I am thrilled to introduce this story by Ireland's own Niamh Ennis (a.k.a. The Change Coach).
The Story of How I Left My Permanent Pensionable Job and Changed Career
We are born. We go to school. We might go to college. We work. We find love. We work some more. We create a home. We work some more again. We retire. We die.
What pops up there more than anything – how much we work. It represents over a 3rd of what we spend our life doing. Why would we not ensure that we do everything to make sure that this time is spent doing what we love most – our purpose.
Are you like countless others stuck in a job that just isn’t you? Have you been thinking for a while now that you are you ready for a career change, but simply have no idea what else you could do – or where to start? Well let me assure you by saying if you do no not follow the conventional career rules, you’re going to radically increase the chances of you finding something you love!
I have been through Career Change and it was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I deliberated the consequences for months even years on end. I thought about it so hard that I reached a point where I could not think about it anymore and I just did it.
I’m still not 100% sure – the jury remains out on the financial ramifications I am 100% sure I am so much happier and I have not regretted it for a moment.
To give context allow me tell you where I was before I explain where I am.
On the surface, I had a great job in a well-known National Charity in Ireland. I was a key part of the Senior Management Team and it was a busy, varied job.
I had always played it by the book with work and had done what was expected of me from the time I left college. I’d been promoted and headhunted several times. I had found an area in Fundraising and Communications that I was good at and the evidence was there to back that up. I had a permanent pensionable job located just 15 minutes from my home that I knew I was slightly crazy walking away from.
Inside though, I was deeply unfulfilled – there’s no other way to describe it. It was not the job – it was me. I had an awful lot going on in my personal life. I’d experienced 3 close family bereavements during those years leaving me on my own in this world, and yet I wasn’t sure whether the sadness was because of that or my job.
Over time as I began to accept the losses, it became very clear that I really wasn’t enjoying my work, I felt like I wasn’t using my full potential and more importantly I began to suspect that maybe I wasn’t delivering to my full potential either. This was something I really wrestled with.
I longed to wake up, like I had in the early days, feeling like my work was making a difference – to someone or something, I dreamed about creating, writing, working to my own schedule and on my own. I dreamed about doing exactly what I am doing now.
Yet, I didn’t have a clue as to where I should or could start to make this happen. My new husband was out of work and so my choices were limited. And so I stayed and carried on until I came up with a plan that allowed me a real way out without getting out.
I had always promised myself that at some point in my life I would like to live in Spain. So in July 2015 my husband and I decided that we would do it. By December of that year I had secured my year’s leave of absence and was living in Spain. The following year was perfect. The experience of living away in a culture as warm as Spain (and I mean that in every sense of the word warm) was truly exceptional. We loved every minute.
But I didn’t sit still for that year either. I was determined to use this time wisely to keep searching for that career that purpose that would light me up from inside.
So I up-skilled – got a qualification in Counseling and Psychotherapy and then went on to secure an Advanced Diploma in Executive, Leadership and Life Coaching.
I created and wrote my blog every day and I admitted right out loud that Coaching people in Career Change and Life Change was what I had already been doing for years informally and I now wanted to formalize that practice and so The Change Coach was born.
I finally found something that I loved doing. Now this next bit may sound really daft but it actually felt like I had come home. Mad, I know but that’s the best way to describe how I felt once I made the decision. The pieces of the jigsaw appeared before me.
I decided there and then that I should be fair to my current employer and give them ample time to make arrangements with regard to my replacement and so on Monday 26 September, or as I prefer to call it ‘Momentous Monday’, I resigned. And that was that.
Suffice to say it was a 2 year journey from the time I started feeling unsettled until I resigned. I was terrified. I still am. I write this on the last day of March and I am now happily back living in Ireland. It is hard to make a living at our age in Spain and yet everything we needed from Spain it gave us along with a hug saying it’s time to go home. It has been a long while since regular income came my way and the plans for my online business are still slowly coming together after some unavoidable setbacks.
I have greater clarity about what I want from this business…I have increased confidence that I can deliver but I’m running out of time because I’m running out of money. The temptation is there staring me in the face to go back to a job with a regular salary I know I could but I also know I wouldn’t never be able to look myself in the eye and say I followed my dream until I could follow it no more.
I didn’t get this far to go back that far.
I hate Change I always have but I have discovered I am pretty excellent at creating Change and managing Change. A useful talent for The Change Coach.
Career Change is difficult but I truly believe it’s nowhere as difficult as staying in a job you are no longer happy with. Yes, there will be obstacles. Yes, you will have panic attacks. Yes, you will question your sanity. Yes, it takes time and it requires having a plan. But should this deter you? Hell, No!!
I have a vision - a simple one. I want to work with people who want change but are struggling with it. I want to inspire and motivate them to get beyond their fears and prepare them in the most practical way possible to discover and work for their real purpose. By sharing my own experiences and with a bit of tough love I will help people turn their lives around with one aim to make sure that they find joy in their work and regrets left behind.
Then it will be job done.
Never stop believing you can’t change.
Niamh Ennis is The Change Coach based in Dublin, Ireland but reaching out to clients globally. Through the many changes she has chosen, not to mention those that have been forced upon her, Niamh is helping people manoeuvre their way through Change in their Careers as well as in their personal lives and relationships.
Her ability to Change effectively has inspired others to do the same. This makes her happy!
She curates her own Facebook Group where she is currently welcoming new members www.facebook.com/groups/TheChangingRoom1/ where lively and helpful discussions on Change occur.