I was flat, I was uninspired and frustrated by work, I’d lost my mojo. I knew something was making me miserable, but I couldn’t work it out. I got less and less tolerant of travelling with work, commuting for hours every week, constantly frustrated by mundane issues at work, my head was full of work noise!
Late one Friday night, delayed at Edinburgh airport, missing my boys’ bedtime, I bought The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben.
I realised quite quickly that I could isolate my unhappiness to my working life. In trips logic, it told me that I had a great job, I’d built up a great business over 15 years, total job security, trust and respect from my boss, a great package, flexible working, a team I loved. What was up with me, get a grip and stop complaining – I should be grateful!
But I wasn’t. I loved Gretchen’s project concept, so I set about working on my own happiness project – I would discover how to work happy!
I started by listening to podcasts when commuting or running, I started buying self-help books; a ridiculous number of self-help books, I started following thought leaders in happiness and career management. I had found my passion again. I was devouring books, excited about my commute to listen to the next podcast episode. My mind was buzzing, I was growing and learning. I thought I could be a career coach. This was the answer.
I braved up. I resigned. I failed.
My boss was gutted. I felt such guilt at seeing their reaction, I had spent my career working so hard to please them – this was hard! I had no plan b defined, I was full of fear – I knew I needed change, but I didn’t know what that looked like.
So, I went 360 and stayed put. I got a got a promotion, I was now UK MD of a hugely successful and massively busy recruitment business. I had more travel, more work noise filling my head but for a long while I loved it again was challenged.
Then my world changed in a heart-beat. My Dad, following a brave 9- month battle with pancreatic cancer, had a heart attack and within days, he had gone. Work worries no longer mattered, I struggled to care initially – in time, bound by my mindset of doing the right thing, people depended on me, I was back at work within a week. Work became a busy distraction. It helped me put one foot in front of the other and get out of bed each morning. I threw myself into work, it was my default mode. Keep doing what is expected of me. Show no weakness, you can manage it all.
My unhappiness took to a new level. Understandable, I told myself. I was meant to be miserable, I had lost my dad.
I came out of the fug a little and realised I needed to make change happen. Life was short. I was approaching 42, I had so much in me that I wanted to achieve. I had this new-found clarity, I wanted to create change that met my agenda. Allowed me to put my family first. One evening whilst Nick watched the football, the work happy project was born. I was so fizzing about the name, that I bought the domain in this frenzy worried that someone would get there before me.
Still eating up self-books and podcasts as I commuted around.
Saving my ass off meant I could have a bit of space without feeling a crippling fear to set up #work happy. Hubby was behind me. Oh my God, I could actually do this.
My next major hurdle was resigning take two! This time I was resolute, I was not full of fear and without a plan. I had a plan, I had a great plan and I am going to be successful in my new chapter. This time it is working to my agenda. Freedom I have learned, is my key motivation.
To take this seriously, I needed to walk my walk. I started researching coaches, what they did, how they did it, what they charged.
My enlightening journey into business creation began – I went into this frenzy of self-development, I found clarity, I found courage, I walked a fine line between excitement and fear – I lit up, I had found what I was meant to do and be.
I founded the work happy project to help others get through the fug and confusion and find their work happy!
Get your happy on….kick off your journey and follow my journey at The work happy project.