My Story Part 2: Jumping without a parachute

jumping without a parachute - two people sky diving with their parachutes not yet open

Welcome to part two of my story. Last week I shared the beginning of my story to becoming a Corporate Wellbeing Expert. This week I’ll take you through the next stage which I like to call jumping without a parachute.

So we’re going back about 10 years. In fact, the exact date is Friday the 23rd of March, 2012. It’s about two o’clock in the afternoon. Just to put that date into context for you. George Osborne on that day had just announced he was living VAT on sausage rolls. It wasn’t COVID that was restricting our travel. It was the volcanic Ash cloud. So that might help you to place yourself at the scene as it were.

A very pivotal meeting

I was walking down Gracechurch Street in the city towards a meeting on the north side of London bridge. I was meeting a guy called Gustav and Gustav was, I hoped, going to be giving me the good news that a big sale that I was expecting was going to come good.

Now I actually feel quite despondent, quite depressed. I’m drinking too much. I’m several stone overweight. I’m really disenfranchised with what I’m doing in my career. But I’m also a little bit hopeful because I’ve got the promise of that sale agreement.

So I walk into the meeting room. I take off my long woollen coat, and I have a sip of my little vending machine coffee, in its squishy brown cup. And I take a sip of that and I look at Gustav and he looks at me and we smile at each other, exchange a few pleasantries, and then he hits me with it. He tells me that the deal I’m expecting, unfortunately, isn’t gonna happen. His client’s pulled out. Therefore he doesn’t need my data.

So I’m gutted because I know this is gonna be really tricky for me. Also in the bottom of my stomach thinking maybe it’s time for me to leave. Maybe it’s time to do something else.

So I leave the meeting, say goodbye to Gustav. I walk across London Bridge. I shrink wrap myself onto the Thameslink train, if any of you’ve ever got the Thameslink, you know exactly what I mean. And I arrive home and I literally stand and look at myself in the mirror in disbelief.

Jumping without a parachute

I spent the weekend thinking about what to do next. And then I made the decision to resign. To jump.

I sent my resignation in by text on Sunday night. It was accepted Monday morning. By Friday I’d handed back my laptop, my pass, my Blackberry. I literally had nothing to go to. And that was the pivotal point for me. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but I had jumped without a parachute, I jumped checking to see if I packed a parachute on the way down.

It got me out of a toxic situation and enabled me to start afresh. And if you watched last week, that’s where the vegetable comes in. So that’s stage two of the story, jumping without a parachute, and I’ll bring you fully up to speed with what we do now and how I got into that. The keyword is “cadence” in next week’s episode, I’ll see you then!

If, as I was, you are feeling stressed, despondent or depressed you may find our free resource on the 12 stages of burnout helpful. Burnout is a serious and crippling condition, and you do not have to go through that alone. If you’re feeling burned out or are suffering the effects of chronic stress, reach out to someone

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