About 6 months ago, after a lot of pondering, self doubt, tears (a lot of tears), I decided to quit my full time job. It wasn't so I could shout out 'I'm now a full time blogger' - I'm very much far away from that point - but it was so I could focus more time on my blogging, but it was also so I could leave the 9 -5 world of work behind. For good. Was it the right thing to do? Absolutely! Let me tell you why...
For as long as I can remember, I've followed the 'norm' in society. Going to college, getting myself a degree and landing myself a full time job as a Stylist pretty much straight after I graduated - errr hello winning! I always knew that I wanted to work in Fashion, so the fact that I landed myself this job was an absolute dream! I couldn't imagine myself working in another industry, it was Fashion that had always made sense. What I didn't expect, was to be completely unhappy because of it and feeling like everything that I had done leading up to this point had been a total waste.
Starting at the bottom of the career ladder isn't exactly fun, but being the hard worker that I am, I powered on and worked my ass off in a 'career' job thinking that it would lead me to where I wanted to be! It wasn't the most ideal job in terms of salary - I could barely afford to get myself to work each month, with the job paying about minimum wage (£6.31) and I was pretty much just working to get myself to work each month - a vicious cycle which left me feeling deflated because I couldn't afford to do anything but work! It got to a point where I had enough & I found that my enthusiasm had died and my passion for the role had been sucked dry - I needed to get out and find something better!
This is why I love living in Manchester, It's great for so many things, especially being the capital of the North, it allowed me to work and get experience from fashion retailers without having to do the whole hustle and bustle thing in London. There are so many start up companies here - which is amazing (in some ways) - but whilst there were a lot of opportunities in Manchester, they were all similar in terms of what they had to offer. The salary was poor and refusal to hire a more experienced person was a no go. I mean, why would you when you can get an intern to do it for free? Now, it isn't all about the dollar & for the right role, I was willing to compromise, which is what lead me to ponder over a career change - I even considered moving to London - something I really didn't want to do but it looked like my only option.
After a few months of searching, I landed myself a really exciting role as a Marketing Assistant at a Fashion Retailer. I was promised the responsibilities of organising fashion events, social media, photography & blogger outreach - some, but not all were true, regardless - I absolutely loved it! Months passed and my responsibilities grew whilst the wage stayed the same. I kid you not when I say that I was pretty much running the entire business on my own; I had to handle customer complaints, pack & ship orders, process returns, buy stock, all the while keeping on top of my usual responsibilities . I've failed at this point to mention that I was the only full time member of staff too (a grand total of 3 people made up the team entirely).
I searched frantically on various job websites for any other opportunity to get me out of being a full time business owner, without a business. Every site was littered with similar roles & pay that I was currently already stuck with. I was in disbelief that so many employers were seeking staff with a large range of skill sets, availability on weekends on top of the usual 37.5 working hours and all for minimum wage. What is going on!?! I was eventually made redundant due to the business not doing very well & replaced with an intern who was only paid travel (you've got to laugh haven't you!?).
At this point, I was 24 & in need of something to go right. I then headed into my third job post graduation and gave my hand to another Fashion Retailer in hopes that things would be different this time - the wage? Minimum wage, of course! I wasn't running the entire business at this point (awww yeah!), but I was handling the social media, being creative and I actually had people in the office to speak to - it was a totally different vibe!
After a few months, I felt the vicious cycle of not being happy coming to get me like a plague & I just couldn't see myself progress or fit in at this place either. I knew it was down to the niggling idea of working for myself - a thought that just grew stronger in the back of my mind each day. I couldn't handle the fact that my work carried over into the evenings & weekends, it was slowly taking over my personal life & I had less time for my own blogging. Realising that I didn't have time for my own pride & joy a.k.a my blog, was what really hit home for me. Ain't nothing getting in the way of that! I began to dislike the working environment and the feeling of being taken advantage of was creeping up on me. I knew I was better than that - better than a minimum wage job where my creativity didn't flow freely & I felt trapped.
Enough really was enough & I handed in my notice after being given an ultimatum - a decision which I have never looked back on! I was so tired of working for someone else and helping them achieve their goals, especially when I had my own dreams and goals that I was so desperately trying to achieve.
Three years post graduation & although I feel like it's been partly wasted working in places with zero future, it's also taught me a hell of a lot - that I need to be my own Girl Boss & work my behind off for myself!
'What am I up to these days?' - I hear you ask...
I now work in experiential marketing & promotions part time, something I dabbled in whilst I was a student & I absolutely LOVE it, I've never been happier! I'm able to fit it in around my blogging, choose when I work & not to mention, a days work is more than double the pay any of the above jobs could have offered me. I also get to work on some really amazing campaigns and there are so many perks (who doesn't love a freebie). I always thought that working in fashion was my go to, my only career path, but I fulfil that need with my blog now. It's funny how things work out..
If I've learnt anything, it's to trust your gut & follow your instinct - cliché I know, but doing so has done me the world of good! If you know something isn't right for you, don't wait, do something to fix it!
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