taking the first step that's hard. But once you do, it opens doors.

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    1. We just need to be brave sometimes Jennifer - the worst case scenario rarely happens and if we've thought things through then I think it's worth a shot at happiness.

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  2. So many of us can relate to this, Leanne! I stayed with a job until retirement that fit the same description. "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." I stayed for an important consideration ~ a small traditional pension. It's a tough call when faced with what's limiting you and what's compromise. Thanks for this series! :)
    https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/

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    1. I felt the same way Mary Lou - I was counting how many years until retirement and whether I'd make it. Then I reached a point where it was better to risk living under a bridge than it was to stay in that soul sucking environment.

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  3. LOVE IT! Good for you! Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Not as much as I love it Paula :) It's so good to have been brave and to see the results!

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  4. As my blog post today relates, this is one area in which I am absolutely not challenged. But so many people I know are. Such good advice.

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    1. As I've said previously Carol - I envy you whole heartedly - I'd love to have your posititivity and natural upbeat self esteem. You are truly fortunate :)

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  5. My sister and I were just wondering why two incredibly talented women we knew were staying in jobs that they hated rather than trying to find something better. You've perfectly described the kind of thinking that is holding them back and what they need to do to be able to find jobs that will make them happier.

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    1. It's a really easy trap to fall into Roz - that little voice in our head that tells us we are too old or not good enough holds us back from so many possible opportunities. I hope they get brave and take the leap!

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  6. So true Leanne. I was in a job that I loved for years, but had become stale. I stayed bc I didn't think it was better anywhere else. Then I had to quit to take care of my dad. It was only after he died that I had the time to think about what I really wanted to do. And now writing and blogging have become my passion!

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    1. Sometimes we get forced to jump ship and what is really scary at the time turns out to be a turning point in our lives and we wonder why we left it so long. I'm so glad you found your calling in life (midlife!)

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  7. First steps are scary. They were when we were first learning to walk. They are now. It takes courage and commitment. So nice to know it can be done!

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    1. I'm a great one for always choosing the safe option Diane but I think it's done me a disservice at times and now I'm more open to trying the scary thing and seeing where it takes me.

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  8. I loved my job for a long time but I was getting so burned out. I left last April to write full-time. You are so right, it was terrifying but exhilarating at the same time. I've never been happier! Congratulations on landing somewhere that feels so right for you.

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    1. Thanks Doreen - the thought of sitting for another 15 years or more in a job that doesn't give you any joy seems crazy. We hang on because we think we'll be destitute, but there are always other options out there and some are so fulfilling that we wonder why we waited so long!

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  9. What an encouraging post. Especially that employers are looking for people who have experience. So glad you were able to feel more confident about your abilities. Congrats!

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    1. I think we underestimate our value and also the common sense a lot of employers have - they know what we offer (even if we don't know it ourselves!). It's lovely to be somewhere that affirms that every day :)

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  10. Congrats on your new position. Such a positive post. I too had a terrible job that sucked the life from me. As a matter of fact, it made me sick...literally. It made me so sick - they fired me. Yep. At first I was angry over the loss of income, but then I felt a wave a thankfulness fall over me. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Because of being let go, I was able to use the time to heel emotionally and physically. I'm not doing what I've always wanted to do - write!

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    1. Sometimes we need a push (or a shove) to get us moving Glenda - we may resent it at the time, but usually (as in your case - and mine!) it leads to a much happier destination than staying put would have. I'm glad you're now happier and healthier (and you always look amazing!)

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  11. Making a change is hard but it's almost always worth it. Thinking about doing something is often more difficult than actually doing it!

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    1. I totally agree Lois - once you do the deed there is such a sense of relief - it makes me wonder why we put it off for as long as we often do (you'd think we'd learn!)

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  12. Loved your story. If you don't take risks, you will never grow, and you will never know what might have been. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Alana - I think it's something that a lot of us are learning in midlife - take the risk, make the change and then you can pat yourself on the back afterwards :)

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  13. How awesome are you, being "head hunted" like that. Good for you for taking the leap! :)

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    1. thanks Rica - it was such an affirmation that I'd made the right choice to leave and subsequently move forward :)

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  14. Wonderful things happen when we let go of our self limiting beliefs. Congratulations on quitting your job, getting out of your own way, and finding something so much better!! YAY YOU!!!

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    1. Thanks so much Peggy - it's nice to have a cheer squad and someone who actually gets that I needed to do this and "get out of my own way" :)

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  15. Congratulations on your new job -- AND that they came to you! I want my husband to read this post. I've been encouraging him for years to just quit and let's move out of this expensive area and do something we really want to do. Funds may be tight, but it won't be impossible, and I'm perfectly happy living on less if I have a happy husband. Life is short and getting shorter every day.

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    1. Tell him to go for it Wendy. My husband and I both work part-time now and with no kids to support and manageable upkeep costs for our house, it's a very pleasant and relatively stress-free way to live. You learn to live within your means without too much trouble - and you're right that life is short - sucking up a job that you hate is not the way to spend the next decade!

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  16. It is easy to resist change and stay with the devil you know rather than the devil you don't know. However, change does shake things up and I have also found that when you think something should change, you should change it. You will almost always come out ahead. Life is to short to stay in a bad job or a bad relationship for the sake of safety.

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    1. I completely agree - playing safe usually seems like the right option, but sometimes we do it because of fear and letting fear run your life is no way to live!

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  17. You just say it so well Leanne. From the comments, there are so many who are not happy in their jobs. I have been there too, getting out after giving your best to improve things, is so liberating.

    Kathleen
    Bloggers Pit Stop - where your posts are appreciated.

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    1. Liberating is a good way to describe it Kathleen - just to work somewhere you feel appreciated is such a breath of fresh air - and you don't know til you give it a go :)

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  18. Your courage is so inspiring. I too often think, wow, why would anyone want my 50 year old self when they can hire a twenty something with a lot fewer wrinkles. I so needed to read this today!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it Rosie - I think employers are often more savvy than we appreciate. They know that we bring more to the table than a short skirt or a pretty face :)

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  19. Leanne, this post was among the most clicked on the Bloggers Pit Stop. Congratulations and be looking for a feature on Friday.

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    1. that's wonderful Kathleen - I feel very blessed that people enjoyed my post x

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  20. There must have been a lot of changes in YOU to bring the change you wanted. Congrats on your new job wow its what most dream of. You got your time back. thanks for sharing at the Pit Stop!

    Julie Pit Stop Crew

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