Swap the Job You Loathe for a Career You’ll Love for Life

Illustration by Korri Lacalamita

Stuck in a job you loathe? Tired of working just to pay the mortgage? Do you wish you could change career but feel that fear is holding you back?

Discover how I left my successful business career to become a Nutritional Therapist, and never looked back.

I was embarking on my fourteenth year in a once beloved career which I had steadily grown to despise. Like a once cherished item of clothing that suddenly seems ill fitting and outdated, my fantastic job with a brilliant company and awesome prospects simply wasn’t me anymore.

I felt as if I was living someone else’s life. To my family and friends, it seemed that my life was sweet. By society’s standards, I was deemed a ‘success’. This somehow made this big fat feeling of dissatisfaction even harder to bear, and even more confusing.

Slowly but surely, I had checked all the boxes I had believed would guarantee me happiness and fulfillment- the big salary, fat bonuses, expensive car, yet all I felt was an overwhelming sense of emptiness. These so called ‘achievements’ meant nothing to me. Every time I reached the summit of my previous goals, I simply set myself new more extravagant ones, never stopping to admire the view.

All the material trappings that had once thrilled me during my twenties left me feeling achingly empty. Even the novelty of spending my fat paycheck every month on luxuries brought little relief.

It comes as a huge shock when you achieve all you ever wanted, and more, and feel no more fulfilled, no happier. There is a sense of unbridled confusion and despair. If this isn’t the meaning of life, then what is?!

As I entered my third decade on the planet, my core values had shifted dramatically and this jarred dramatically with my lifestyle.

My life thus far had been about reaching my pre-defined milestones. I exceeded the expectations of my family, but I felt achingly empty.

My emotional and physical wellbeing was suffering too. I had anxiety, insomnia, an eating disorder, and had been diagnosed with ‘unexplained infertility’.

My spiraling health challenges spurred me to take stock of my party girl lifestyle and I began to focus on my wellbeing, especially my nutrition. A love affair was born and soon I was dreaming of setting up my own health-focused business. But fear was holding me back. It was paralysing. It would be stupid to leave a great job, with a great company, a great salary and pension, I told myself daily. And yet if my situation was so great, why was my inner voice, not to mention every cell in my body, telling me otherwise?

Like a petulant child, I continued to ignore my inner voice, sticking my fingers in my ears. But the signs were unavoidable. In the end I was broken. I had no choice. Anxious, chronically stressed and suffering from severe insomnia, my breaking point came after a particularly stressful week which resulted in me crying hysterically in an airport in front of my bemused fellow travelers.  I heard a voice say ‘ there must be more to life than this.’ The following Monday, I resigned.

This isn’t ‘Eat ,Pray, Love. I am a pretty average person with an average life. I don’t consider myself to be particularly brave or fearless. However, I have learnt that unless you are nourishing your soul and fulfilling your heart’s desire, you will always be left wanting, no matter what earthly riches you achieve.

So how do you align with your truth?

Follow my 5 steps to finding a job you’ll love for life

Rediscover what you love

Discover what you love and make that your job. This might sound simple enough, but most of us drifting through life from job to job. Our heads are turned by money and power or a sense of what society or our parents expect us to do. So gradually, we forget what we want to do and do what we think we ‘should’. Ultimately, we compromise on what we really want to fit the expectations of others.

Hearing Alan Watts’ “If Money Was No Object” lecture shook me to the core. It was so simple, yet so profound. At some stage, we all inherently know what makes our heart sing, what we were put on earth to do.

Ask yourself ‘what would you do every day if money was no object?’ and then set about making that your career. Take an evening class, work weekends, volunteer. When you are doing what you love it doesn’t feel like work.

I retrained to be a nutritionist whilst I was still in full employment. Yes, it was tough but it enabled me create my dream job and life.

Decide what matters most

Ask yourself a simple question. ‘If you had six months to live, how would you be living your life?’. Answering this question can give a telling insight into where you wish you were. Note how different your ideals are from your current situation. If your dream life involves exploring the world and you are stuck in a desk job, you should start to re-evaluate your life goals.

Ask yourself honestly, ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’

We live our life mainly paralysed by the fear of what might happen. Yet our worst fears never actually materialise. Just as you wouldn’t go into a restaurant and order your least favourite dish on the menu, so you should refrain from investing your time and energy in dwelling on the worst-case scenario. How about focusing on the best possible outcome?

As the saying goes, ‘life happens just outside your comfort zone.’ This is very true. Ask yourself, what is really the worst that can happen if you follow your heart. I told myself that if my business didn’t work I would simply go and get another job. I knew I had loving family and friends around me who would never see me desolate, therefore, my fear of the worst was totally irrational. If things didn’t work out as planned, I would simple execute plan B. Because the calculated ‘risk’ was worth taking.

Consider your legacy

Imagine you are lying on your death bed, considering the major events of your life. Which moments do you think you will call to mind? What will you be proud of? Do you think for a second that you will wish you had spent more time in the office? Or that you will reflect with pride on the bonus you received aged 35? Of course not. No doubt you will cherish time spent with loved ones, the memories of your travels, and those life-affirming moments which normally don’t cost a penny. This exercise is great for enabling you to clearly see what really matters in life and what only seems important at the time.

Take the leap of faith

At some point, you have to take a leap of faith and trust that you will survive-just like parachuting out of an airplane. Your subconscious wants to keep you safe at all times and may employ scare tactics to prevent you from living your dream and this can keep you paralyzed with fear.

Once I had decided to leave my job, I saved as much money as possible to cover my mortgage, and worked in the evenings to set up my business, to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. Today I have a job I love beyond measure. I feel blessed that I get paid to do something I would happily do for free. I am in control of my life, and work when I want, with who I want. I simply cannot remember the last time I felt stressed. My health has been transformed, and shortly after leaving my stressful career I became pregnant and now have a beautiful baby girl.

So if you dread Monday mornings, know that it’s never too late to create a life you love.


Amy Huggins is a nutritional therapist and fertility specialist. After being diagnosed as infertile, she used nutrition and naturopathic techniques to heal her body and reverse her diagnosis, giving birth to her first child in 2017. Amy now helps women achieve their dream of motherhood with nutritional and lifestyle coaching. You can find out more about Amy and her work over on her website www.amyhuggins.com or instagram, twitter or facebook

Recently on Balance Garden