Should I quit my job? How I knew when it was time...
Should I quit my job?
Deep in there you know you are not living the life you really want.
Deep down you know you are worth more than that sinking feeling every Monday morning.
The constant narrative in your head is…
Is This It?
Those 3 simple words that haunt you.
You question everything about what you do, yet for some reason there is never a right time.
You feel paralysed with fear and keep making excuses for the choices you have made.
You know that there is something more to this life but you just can’t seem to put your finger on it.
I have been there!
I want to share with you my story.
The story of when the penny dropped.
When I knew that things had to change for my sanity, for my future, for my relationships god damit FOR ME!!!
My story began the day I quit Art School.
I wanted to be a painter.
Looking back painting was the excuse for me to be around Creative people. Ha! this makes me smile now.
I quit because I was laughed at.
Not because I had THE most ridiculous pair of purple flares in the world but because I asked the head of the school where the Marketing department was.
How was I going to make money from my Art?
I never liked being laughed at in a mocking way…every other way I embrace but in a mocking way that didn’t make sense, just didn’t fit.
I wondered why she laughed?
Surely it made complete sense for a student to want to learn how to survive in the real world from her art work…obviously not!
Little did I know then, that this reaction would fuel my life long mission.
I worked in hospitality for a while after that decision and as someone who always sees new ways of doing things, new ways of improving what is already there or changing the way things are ‘normally’ done… I wanted to open up my own cafe style restaurant.
And so I did.
At 19 I began my first entrepreneurial project.
I employed a lot of people that were involved in the arts, keeping my link to Creative people at all costs.
At 23 I had a very successful business, a Brand ( even though I hadn’t a clue what Branding was back then) on paper I should have been happy but I was not.
IS THIS IT?
MAKING COFFEE FOR PEOPLE AND DEALING WITH STAFF AND ROTAS EVERY WEEK?
So I sold my business and went travelling the world.
Returning I knew I wanted to create something.
As default I opened another business in the hospitality space but this time to make healthy food cool.
5 years later, economic crash, baby and several bottles of vodka later…I decided to sell this business again.
Something would not settle.
IS THIS IT?….why does that keep following me around.
My inner voice was telling me not to be so fussy.
Be happy with what you have.
Don’t be always wanting, searching, questioning…
But my heart knew…I could not settle, there was something else.
But what was it?
I had always worked for myself.
I felt unemployable…ha I was unemployable, as it turned out.
My husband got an exciting job in Dublin so we rented our home in Cork city and made the move to the capital Dublin with a 2 year old in tow.
My Mum died a year later.
I was internally broken.
Being away from home during that period was one of the most challenging experiences.
It cast me deep into a world of self-doubt, misery and deep regret for not being the ‘good’ daughter and staying at home to be with her, as she went through her last year of life. We didn’t know she would die so quick and I try to comfort my nightly thoughts, telling myself that she would not have wanted that…Ha sure she told me to “feck off and go live my life and look after my family.”
“I will be grand” …she said.
But she wasn’t.
But she also taught me to be strong.
To be courageous and to always keep going.
Just like she did.
My personal life was in turmoil.
I had a 2 year old that would not sleep, a husband who worked away all the time and a city I felt alone and lost ( literally lost ) in.
Looking back at that time I was so very unhappy yet for eyeballs looking in, how could I be?
A gorgeous house in Portobello, a healthy happy girl and a husband who adored me.
Why was I so miserable.
I left my world, a world that knew me as the girl that gets shit done.
The girl that makes things happen and creates interesting spaces for people to gather and connect.
Now I had nothing.
I was nobody.
I had to re-invent myself.
And so it began.
I had saved money from the sale of my last business which meant I did not have to work immediatley but I quickly realised that singing baa baa black sheep and walking to the shop to get some adult conversation drove me fucking mental and thrust me deeper into the depths of the black hole.
I found myself re-arranging the furniture far too many times for comfort.
IS THIS IT?
An old friend who worked closely with me in my very first business Finn Casey was my saviour.
Her husband Fionn McCann is a prominent photographer but needed help with his business back then.
He hated social media and had no systems in place for marketing and sales.
Finn connected us and then everything changed.
I began to work with him on a 1:1 basis.
I taught myself social media and spent every waking hour ( not joking ) learning, testing and diving into the online world of business.
Fionn was happy.
His online presence was growing, his leads were coming in and he was making more money.
I was very happy.
THIS WAS IT.
It was time to get a paying job though as our funds living in Dublin were quickly spreading thin.
I began to work part time as a receptionist at a Creative agency for moola and part-time with a Social Media management company just because I like to push myself…( learning I don’t HAVE to bleed to be prove I am capable!! )
I continued to work with Fionn and I started to network and attend a few arty events to meet other Creatives both for a personal fulfillment perspective and also a research perspective.
Would more Creative people need my brain?
I quickly realised, yes they did.
After a few months I had 4 clients on the go, working 3 days a week at the agency & 2 days a week for the Social Media crew and I was feeling like the old me.
Busy, making people happy and plugging myself into a world full of Creative minds.
THIS WAS IT.
After a year of multi-tasking 3 jobs and a young family, I started to feel the pinch.
I was working every night after Darcy Belle went to sleep on my client work.
I never really gave any time to my husband because I wanted to over deliver for my clients. I have worked very very hard on creating boundaries with that, I am happy to report.
We moved house again, Darcy started a new school and managing the load felt so very heavy.
But I was super human right?
I was strong.
I was courageous.
I made shit happen.
I knew now I had a relentless desire to work with Creatives.
It took me some time to give myself credit but I knew that I had so much to give.
Years of successful business experience.
A highly Creative brain that can see opportunities and missing jigsaw pieces.
And I wanted to make it FUN and interesting for the Creative mind.
I knew what it was like to gloss over at networking talks and business lectures.
I knew how it felt to be the one drawing on my notebook and awkwardly chatting about fucking How To Network…YEUK!
When can we talk about ideas, about making things more interesting, about changing the way we do things so we can make more impact in the world.
But I didn’t know how I was going to make more money from client work to enable me to quit my company jobs.
I was stretched for time, family was busy and I needed headspace and energy to build the business that I wanted.
I decided to open a FB group to surround myself with Creatives and to create a space for me to express myself as the real ME.
The weird one.
The one with all the ideas..
All of the things I had been labelled with as a child.
Things I used to push away and hide from but now I happily celebrate.
On February 18th 2015 …BITE THE BISCUIT was born.
Now at almost 6000 members I remember that day well.
I wasn’t the only one that wanted to feel a safe space to share Creativity and being weird.
I wasn’t the only one that wanted to be inspired and fed Creative work.
I wasn’t the only one that wanted to connect with Creative minds.
I began to think about doing this full time.
Of really taking myself and my passion seriously.
I had to quit my 2 jobs.
I could not create what I wanted doing everything.
My logical brain knew this.
How could I make this happen?
Who am I to do this?
Oh fuck I don’t have a degree, who is going to take me seriously?
I am not a qualified coach / mentor who will hire me?
What about money?
How will I be able to match my income of 2 jobs on my own?
What if I fail?
What if this thing that I absolutely LOVE doesn’t work, what do I do then?
Go back to my mindless jobs?
And so the fear continued and all the excuses continued…until THE day.
YUP there was THE day.
It was a gorgeous October morning.
I remember the sun was shining, I was wrapped up on the bus into Merrion square to the office.
I loved that long walk towards Holles street hospital.
Every day I took that route.
Every morning I passed the same offices, seeing the same people.
On this particular morning there was a spring in my step.
The director wanted to have a 1:1 with me.
She told me 2 days before she would love to talk to me about my role at the agency.
I got really excited.
I started to think oh hang on maybe they see my potential and they want to offer me a marketing or sales role?
YAY!! I could do that.
Remember I was the receptionist.
No offence to receptionist but holy mother of jahsis I hated that job.
I loved that I got to speak to humans every day BUT the menial & mindless daily tasks gave me zero satisfaction.
At one point I got really excited when sales staff asked me to bind a presentation for them…like that was the highlight of my day.
** shudder **
So let’s go back to the 1:1.
The day before the 1:1 I prepared a spreadsheet with how I had saved the company money on receptionist desk spending, what I think could be done to improve customer experience and what I could bring to the marketing team.
I was excited.
Finally a break, maybe I should stay in a company that will pay me and I could work my way up…and and and
She called me after lunch and up I went to the super trendy glass box of an office.
I sat down and she was with her assistant.
She glanced at my little folder I had in my hand with all my bits and she smiled at me.
Thankfully I have learned to read people very intuitively over the years.
And I knew this smile.
I decided not to showcase my bits until I listened and the opportunity presented itself.
Then it happened.
THE turning point in my life.
I sat there in front of two ladies, the director who was the same age as me and her assistant who was going on 23.
Suits, devices, attitude.
“ So Tara we wanted to talk to you about your role “
I smiled at them.
They smiled back.
“ Everyone loves our energy and friendly enthusiasm so well done on that…. “
“ We wanted to talk to you about something that has been brought to our attention…”
Will she offer me a job?
Will she acknowledge my business background and can -do attitude?
Has she been talking to some of the staff about a few ideas I had shared about their sales processes at lunch?
“ Tara can you make sure you spell the names correctly in the messages to the team of missed calls “
My mouth opened?
Sure, I said.
ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS????
I actually could not believe it.
I felt like a child that was told off for eating chewing gum at mass.
“ Is that it? “
“ Yes thanks so much Tara keep up the great work”
I left the glass box of bollox and went down the stairs and sat at my desk.
My hands shaked.
I felt like she had boxed me in the balls ( whatever that feels like )
I left work that day and went to the pub instead of going home.
I told my husband he had to collect the wee one and I sat with my pint of guinness in a dark old mans pub ( always my favourite ) and I began to think.
IS THAT IT?
IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE WORTH?
IS THAT WHO YOUR MUM WOULD BE PROUD OF?
WHERE THE FUCK IS TARA GONE?
Then this happened…
Thanks for taking the time to read this Blog post about my story.
TALK TO ME