Halloween this year wasn’t just about trick or treating – I also celebrated leaving work a year ago.
I remember Halloween last year. It was so scary – and not just because of Halloween. I had just quit my stable, full-time job to write and podcast and it was my very last day at work.
I still am also pinching myself in disbelief that I had the courage to do it. It was a big step. I was so attached to being a provider for my kids, and it seemed a huge risk.
Why I left work
It was motivated by three main things, two of which I discussed in a recent Facebook Live I did on The Joyful Business Club (my new venture).
One, I was suffering from bad anxiety as a result of a bullying issue at work. It can (and does) happen to many people and sadly anxiety is the number one mental health issues facing Australians. In my case, there is a family history of anxiety. Plus, I still had scars from domestic violence. It was almost five years to the day that I had left when this issue came up, and I was aware that I needed to do the healing that (due to needing to keep going for my kids and keep working) I was unable to do then.
Secondly, I wanted my own voice. It was an honour to serve as a public servant. A key word here is serve. There are many strictures around what a public servant can say or do even outside of work. This is important as public servants (in my case, a Commonwealth public servant) needs to impartially serve the Government and that goes right through to what she/he says on social media. Emanual Kant wrote extensively about public/private, and I have no quibble with this. I was employed as a public servant and I had a public duty. But as someone with creative ideas, I wanted my own freedom of expression. I began to realise that freedom of speech was more important to me than my employment.
And thirdly, I had a message I was passionate about. I was passionate about showing how saving and investing can be empowering, and also vital as we look to adopt more sustainable practices. I could never have foreseen the bushfires + pandemic + recession that happened within weeks of my decision to leave work.
It was time. I had felt my intuition calling me for so long and finally I was listening to it. It was such an honour to have been able to provide practical advice on how to save money plus provide encouragement about how to build financial resilience.
I’m so proud of The Joyful Frugalista podcast that I’ve launched (and that my husband, Neil, edits). I love being a medium to help tell the stories of some amazing people.
I’m loving, also, connecting with friends and family in my community through my #Joyfulgiving project. I achieved my 366 items (my original goal), and I’m now focused on reaching 1,000 by Christmas.
I’ve had seven TV appearances this year, and have lost track of the radio interviews I’ve been asked to speak on and the panels I have contributed to. I’m saying this not to brag – but because it is the truth. I struggle a bit, to be honest, with balancing the fact that I’m now a personality with family gatherings and friendships. Actually, a lot of people I know don’t even ask about it at all! It’s just an unspoken fact. I’m still mum to my boys, wife to my husband, daughter in law and family member. Nothing has changed. I am still me.
I’ve proud that I’ve launched The Joyful Business Club to help empower women take fabulous ideas and really shine.
And I’m proud that financially we’re fine. Actually, more than fine. We’ve reduced our mortgage by 2/3rds and I’m hoping, praying, manifesting that it will be $0 on Christmas Day.
I’ve got some exciting plans for 2021. I’ll announce when ready, but basically there will be more courses and more YouTube recordings. Basically, I’m going to be producing more content on here and on my podcast that resonates with you and what you want to read, watch and hear. I always love to hear from you about what you want me to focus on and why.
What are the savings/finance/sustainability issues most of concern to you? What would you like me to write about?
HI , Thanks for sharing. I’ve given notice at my public service job , for similar reasons finishing up in 3 weeks, and looking forward to the next chapter. I hope it is all going well for you ad I look forward to going through your historical blogs. It’s quite a daunting time for me and I’m looking to lean on the experience of those who have gone through similar. Best wishes.
What a courageous change. And how does it feel? Good, I’m guessing. As you would have read, the sky didn’t fall in. I had a lot of plans and I’m so happy things have gone ahead – but it hasn’t been in a straight line. What do you plan to do next? Or are you happy having no plans for a while?
Hi, mixed emotions, mostly good. Firstly, I think it’s no plans. I’ve been in the same job for about 16 years, and need to get that out of my head. I reckon that will take a few months. I’m really hoping to find that part of me that gets lost working all the time. It’s great to hear the sky didn’t fall in for you, I’m hoping that will be similar for me. We live quite frugally, so I’m thinking financially I shouldn’t have a lot of pressure, but at some stage I will probably need to find a small source of income. I’m putting off those types of decisions until I have excised myself from work and had time to contemplate. Best wishes and thanks for sharing your experiences.