I dreamt it so much, it actually happened.
It just popped out. I remember it, clear as day, exactly where I was sitting when the words “I don’t think I want to do this any more” tumbled out of my mouth. I was left as speechless as my manager. Time froze as the words hung in the air. As the moments (which felt like hours!) passed, I realised, then confirmed to him “I said that out loud didn’t I?”
“Well, I’m wondering if that means your resigning?” he asked in return.
It’s a wonder any words came out because I was 100% convinced my heart was stuck in my throat, constricting my airway! I breathed deeply inwards, and with the biggest sigh of an out breath, spoke the words
“Yes, I am”.
On the encouragement to “take 24 hours” I left the meeting. Walking out of the building, it felt like the body almost split into two. A hot air balloon lifting my heart way up to the sky singing “this is the most amazing awesome thing you have ever done, we can change the world”, whilst my head dragged me down to the ground shouting “what have you done, WHAT. HAVE. YOU. DONE?”
There is was though. Job done. Literally!
The train ride home was a surreal mix of floating (excitement!) and flooding (emotions!).
Firstly, a phone call to a coach I had met facilitating a career change workshop six months earlier (so, no, it wasn’t completely out of the blue, just that it wasn’t planned for THAT moment!). “I’ve just quit my job, can you help me work out what I REALLY do want to do?” I asked with a mix of desperation and excitement. We organise to talk and when we do, I get VERY energised with possibility. I gulp down the fees, thinking, its now, never, or…shelf stacking, and sign up!
That was just the start. The battles I faced were financial, emotional, physical, professional. That’s a whole other story, for another day, another post, another analysis!
I’m writing now about the start of the journey, for a couple of reasons. One, I was chatting with some people this week at an event, and the topic of “being bound by the fear of losing a job when you have no reason to believe“ came up. I piped up that, I had chosen to leave a job, without another to go to, and it wasn’t just the once. It was met with surprise and admiration by some and high fives from another! I was encouraged to write about it.
It wasn’t just that though, I’ve been listening to lots of audio books recently, and something really landed with me from Rich Litvin. He talks about finding out what peoples dreams are, and helping them realise them. He talks of having three coaches. Not because he needs them, but because he wants them, to continue to grow end expand. He is a demonstration that he has done that, so is able to inspire his clients. The work I do now, enables people to realise their dreams, and the realisation that came to ME, was that I literally have done that. My dream was to escape the 9 to 5, choose to live the way I wanted to, live where I wanted to, and do things a bit differently. I spent time working out what that was, with my coach, and learnt that I wanted to help other people live a life they enjoyed, particularly not suffer some of the things we humans put ourselves through, put up with, blame ourselves for or even think we should or ought to do (again, another set of stories!). I wanted to live by the sea. I wanted to do work that meant I could do it anywhere. I wanted to serve people and help them fast track to what they wanted.
Through being coached, I found the transformational power of it, and knew that’s how I could serve others. Following all the training, learning and experience I’ve built up, I have clients that have grown their confidence, avoided burning out, landed dream jobs, switch careers, become partners in business, grown portfolio careers, started businesses.
And that is how I got to sit here, in my flat in Poole, on the Dorset coast, looking out to the harbour with the sun on my face, writing this.
What would my advice be to someone thinking of quitting a job?
I don't give advice. There is no advice I can give you, that you don’t already know. It’s just that you might not have thought of it yet or made it explicit. I don’t regret what I did, but I think I might have done a bit more planning, so I think that would be my start point.
I dared to dream, and made it reality! What’s your dream?
Sheela Hobden is a Coach at bluegreen Coaching. Following her own mental health battles, she now coaches individuals, runs training sessions and speaks at conferences. She has a real passion for helping medics and healthcare professionals take as much care of themselves as they do their patients! She has a PGCERT in Business and Personal Coaching, holds ACC member status with the ICF and is CIPD qualified.
She challenges herself with ultra distance running and Ironman. Find her at www.bluegreencoaching.com or swimming in the sea, in Poole, Dorset.