How to Hustle Yourself Out of a Career Crisis
I was chatting to a friend yesterday and she said to me “what led you here?”. My first response was “the car”! What she was actually asking me was what led me to this point in my life, what led me to hustle my way out of a career crisis. It occurred to me that whilst for the last few years I have been building a business in social media, I haven’t been sharing my story. That’s what people buy into right?! The person behind the brand. I mean, there’s a few details that I let out now and again but nothing too deep. I’m not sure I’m into that whole “be authentic” and “show your whole self” deal but I get why it’s important and I get that if you’re reading my blog and following my social posts, you’re doing that for a reason – to know more about me, my family and my work. Right or wrong?
That question got me thinking about the last few years. My family and I have been through a rollercoaster of events and emotions and I’m happy to say that we’re finally out the other side. So here goes… let me share with you how I hustled my way through the mire of normaldom and landed here today, right on my feet!
I worked in Investment Banking for fifteen years and I really loved my job. I loved the social life that came with it and it afforded me some great things such as buying properties and travelling the world, all before I was thirty. I worked hard and I was a million percent committed. That was, until I got married and had children. I was the cliché that we read about in the papers, the successful City woman who left her job because she had kids. That doesn’t mean that I’m any less professional, or capable, because I don’t work in the City. In fact, I’m probably more professional and more capable because I don’t! Because I am my own reputation. I am my own bread and butter!
I had my children quite close together with only an eighteen month gap so I found it terribly hard to leave them at home being so little. The dynamic had changed.
That new stage in my life forced me to reconsider my options and what I wanted. I hadn’t quite settled after my son was born and to be frank, my boss was a total nightmare after my return to work and my role had changed whilst I was on maternity leave so the idea of quitting wasn’t that difficult. As I had accrued tons of annual leave, I took some time out to think about what possibilities I had.
On the first day of my holiday from work, my childminder retired. On the second day, my husband had a brain haemorrhage. For two weeks we didn’t know what had happened, he was in a terrible state and had been sent home from two separate hospitals. He was unable to lift himself up or feed himself for the first few days and I was at my wits end! Luckily, I had an amazing medical team at work who managed to get him a full head scan in Harley Street. That confirmed that he had had a brain haemorrhage and as the blood had trickled down the side of his skull, and not settled on the top, he was able to heal himself. Over the seven months, the blood dispersed back into his system and he slowly returned to work, only three hours a week at first. That seven months was the hardest of my life. In and out of hospitals, carting my babies around with me, from one hospital to another. It was exhausting but it could have been so much worse!
With all of that, the reality that I was in a career crisis was even more prevalent. The decision to make a change was pretty much made for me. I needed to stay home. I wanted to be there for my husband and the children. I’d already felt like I had missed out on so much so for once I put myself and my needs first. I resigned from my job, ended my career and became a stay at home mum. It was the best decision for all of us. Max’s health returned to normal and after eighteen months of hospital visits he was given the all clear. We adapted to our new situation although at times it was financially difficult as I had given up my whole salary! That’s when the real hustle began as I had to find new ways to make money.
I’ve always loved writing so I pursued my interests in social media, blogging and editorials – for clients as opposed to myself (even though I had had a blog before but had to let it go due to all of the above happening). The photo I used as a feature to this post sums up why the decision to change career was a good one. When it was taken, I was doing social media work (an Instagram take over actually) at SS17, London Fashion Week for the second largest off schedule event organiser, Fashions Finest. In the photo I am wearing Lady GaGa’s crown, by Marianna Harutunian at US Fashion Source, that she wore in her video for the song Judas. Had I have stayed in Banking I would never have had that opportunity, or created the memory. It was an amazing weekend and I was completely awe struck at how London Fashion Week works; the models, the designers, the collections, the shows. I was in my happy place being able to take photos and report it all live as it happened.
I love working for myself. I love the freedom and the choice. I love being creative and following my interests, however much they may change from one week to the next. I love the hustle of trying to find the next assignment, of networking and planning. I have always loved photography and I’m taking part in two courses very soon to become even better. I want to use this blog as a memoir and place to show that women can have it all, whatever all means to them. To me, it means not missing a second of my children’s childhood and being the mum at the school gates yet having the time and freedom to work when it suits me and setting an example that you can achieve anything if you’re willing to change your situation and work hard; if you’re willing to hustle!
It’s been a hard few years. It hasn’t been without it’s arguments, tears or stressful moments but that’s life. We deal with it and carry on regardless. It’s all worked out and for me personally and I couldn’t be happier. For us a family, we’re really content and we’ve reached a good balance. We’re all in a good place and every minute of it has been worth it!
And that my friends, is how I hustled my way out of a career crisis!