How A Social Worker Took Action to Leave a Bad Job and Find a Better OpportunityReading Time: 4 minutes
This post is the first in what will be a series highlighting the success stories of people I’ve worked with. Through these stories, I hope you’ll find the career challenges you face are not uncommon and that – with a little introspection and investment in yourself – you, too, can discover meaningful work you love.
She had a knot in her stomach, her palms were sweaty and she was pacing around her house.
It was just another weekday morning for Erin.
Her heightened state of anxiety was the result of working a job that made her miserable – a job she had now been in for two and a half years.
It wasn’t the work that was the problem. Erin is a social worker who recently worked with the aged and disabled population. She loves helping people in need.
It was her company’s culture – specifically the poor communication and lack of support from the management team – that led to the stress she carried with her daily. On top of that, she was working off the clock at home until 11 p.m. some nights just to keep up with her ever-increasing caseload.
It took a toll on her physically, too, as her eating habits worsened and she began gaining weight. “I felt broken down,” Erin said.
She did receive a short-term reprieve while she went on maternity leave following the birth of her second child. But once she returned, the feelings of dread and worry came rushing back.
Changing Her Mindset and Taking Action
By the time she saw my Facebook post announcing the launch of my life coaching business in July, Erin knew she had to make some significant changes in her career.
She came into our first session having contemplated a career change, but taking little action. Our initial coaching call gave her the motivation to finally deal with her professional frustrations, she said.
“Sometimes one conversation is all it takes,” she added.
We discussed what she loved in her current and previous jobs, as well as what she wanted to avoid in her future opportunities.
Erin also re-committed to her self-care, which included blogging about the high stress she was experiencing at work. Writing helped her explore what was going on in her head and gave her the confidence to push through as she searched for a new job, she said.
After speaking with her husband about their financial situation, Erin made the decision to quit her job so she could focus solely on finding a new opportunity with an organization that was a better fit for her.
Putting Herself Out There and Landing a New Job
Our work together helped Erin overcome the anxiety around putting herself out there to apply for new positions, she said.
She landed several interviews within the first few weeks of her search, which boosted her confidence and belief in herself.
“The more I applied, the more interviews, the more courage I got to step out of my comfort zone and take those risks,” Erin said.
She was also leveraging her network during that time, which helped her immensely. One of Erin’s former co-workers put in a good word for Erin at her new company. Erin applied to the company, but was told they didn’t have any current openings.
A position opened up just a week later, however, and she was invited to an interview. Shortly thereafter, she was filling out the paper work to accept her new job offer.
By changing her mindset and committing to action, Erin had quickly reached her goal of finding a new professional opportunity.
Now that she’s left her old job behind and has moved on to the new role, Erin said she feels relieved and validated in her belief that she deserved more for her career.
As for the knot in her stomach, the sweaty palms and the general anxiety she felt every morning as she left to go to her old job?
“I don’t have that now. I’m free. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted,” she said.
Erin’s Advice For Others Looking for a New Job
- Believe in Yourself and Your Abilities
Due to the struggles she had experienced at her old job and general confidence issues she has struggled with her whole life, Erin said she doubted her skills before she started applying to new jobs. Putting herself out there and seeing employers’ interest in her helped her regain confidence.
- Ask Yourself, ‘Why not?’
Opportunities to advance your career rarely come to you. You have to go out and find them. Take action toward your career goals. “What is the worst that can happen if you continue to look for opportunities?” Erin asked.
- Have Faith in the Process
The job search process can be a long, tedious and discouraging experience. Even if things are slow to develop, keep applying and keep putting yourself out there, Erin said. Eventually, a good opportunity will come your way. Follow these steps to help speed up the job search process.
If you are ready to get clear on your career goals and start taking action like Erin, schedule a free sample coaching session today.