We’re starting a weekly feature, written week by week by one of our clients, following their journey from why they started career coaching, need a career change and how they are experiencing the coaching journey week by week, warts and all.
The Starting Point
My name is Jane. I qualified as a solicitor 6 months ago and I have been intolerably miserable for nearly all of that period. Agreed that is probably the most uninspiring first line of a diary ever written but the point of this diary is to start from the point anyone unhappy and unsatisfied by their career starts from: the dark twisted and endless system of tunnels (c’mon where is that light that’s supposed to be there?!? Please please please let there be a light!) of intolerable misery.
“I am not behaving anything like the person I thought I was or even close to the person I aspire to be and I am petrified.”
What does this intolerable misery involve? Weekly calls to my parents in floods of tears. Lack of motivation to do anything at work. Restlessness and dissatisfaction with all elements of my life; social, physical, romantic, professional, residential, familial I could go on. A feeling like I need to escape and go and live on a beach in California. Increasing irritability with my friends and family. An apathy towards social events I previously would have enjoyed or at least had some opinion about – most of the time I just don’t care. I have no feelings: I am completely numb.
Why do I know this is what intolerable misery feels like? Well a few facts about me: I am 28. I spent the first 14 years of my life on a small sub-tropical island before coming to school and university in the UK. I have lived in London for the past 6 years. I love walking the city and have not set foot in the drivers seat of a car since I passed my driving test 9 years ago (why I think I am going to be happy in California I am not quite sure). I am passionate about theatre, film and music and committed to my exercise regime. I have a wide social network within which I love making new friends. Compared to my small island upbringing London is heaven for me. Yet I am uninterested by any of it. I am not behaving anything like the person I thought I was or even close to the person I aspire to be and I am petrified.
“‘You’re ‘depressed,’ I hear you cry. Indeed am I? This is a question I have given a lot of thought.”
‘You’re ‘depressed,’ I hear you cry. Indeed am I? This is a question I have given a lot of thought. I have known quite a few people who have suffered with clinical depression and although their conditions have varied in their presentation the common theme has been that they want to stay in bed all the time and cannot muster the energy to socialise. I am behaving in entirely the opposite way. I am trying to gain satisfaction out of every other part of my life to see if that is the part that is making me miserable ( my family and home life are stable and comfortable so I have ruled them out). For the past 3 months I have been going swimming at 7am every morning to get an endorphin fix long enough to last me just the morning. I have also joined new societies, internet dated and attended any event I can to meet new people or attain that contentedness and companionship that comes with a relationship. In my opinion this is a rather strategic way of attempting to identify and solve the problem and completely uncharacteristic of someone who is not interested or engaged by life such as someone suffering from clinical depression But sadly, at this point, I just feel physically and metaphysically exhausted. Neither my social life, love life, cultural life nor the amount of endorphins I feed myself have solved the numbness.
So you meet me at a point where I am intolerably miserable and tired, REALLY tired. So I arrive at the conclusion that having explored everything else it must be my job which is making me miserable.
And I do it, I do it at work. I google career coaching and two days and one 20 minute phone call my coaching journey has begun. I will explain more about my job and how I chose Seven Career Coaching in my next piece. Please follow along week by week and track my progress!
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email Seven who will forward your queries to me and if I can I will answer them.
One final point: in the interest of full disclosure and for those cynics out there. No Jane is not my real name and no I am not being paid to write this. Everything you read is the thoughts, feelings and processes of a 28 year old female
If you want to speak to one of our Life Coaches or Career Coaches to discuss how coaching can help you – book your phone consultation