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I chose my mental health over a salary

Up until 5 years ago, I had never had a full-time job. I had never earned a salary.

Now, don't think I was living off the dole (government payments). I had a job and I got by just fine.

Waiting tables, working events, bartending, all that good stuff that allowed me to sleep all day and party all night. The no-responsibilities kinda life.

But a friend told me I could no longer live like this. I'll never forget their words,

"Jessie you need to find a full-time job, a salary. You need stability".

So that's what I did.

I found a job, a career. I was good at it too.

I was happy for a while. The excitement of hitting targets, running a team, and planning retention events. It was great. But then I fell into a routine and I began to wish away the week, reaching for the weekend.

Day after day, turned into month after month. My KPIs grew as my workdays got bigger.

I don't want to go all woo-woo on you, but it just isn't right... to work 8 hours a day, 40+ hours a week. To be hunched over a computer, our diets consist of coffee and crackers, and to only schedule family time when our google calendars will allow.

But when and how did this happen?

Early humans had a hard but simple job - hunt, gather, survive. As humans evolved, so did our priorities as daily survival was no longer at the top of our to-do list.

As farmers moved to factories, more jobs became available. These men were working an average of 14 hour days which at the time was considered a standard workweek. It was following the depression in the 1930s that a new law was passed for 40 hour work weeks when activists took a strike to "gain back time".

The world continued to evolve and although the bare necessities to survive were readily available, work hours began to increase once more.

During the pandemic, studies showed employees working upwards of 80 hours per week with their workload doubling due to technology and being able to be reached easier and outside of work hours by their employer.

Now here we are in 2022.

We want more, need more - It's never enough.

So, I've left my job of 5 years. A job that created and enabled me to realise I was fucking good at sales and propelled the business I worked for, forward. I grew, the business grew, my account grew - But it just never felt right. It took me a while to realise I was being taken advantage of, that I was replaceable at the snap of a finger.

The day I handed in my resignation, I was thrown a pay rise. But instead of feeling wanted, I felt sick. The desperation on their faces was unsettling, they didn't care about my mental health, my aspirations, or the fact that I just couldn't do it anymore. I was the 3rd resignation in a month and another 2 followed mine.

I was asked to stay silent about leaving the business, to my team and to the 300 members within the studio. I slapped on a happy face as I mustered up any kind of energy I had left inside of me clocking in and clocking out day after day. I was emotionally fragile, mentally distressed, and physically drained.

Over the next few weeks, I stopped doing yoga, I stopped meditating and I even canceled therapy.

It was fucking rough. The days moved slow and it became harder to get out of bed. And the worst part, my mental health was irrelevant to my employers.

But the clock kept moving and I made it out the other side. I'M FINALLY JOBLESS!

The biggest question I kept receiving was 'what's next?'. I replied honestly with 'I don't fuckin' know' in which they would cock their head, squint their eyes, and ask 'how can you afford to not know?!'.

This consistent response has really sparked thoughts on my relationship with money. Being stood down during the pandemic, living off pocket money from the Government really shifted my perspective on the things I need vs the things I want.

Money is fuckin' weird man.

Anyway, this is just me getting shit off my chest. No inspirational quotes or words of guidance. Just a good ol' rant.

Thanks for being here and following along with my journey.

You can find me on Instagram or if you would like to show your support you can become a Patron on Patreon but if you've got commitment issues, you can shout me a coffee

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