• Emily

Why I left my Corporate Career

This is a post that I have been putting off writing as it was too personal and made me feel too exposed. However, I think that's what the fear wants me to feel- small and boxed in. I know there are others who were in the same boat who will benefit from my story so I am going to feel the fear and do it anyway.

I have followed a fairly conventional route through life thus far - school, college and then university studying business and ops strategy. I was a middling hard working student but upped my game and left with a 1st class honours degree (1% in but who’s counting?!). I think that was the first time I really believed that if I put my mind to something then I could achieve it. I then joined a graduate scheme at a large corporation which I loved and moved up the ranks quite quickly in my nearly 9 year career. I got a director role at 27 and travelled a fair bit, was in charge of a large global team, a $5m tech budget and I hit a 6 figure salary. It looked great on paper and it really was at times – I wouldn’t change it for the world. However it didn't feel like I felt it would. I was proud of where I got to but I kept on having this feeling that there was more to life, but I didn't know where to look.

When I really sat with that feeling and my eventual plans to have a family, I knew I needed to do something different. I was so entrenched in the corporate world and my work identity and confidence so synonymous with it, that I couldn't see a world outside of it. I think in society we are so focused on reaching success, that we are scared to do something different when we reach it and it doesn't continue to serve us. Pivoting your version of success can be scary and daunting. I did a lot of self development and exploring what I loved and didn't love and what my passion was and slowly, slowly my coaching business came in to fruition. I love helping people solve problems, think outside the box and reach their potential (especially women who have much more of a fight on their hands with the patriarchy against them).

Fast forward a couple of years and a baby (read here for my blog post on new motherhood); I finally handed my notice in to fully focus on my business. Slap bang in the middle of a global pandemic probably wasn’t the best time to start scaling a business, but the universe works in mysterious ways! Talking about something and doing it are two very different things and I felt all the feels for a while. Then, I started to feel a lightness. Almost an inner knowing that this was the right thing to do (I also saw many aligned numbers during this period which I clung to in the belief I was doing the right thing). There was still the fear and unknown territory of no longer relying on a passive monthly wage slip and putting myself out there more. Mindset is so important when stepping into the unknown and I talk more about this here.

The moral of this story (so far - this is just the beginning, mark my words!) is strive, strive, strive but always check in on what feels good and right. You know what feels wrong and you really need to listen to that. Don't be afraid to pivot away from what you had dreamed of. If you made that a success, you will make this a success too. If I can do it, so can you! I am still having to re-tell myself these things when I've had a tough day, but what I do know is that I'm taking steps in the right direction to grow the business that I dreamt of. It feels amazing (and daunting at times) to be completely in control of the work I do and who I work with and that is what keeps me going in the craziness of it all.

I hope this post resonated with you and if you have had a feeling that you are not on the right track then I want you to know you aren’t alone. It IS possible to change course. Life is short (I think Corona has highlighted that for us) and we should try to spend our time on things we love. I’d be honoured to support and work with you through these feelings so feel free to reach out to me here.

I spend a lot of time on Instagram talking about pivoting too if you’d like to follow me to get bitesize snippets of wisdom or on Linkedin

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