Career change and job love stories

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  1. Intro





    1.    Tell us a little about yourself – who are you besides the job you do?  What’s most important to you in life?

    G’day, I’m not sure what I would consider most important in life, I enjoy a few different hobbies like guitar, ukulele, and very basic knowledge in piano/keyboard and also just generally listening to all different types of music- so I guess music is pretty important to me, besides family and friends.

    What do you currently do work-wise?

    Technical Assistant at Soho House Farmhouse, this role includes both projection (hosting, managing, organising, and playing films), and IT support (network, troubleshooting), and other general IT tasks. Another key part of the job is working with the events teams here to provide technical requirements for private clients for private events, (AV for bands, Meeting setups, Cinema screenings).

    What do you love about it?

    The team here are really nice, alongside the site being and looking amazing. The job is a mixture of everything I’ve done before it, which is why I believe I feel so comfortable here. When I started I was chucked pretty heavily into the deep end making me feel uncomfortable, but I think it is this exact reason why myself and others say that I am really strong in this role.

    How and when did you decide that this is what you wanted to do?

    Rather than it being a specific moment in time, I think it was just a passive interest which grew through honestly just watching YouTube videos, which developed into wanting to understand it myself. I don’t believe when I was doing this it ever really “dawned on me” that this is what I want to do, it’s just something I feel comfortable doing and also enjoy the work, or rather the field.

    What have you found the most challenging? 

    Initially, the most challenging thing was getting to know the site, alongside 600 colleagues at the same time, but everyone I spoke to was always kind and understanding so the pressure was never too bad in that regard. Being the only person on site for the greatest part of a week can be stressful, as there are so many little things that have to work for the site to be in operation, but with more time, the stress goes away as my confidence grows.

    5.    Please could you tell us a little about your career journey, from the beginning, so far?

    I first worked as a general helper at the college I studied at (reception/phone calls/emails/applications etc)

    I then worked as the first ever junior IT technician at the college I was studying at, this was more of a generic IT support desk job.  I then did a year or so of bar/restaurant work before starting at the Farmhouse in December 2018, and haven’t really ever looked back.  

    6.    What advice would you give your younger self when it comes to the world of work?

    Don’t be afraid to show interest in something even though you may feel insecure in the sense that you might feel you’re not good enough for the employer.

    What advice would you give to someone interested in going into a similar line of work as yourself?  Where would they start and what could they expect?

    In this exact role, I would suggest jumping head first into it, as a lot of it is something that it is hard to gain experience prior to working in the field. Speaking more broadly IT is something that you can always work harder to familiarise yourself with as there are so many different faucets or career paths you could pursue from that initial interest or passion.

    What hopes do you have for your future?

    Hopefully something in management, although nothing is official at the moment, I’ve been the go-to person to train new starters in the department. I can say that I really do enjoy showing them the ropes as I haven’t lost any passion in this position, if anything only gained more appreciation that I have the job.

    What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients for overall career/job happiness?

    A good work/personal life balance, which admittedly, I sometimes fail to achieve, but I can recall in the past when I was able to properly achieve a good balance and it felt amazing! If you don’t feel happy doing something, leave.

    What does success mean to you?

    Knowing that I met expectations of what was required for me for the day; if others are happy with my performance, I can’t really see a reason why I should doubt that as an achievement. It’s natural in this line of work to have quieter days, and then extremely busy days. As long as I have focus on the busy ones, that’s what’s important.

    I love sharing resources!  Are there any resources such as books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc that you'd recommend for people figuring out what they want to do for work and/or getting started?

    Jordan Peterson- 12 Rules For Life


    1.  Have you joined the Happy at Work Facebook Community?  Come and join us for everything related to career and work happiness :-)  This little group is a community of supportive individuals who simply want to feel happier in their work.  For some that means considering a complete change of career, for others it's about building confidence, or reducing stress.  And if you're looking for 121 support, check out my Work With Me page or drop me a line to arrange a (free, no obligation) natter.




  2. Lucy on the blog - newsletter

    Ok, you're in for a treat here!  Lucy is my sister-in-law, she's incredibly creative and very funny, which I think you get a little glimpse of here in this blog!  I asked her to share her story because she absolutely LOVES her job!  I love hearing her talk about her work because she's so passionate about it and so so grateful to have found a position she loves for the right employer.  A qualified florist, Lucy spent 7 years at home raising 2 children -"it really is the hardest job in the world….." - and now works in a local Garden Centre

    Lucy's story is uplifting and the perfect reminder that work can be far more than a way to pay the bills.  Enjoy!


    Tell us a little about yourself – who are you besides the job you do?

    Hi!  So first and foremost I am Mum to two fantastic kids Sophie 8 and Tom 5, Wife to Stuart, cook, cleaner, PA to everybody and the finder of things.

    I like all things nature, country music, gardening and whooping the bad guys on playstation with the kids.

    I doubt myself all the time, feel guilt on a daily basis even though I can't try any harder at life and have a never ending list on ways I could improve myself.

    I do enjoy my job though :)

    What do you do now?

    I've been working part time in a local garden center for the last 18 months, which I absoloutely love.  It's mostly outside in the plant area but can be on the tills or even filling up bags of birdseed, its very varied which makes it interesting.

    What do you love about it?

    I love that I can work around the kids, my awesome manager lets me do school hours in the week which also means there's time to power walk there and back - work and workout four days a week, it’s a double whammy. The days are hectic and I'm forever in a rush but I function best under a litle pressure!

    What did you do before and how did you end up there?

    My first job was a florist which never left me.


    I decided to become a florist really because I couldn’t wait to leave school and get a job! I had seen this flower shop in town and thought it looked fun. I was 15 and I started as a Saturday girl but as time went on I did more and more.  It was hard work, long hours on our feet all day and always a challenge but that set the bar for me and it gave me a really good work ethic. When I left school I went to college for 2 years and gained a City and Guilds level 2 in Floristy. 


    The experience I gained from this job set me up for life, I gained confidence from dealing with the public from all walks of life, having to think on your feet and manage a busy Saturday queue whilst prioriting the orders and making sure the wedding flowers go out on time is a lot to juggle but I loved the buzz of that flower shop and met some great people there. I moved on after a few years but always helped out at peak times for the next 10 years or so and still do occasionally help a florist friend, its like riding a bike, you never forget how to make a bouquet and that smell of fresh cut flowers on my hands gives me a nice fuzzy feeling.


    I then worked in a couple of retail shops for the next eightish years until I met Mr. Right and became a stay at home mum when the babies were born. I stayed at home for seven and a half years in total, fitting my daily routine around cbeebies, potty training, and making sure the house was spick and span for when my overworked husband came home.

    Why did you decide to change?

    I loved the fact I had been lucky enough to stay at home and raise the kids and not miss out on a single sneeze of theirs, while my husband worked seven days a week to ensure we were comfortable. But at the same time I felt completely frazzled and had forgotten what I even used to like. I then felt guilty for feeling that I wanted more when I know some mums would kill to be able to be a stay at home mum. But it really is the hardest job in the world and our work/life balance was at opposite ends of the spectrum for me and my husband.  But it worked.

    How did you decide what to do instead?

    I had done work experience all those years ago at the garden center and really enjoyed it, I had very fond memories of the place and had always used it as an example of when I got back to work “I just want a nice job at the garden center that I can fit around the kids” as I didn’t want to disrupt our balance after not having to worry about those sorts of things for so long. It didn’t matter if the kids had been ill as I was always home anyway. Got a parcel being delivered? No problem I’ll be home!

    Where did you start when it came to actually making the change?

    I had been toying with the idea and desperately wanting to go back to work for a long time so when I couldn’t ignore it anymore I began curiously browsing on job sites to see if there was anything that I could possibly fit around the kids. Just when I had convinced myself there was nothing suitable for me and I would just have to wait another couple of years until Tom started school I saw the ad for a part time assistant at the garden center. I couldn’t believe it and rang their head office directly because me being me didn’t want to waste anybodys time by filling out a form and having an interview if I couldn’t do the hours they required.

    I was told that I might actually be just the kind of person they were looking for and to definitely apply and the rest is history!

    How did you actually make the change? (training, finances, learning etc)

    It was really very scary, but completely exhilerating at the same time. Once I got over actually being offered the job after my interview (the first one I'd had in 13 years) I did worry about all sorts of things but I felt such a sense of achievement there was no way I wasn’t going to make it work. Being the new girl there was plenty of mistakes to make and lots of learning curves shall we say.  I'm lucky to have two very understanding managers and there's always some training or opportunities to be had at work. If it hadn't been down to Coronavirus scuppering everybodys plans I would have been going to the Chelsea Flower Show to help behind the scenes on the Hillier stand; I'd only ever been there as a paying member of the the public before!

    What were /are the biggest challenges? (internal and external!)

    I would say the biggest challenges have been the complete upheaval of what we used to have and getting used to it. I work every other weekend as well as some days in the week so it was hard at first and there were times when I would cry on the way down to work just because I felt such overwhelming guilt and selfishness that I wanted to get back out into the world of work when I could be at home with the kids doing weekend stuff. I also felt guilty that my husband had been working all week too and now he was lumbered with the task of keeping two kids happy, making it to dance class on time (and remembering to pick her up) and getting my dinner ready... Oh how the tables have turned!

    What advice would you give your younger self?

    I would probably tell myself to drink less, trust myself more and to lower my expectations a bit, but other than that I am who I am and I don’t think it could have been any other way for me. I never regret anything I've done because everything I did got me here today and that’s where I want to be.

    How has life changed?

    Since going back to work life has changed quite a lot, I only get a lay in once every two weeks! I would say I have much more self worth now, the fact that I am earning my own wage and contributing again means the world to me. Stuart always said I was contributing in the most important ways but the fact I was completely reliant on him financially made me feel weak and frustrated. The fact that my job also incorporates my hobby and love of plants and gardening is a massive bonus and I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I am able to have all that and still pick the kids up.

    Lets not forget the social side either, being a stay at home mum is not all soft play and coffee shops with your new mum friends, it was the most isolating and lonely time in so many ways and now I have friends and colleagues and a work whatsapp group and all that funny banter that I missed for so long.  I am part of something again which I never realised how much I missed. I also get to call myself a working mum now which just feels so badass! 

    What do you miss anything about your previous line of work?


    What hopes do you have for your future?

    I hope that things don’t change too much for me actually as I am really very happy and grateful for all that I have right now. I'm looking forward to expanding my general horticulture knowledge but that will come with experience and I feel I'm working for a really good company. I get paid to be outside in the fresh air, talking to people, caring for plants, it's within walking distance and fits in with the school run. SERIOUSLY!

    What advice would you give to anyone looking to find and pursue a career/job they love?

    I was very patient and I did hold out for this job to come up, a position had been advertised the previous year but it was definitely not the right time so I reluctantly let that one go. So that’s it, patience, if you know that’s the job for you and you will be happy in it then surely that’s worth holding out for?

    I love sharing resources!  Are there any resources such as books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc that you'd recommend for people figuring out what they want to do for work and/or getting started?

    No but just realise that to be happy in a job it doesn’t have to be glamorous, or high flying, or high paid even, if it gives you fire in your belly then its not going to feel like work and you should embrace it. 

    Where can people find / follow you? 

    You can find me at Hilliers Garden Center, Banbury. Come and buy some plants, it'll cheer you up and you might realise what it is that you want to do! 


    Don't forget you can book a free call with me if you're unhappy in your work, for whatever reason, and would like to explore how coaching can help.  Head over to my Work with Me page to find out more, or Contact me and we'll arrange a chat.