I’ve always been passionate about all things dance. When I left university and managed to work my way up to being an events manager for a prestigious ballet company, it felt like an absolute dream come true.
Fast forward to 2013 and a combination of toxic work environment, gruelling hours and a paycheck that barely got me to the end of the month, ground me down to the point where I would be crying in the bathroom everyday, and I felt like I was completely worthless.
A diagnosis of anxiety and depression, and the realisation that my health (especially mental health) and life was worth more than any job, I took the plunge and quit.
It’s taken me a while to recover my health and find my feet in business but I couldn’t be happier for the choice I made. I now run an online dance fitness business helping women to get healthier and happier, inside and out, as well as teaching burlesque dance classes. I am a big advocate of mental health awareness, and teaching people the importance of fitness in the most holistic sense – both mental and physical.
I love that I not only get to dance for a living – a door I thought had closed for me – but I get to help other women realise their true potential in life, both online and in person. It’s such a rewarding experience.
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However, if you are truly unhappy with what you’re doing, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the route I took! Spend some time working out what you want your life to be like in one year, or even five years’ time. What things do you love doing, and what things are contributing to your unhappiness? That will help you create an escape plan and find your focus.
The biggest thing that helped me was talking to people, and being truly honest about what was going on in my life. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help. It’s okay not to be okay with your job and life, you just need to be willing to put in the effort to make positive life changes.
Creating a business of any kind is not easy and can be a pretty lonely place, so find yourself a group of like-minded people, even if it’s online, to touch base with whenever things feel tough. But most of all remember, you don’t need to be the next Steve Jobs to run a business, you just need the drive to keep pushing until you succeed.
Harriet Randall is founder of Strong Imperfect Mind and Glitter Girls Burlesque
This blog is part of The Leap, a New Year series of blogs from people on why they underwent drastic career changes, and the difference it’s made to their lives. Have a story to contribute? Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org