“I felt no value in what I was doing every day. It felt soulless.”
What work were you doing previously?
I was working in the City as an Insurance Broker.
What are you doing now?
Training to become a Personal Trainer. I qualify in two weeks from today.
Why did you change?
Where do I start?! I managed nine years in the insurance industry but it felt soulless to me. I didn't find it rewarding or satisfying in any way. I like to feel that I am doing some good or helping people somehow. Insurance and the office environment just made me feel empty. I felt no value in what I was doing every day.
When was the moment you decided to make the change?
The day I felt at my lowest point. I had thought about changing, researched it, but never did anything about it. I was scared. It was 'safe' to stay where I was. But after my worst day at work, I never wanted to feel that low again and decided that life is too short – what's the worst that can happen?
Are you happy with the change?
I'm very happy. I haven't looked back. I don't miss anything about my old job or the city way of life. I'm in the right industry. It just feels right.
What do you miss and what don't you miss?
I don't miss anything so far! I would only say having a set salary every month would be nice, but I feel confident that I have the potential to match or even improve my previous earnings if I want to.
I don't miss the office environment and 'Groundhog Day' feeling. I don't miss feeling so miserable and the day going so slowly!
How did you go about making the shift?
I researched courses including durations, costs, and locations, and I spoke to people and friends that are Personal Trainers.
How did you handle your finances to make your change possible?
I put some savings aside by considering how much I would need each month without income. I also considered what small things I could do without, like cutting down on buying lunches and coffees – the small things that add up.
What was the most difficult thing about changing?
Believing that it would work out. For that, you need a plan. Don't be scared.
Also making sure the financial back up was there for the change and feeling comfortable with that.
What help did you get?
Mainly a leap of faith! The support of a loved one in your decision helps a lot so that when you doubt it in any way, they can encourage you and remind you of why you are doing it.
What have you learnt in the process?
To be strong in maintaining your belief. Don't let other people's opinions put you off. You know what you want, it's your life and you have a plan. Ignore them!
What do you wish you'd done differently?
I wish I had realised sooner and not stayed in the same industry for so long feeling sad. I feel like I wasted those years but then again maybe it was supposed to happen now.
What would you advise others to do in the same situation?
To save beforehand, make a good solid plan, and stick to it.
To talk to people in the career that you want.
To keep the faith and visualize your goal!
Any recommended resources?
What lessons could you take from Caroline's story to use in your own career change? Let us know in the comments below.