Stuck In the Hamster Wheel
As virtual assistants, we’ve all been in draining corporate jobs where we’re privy to the problems of a company but powerless in our positions to affect change. I worked in a position like that for almost twelve years! While I loved my bosses, I often felt frustrated that I lacked the power to fix the problems I noticed. My once draining job turned into a full fledged nightmare after a change in executive management created a hostile work environment.
I’d wake up every Sunday morning already dreading work on Monday. I’d spend all day Sunday thinking about the things that needed to be done at work on Monday and what would happen if they didn’t get done. The stress and anxiety were horrible but as an adult with a family and financial responsibilities in a recovering economy, there weren’t a lot of options. So I stayed put despite the feeling that a little piece of my soul was dying every time I stepped through the doors. I found myself looking for ways to be anywhere but at work. I took random vacation days when I had no plans just to get away and even began searching and applying for jobs during my lunch break using apps on my phone.
A Turn of Events
Then I got sick - really sick. I ended up in the hospital for 7 days and on unpaid medical leave for 4 weeks. While the doctors couldn’t find a medical explanation for what caused my health issues, I didn’t really need them to. We’ve all heard that stress can make you sick and I’d been living in a constant state of stress and anxiety for over a year. During the time I was out of the office, my direct boss (who I loved working for) put in his notice. He was the only buffer between me and the rest of the executive managers.
After worrying about what I was going to do for a week, I decided that I couldn’t return to even worse circumstances than the one’s I had left. Despite the fact I wasn’t in a position to job hunt or to increase the timeline on our planned relocation to the beach, I turned in my notice and we decided to move to the beach anyway.
Making My Move
That’s right. We packed up our kid and our dog and moved to the beach with a U-haul full of stuff and only my sister’s house as a temporary place to stay. My very pre-planned, routine, organized life was in disarray. I still didn’t feel very well, but I was happier than I had been in a long time. I’m not a fan of change or disorganization in general, so saying I was happy to be living amidst such chaos and uncertainty says a lot about where I had been.
The very next day, we ended up renting an under budget place 5 minutes from the ocean. Three months later I landed a job that allowed me to work from home which ultimately led me to start my own Virtual Assistant business. Four years later we’re still loving beach life in our under budget place 5 minutes from the ocean.
I’m not here to tell you it will be easy. There were many sleepless nights in the months leading up to me finding a job. A few times I even thought we were going to have to admit we failed - but we didn’t give up. There is rarely a right time to follow your dreams. Sometimes the best thing you can do is trust in yourself to make your dreams a reality. Sometimes, you need to stop waiting for the perfect moment to put a plan into action and just go for it! What are you doing to actively chase your dreams today?
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