Why losing my job was exactly what I needed
I have always been that person who knew exactly what I wanted to do, from when I was very young it was always art, then design and fashion. I knew I wanted to live overseas and I’ve always just gone ahead and done those things no matter what. When I came to the point where I knew I wanted a future in the health industry, that I wanted to study nutrition, it wasn’t as easy... I guess the difference is when you’re (a little) older, already out of uni, working to fund your lifestyle overseas, that decision becomes a much bigger thing.
Facing being a full-time student all over again, losing the security of a steady income, and the reality of studying in a field I wasn’t experienced in, was a really daunting thought.
The catalyst for change
I was in a position where I was no longer happy at work, I had always loved what I did, took pride in what I created and was a huge advocate of never staying in a job I was unhappy in. I had already started to take on part-time study in health coaching to try and satisfy that interest, but my job was becoming dysfunctional and the environment was becoming toxic. I wasn’t working at my best and eventually, things came to a head and I found myself out of a job. When I then had so little care in other positions I was interviewing for, I ultimately accepted that fashion and that whole world no longer aligned with my beliefs and interests. It was an industry I felt I was falling more and more out of touch with and that was becoming impossible to ignore.
It came down to two choices for me, continue in an industry where I had dedicated years of work and study, where I had always identified as “a creative”...or just accept that I saw myself going in a totally different direction. It meant parting with that identity and use the loss as an opportunity. This was my catalyst for change.
Coping with sudden or unplanned change - I haven’t always done it well. It's something I think a lot of us struggle with and can really affect our wellbeing and happiness, for me it totally shook my confidence. But what I have learnt both through experience and in studying wellbeing management, is that the overriding factor to successful change is in your support system and your motivation.
Using loved ones
It sounds selfish but honestly, that’s what they’re there for. Family, friends the people closest to me have been the biggest factor. I have always been lucky to have a family that supports me in anything I chose to do. My closest friends have been there to advocate for me and push me, and of course, my relationship in which I feel safe and encouraged to do what makes me happy.
I’ve learnt to never underestimate how important it is to rely on others, in asking for help, knowing that one day they’ll look to me for the same and that’s what real relationships are about.
Honestly, it took me years to finally take the plunge and study again. I had always been interested in nutrition but lacked the skills needed to study a science degree straight from school. I had spent my high-school career focused on art and design, it’s what I was good at and knew I’d do well in. For anyone that knows me, they’ll know how stubborn and strong headed I can be, sometimes to a fault.
I spent a long time discouraging myself, telling myself I wasn’t capable of doing certain things and no one could convince me otherwise. The reality is when faced with tasks that are hard if you’re determined enough you just push through and do it. I’ve found great satisfaction in being able to learn things I never thought myself capable of. That’s the intrinsic motivator for me and a really important part of positive change.
I’m just at the start of this new chapter, and maybe down the track I’ll feel differently about it, but for now, I can happily say that losing my job and facing that reality pushed me towards something that I’ve found great value in. I’m learning not to stop myself from succeeding and to give myself a little more credit. Having that moment to take a step back and re-assess what I really want for myself was invaluable.
Change happens, it’s not something we can always choose for ourselves, the challenge is in taking hold of it, using it and finding a way to make that a positive time in our lives. What motivates you to do your best? What pushes you to make a life-changing decision and most importantly who can you rely on to help get you there?...