“I Don't Think I Can Take It Any More”

Emily is an HR Manager for a hotel chain, and she's losing the will to carry on. She knows she wants a new career path, but isn't sure what it might be. In the throes of a job she hates, how can she find the energy to cope with the day-to-day grind and work on a career change at the same time?

What's your career history and current job?

After university, I hopped around a few different career paths, including recruitment and sales.

I settled into HR four years ago, and gradually moved up the career ladder to HR Manager for a major hotel chain, which is what I'm doing now.

How do you feel about your work?

Frankly, I'm exhausted. Just exhausted.

The paperwork is repetitive and my in tray seems to double in size overnight.

It's a high-pressure role, and I'm constantly firefighting. I'm sorting out nasty conflicts between staff all the time, so I think I've lost my faith in humanity a little, and every time I get home from work I feel this huge swell of sadness.

I've stayed in my job so far because I know it's the socially correct thing to do; my parents are proud of me, my friends respect me, and I'm ticking all the boxes for my employers, but I can almost physically feel my soul shrivelling up every time I walk into the office.

I'm constantly tired, I'm irritable, and I have less and less energy for anything; even going out for a drink with my friends feels like a chore after a day at work.

What would you like to be doing instead?

I really don't know.

I like gardening and crafty stuff, but I'm not convinced that I want to make those things into anything more than hobbies.

When I've talked about it with friends in the past, my instinct is to say I want a job away from people – where I'm on my own in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by plants and animals – but I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that's just a knee-jerk reaction to the job I'm in now.

What is the biggest obstacle you're facing?

I just can't find the energy to explore my options.

I've read loads of advice on the Careershifters website and other resources that says I should be trying things out to see what I enjoy, but when I finish a day's work I just want to curl up in a ball. I've been to classes and done a bit of volunteering, but then I'll have a bad few weeks at work and get out of the routine of going.

I'd love to go part time, but I can't afford a drop in salary right now. Then again, I don't know if I can handle the thought of staying in my job and saving to go part time. I might be too far gone!

Can you help Emily?

  • Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
  • What can she do to combat the stress and exhaustion of her current job, and move forward with changing career?
  • Do you know anyone she could talk to?

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