Since primary school, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. I carefully selected my subjects and ticked all the right boxes because that’s what good private school students do. For my entire childhood, I had been indoctrinated to believe that I was only ever going to have one path but my first year of university proved all that wrong. I went from science to applying for Medicine, to thinking about Physio to eventually doing a Masters of Business Administration. Talk about a windy road.
I’m probably not the first person to ever write about career-block – the thing that happens when you know you’re on the wrong path but have no flippin’ idea how to get off it. The only difference is, I had done all the right things, collected my pieces of paper, lived in different cities and for the life of me, I still had no idea what I was going to do when I grew up (noting I was 30 at this point). Was it your stereotypical early life crisis, was I unsettled, was I bored, was it just the industry I was in or worse, was it the job I had committed eigh years of my life to?
After many tears and sleepless nights, I decided to take a leap of faith and leave my security blanket – my job. Not to be confused with other brave women who do this all on their own, I had a husband who supported me and who also had a salary to pay the bills (just) while I pondered life. Most would think that being job-free would be fun but when you wake up every morning like a deer in the headlights, without purpose or drive, it is actually pretty scary.
Anyone who knows me would say that my biggest strength is also my biggest downfall, I’m driven and don’t take no for an answer. The problem is when you lose any semblance of drive, you start to feel lost and the spiral is immediate. This isn’t a place I particularly enjoyed, or felt happy about being in for too long. So, I did something about it.
And this is how I overcame my career-block, or career-depression. Whatever the title, it all meant the same to me.
I recognised my career-depression and acknowledged its shitty presence. The age-old saying of, “once you admit to your problem, you’re already half way to overcoming it” is very true. I knew that living in my pocket of naivety would only do more harm than good, so I needed to put my big girl pants on and face the music. I had no direction and I was the only person who could fix that.