Finally understanding what being ‘burnt out’ hit home, it made me look at my career to date. I was always after self-betterment, I had always wanted a ladder to climb to achieve things. But now, I know all my employers had seen that trait in me, and wanted to make the most of me, while they had me.
At the age of 24, I had literally packed a suitcase, and began a new job that took me off on new adventures. I spent 10 years of my life travelling the length and breadth of this country, doing store openings for Homebase, B&Q & MFI to name a couple of companies. Each time, staying away from home for months at a time, until the contract was completed, the store was opened or re-opened to the public for the first time; before we could finally return home or go onto the next job. It was not an easy job by any means, it was very demanding, each contract was 24 hours a day, seven days a week, living in some hotel or B&B.
After a few jobs, I was no longer doing the ground work, I was managing a team of up to 35 people. I was responsible for making sure that the job was done well and done right on which ever shift I was working on. I and my colleague who covered the other shift, were accountable if things went wrong.
After a few years I became an account manager, having direct with the clients I began to run the jobs, organising my teams, sorting transport, accommodation, interviewing & recruiting new staff. All this whilst still travelling to do site visits, which was always rife with some complaint or other, which I had to deal with. When I was not in the office, I would be in my car, it became a very lonely job. The toll that all these hours behind the wheel of a car would eventually manifest itself later in my life.
With a team of core people, plus locally employed general assistants, we worked hard and played hard.
I used to say, it took a strange breed of fish to do the job, either people were running away from something; or they were trying to find something.
I am not sure which category I fell into, but eventually the need arose for me to find a permanent place, where I could finally hang my hat, and empty my suitcase.
This sadly coincided with the death of my brother, who had been very ill for many years. It was at that point, that I knew that I had to move on. I had always said to myself, that by the age of 30, I wanted my first home, and real independence, and a month short of my 30th birthday, I finally managed to achieve just that.
It was a huge turning point in my life, and something I was so proud I was able to achieve on my own. It meant I finally had a home, a space that I could call my very own.
(Updated Wednesday 14th November 2018)