The Unexpected Change
This week I am starting a new job and it is driving my anxiety crazy!
I joined my old company fully in the mindset that I would never leave. The way they work allowed me to change roles and feel like a career change without the stress of changing jobs. Ideal right? No need for the hassle of applying for new roles. One anxiety issue gone.
What I didn’t account for was that I would change as a person, therefore my needs and wants would change in which case may mean needing to move company. I had in no way mentally prepared myself for this, it had never been a discussion in therapy and I had no strategies in place to adapt when my mindset shifted and I started to consider moving.
When I had this realisation that I might want to move job, my anxiety levels rose back up to a concerning level. It was impacting my ability to do my job at a high level of quality and I was starting to struggle with leaving the house and seeing joy in my every day.
I didn’t know what to do but I knew to move forward in any direction, I needed to get myself back into a comfortable space. So I worked hard on creating that comfortable, productive environment. I had a new team as I moved projects and they were incredibly supportive of me and my anxiety. I made sure to be getting enough sleep, and if that meant coming later and leaving later then so be it.
It took me months before I could finally feel level headed enough to actually start applying for new roles. The guilt I felt when applying was horrendous. This company has done a lot for me and the new team where so amazing and I didn’t want them to ever feel that they were the reason I was leaving.
The process of applying and interviewing added to those anxiety levels and was really a risk to my mental wellbeing. My work and achievements are a lot of identity – right or wrongly – and they mean a lot to me. Listing them in a CV and the giving them to people to judge was a risk. They could say no, they all could have said no and in turn that send me back into a dark place of not feeling worthy or capable.
During this process I was lucky enough to receive 3 great job offers. Amazing right? No. I then I had to decide if I wanted any of them, if I wanted to keep looking and go through this process or stop and stay where I was. Then if I did want them, which one was going to be best with the limited knowledge I had on each and how was I going to say no to the other two??
When I applied for my last job I had completed work experience and an internship with them so I had good knowledge on the company and the workplace and so this process is really knew to me. More things to be anxious about.
I am very lucky in that I have an incredible support network who are there for me whenever I need it. Without them I am not sure I could have made this decision. Having their unconditional support made making these choice less scary. They happily let me bounce ideas off them and also provided me with excellent examples from their own career changes.
Finally making my decision brought around an amazing sense of calm. It is one of the benefits I find to having a mental health issue, you get to know your boundaries and learn to trust your gut. That feeling was what I needed to know I was making the right decision for me.
As the weeks passed and my time at my last company was coming to an end, the anxiety started to creep back in. The doubts about if this was the right thing, if the people would be nice, if I would find the job exciting and so on. What made it worse is that my boyfriend, who is a regular source of comfort for my anxiety, is on a course and not contactable from before leaving my previous employer and a few days into starting the new role. I was going to have to work through this myself and with the support of some really great friends.
Through the next month on these blogs and on my Instagram feed I hope to share with you how I am managing this, how I am bringing old strategies into play to and how I am utilising my support network in the hopes that they help you and show that you are not alone.
Making these life changes is daunting but completely manageable. You just need to find the systems that work best for you.
Just know that I am currently sat here unable to leave the house with nerves for this new start that is coming. I do not have it all together and everything I am doing is a work in progress and often filled with mistakes which I hope you all learn from.
Have a great week!