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Taking a Leap of Faith: When Quitting is the Opposite of Giving Up

Last week, I quit my PR job to chase a pipe dream. It's a move that 2014 just-graduated me would have been horrified by. I've given up a career, with progression and development opportunities. A career that I was so sure I wanted. But what I haven't given up on, is myself. In fact, I've taken a pretty big gamble on little old me and that little pipe dream of mine. 

On Wednesday, I'll be starting a Level 2 Fitness Instructor course - the first step towards becoming a fully fledged personal trainer. As an English Literature and Theatre Studies graduate, it's a fairly big career change and it's not exactly what I anticipated myself doing when I first embarked on my degree back in 2011. I've danced since the age of 3 and in recent years fitness has become a big part of my life. It's always been in the back of mind that I'd love to be a personal trainer - to have the opportunity to turn my hobby into a career whilst helping people to get stronger, fitter and more confident. Until this year, I'd always subconsciously shut that thought down. Without realising it, I've been living according to what I perceived as being expected of me. I did an English degree, and so with not quite enough thought I set about chasing a graduate career path that seemed to fit with what I studied. Looking back, I think I just got myself so wrapped up in the pressure of landing that sacred 'graduate job', so I'd have something to say for myself at family gatherings and class reunions. I was following the path I felt I should follow, rather than the one I really wanted. My perspective and my priorities have changed so much in the past year - I've realised that what's most important to me is getting up each morning and doing something that I enjoy. It's not about the job title. It's about putting your heart and soul into something you love, whatever that might be. The hardest part of my career change hasn't been making the decision itself, but letting go of expectations.

So on to the plan. I'm a chronic over-thinker so I'm trying my best to just go with it and see what happens, but at the moment the aim is to qualify as a personal trainer and then set about qualifying as a pilates instructor and a dance teacher. Further down the line I'd love to study physiotherapy and nutrition but we'll see - I was always that kid that wanted to do everything at once so I'm trying to reign myself in. For now, I'm just excited to learn and to see what I can do.

I may have quit my job, and given up a perfectly good career - but staying on that path would have been giving up on myself. It might all go wrong - god knows I've had several 'oh crap what have I done this is insane' moments over the last week - but I won't know until I try. I'd rather give it a go and risk falling on my face because otherwise I'll always wonder. This could be the start of something awesome.

Well done if you made it this far into my self-indulgent little ramble. I guess what I'm trying to say is take a chance on yourself, whatever that chance may be, let go of what's expected of you and do something that puts a smile on your face. I genuinely believe we'll regret the things we weren't brave enough to do far more than any mistakes we might make.

"So be afraid! And then do it anyway."

1 comment

  1. Well Done Jenny! Not everyone is brave enough to do what you did. There is no set path - we all have to find our own way. I know you will be fabulous & will be cheering you every step of the way!! Love Helena xx


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