So to give you some background to the story, I first started working at JHP 5 years ago. JHP as it was formerly known, was a training company supporting people on benefits with training and skills to move into employment. A lot has changed in the last 5 years and this time last year, a bigger training company called Learndirect merged (or took over JHP) and with the new merge came a lot of big changes. Budget adjustments, staff cuts, new and ‘improved’ ways of doing things and during the transition came some ‘voluntary redundancies.’ Daves office were offered these voluntary redundancies or an option to take a different (less fulfilling) job role with a pay cut. We discussed this between ourselves and decided that the current job Dave was doing was not fulfilling anyway and taking a job less satisfying would be soul destroying and we wanted to make something more of our lives, especially in our mid twenties.
We have really struggled with the 9-5 corporate lifestyle and I will tell you why.
1. We value time
Now don’t get me wrong. If you are reading this and you are in a 9-5 job, there is nothing wrong with that. You have got to do what is best for you and as I write this, I am on a break at my 9-5pm desk job (ironically). But Dave and I constantly have the conversation ‘if we had more time…we would’, and you know what – we just don’t want that to be a conversation anymore. We value our time and freedom far more than making money for a company. Sure the company we work for may in some way be helping people, but we can help people in our own ways.
We want flexibility – we want the freedom to do the things that bring us joy and we understand this might bring about some financial struggles, but why should we worry. As Christians, we believe that God has called us to do great things and we want to have faith to believe if we take this step, God will look after us.
2. We have dreams
Dave and I both have dreams to travel, meet new people, play music, create, contribute to our community and support local church. Sometimes, the 9-5 job (especially one not in line with our dreams) can get in the way of this. 37 hours a week is a whole lot of time, and trying to fit everything into the evenings whilst still managing friendships, family, hobbies, marriage and church can be tiring. Daves dream is to write and play music. This is really his main passion and I give it to him, he inspires me as I have many passions, but to truly know what you want to do helps when leaving your job as you have more direction and an idea of what steps you need to take.
This morning was Dave’s first day of not being in employment and already a little bit of fear came upon us as he drove me to work. We discussed our dreams and vision of a life of travel, freedom and joy. We affirmed ourselves that this was the beginning of something new and fresh in our own journey as a family and the fact that we don’t have kids yet, makes this decision so much easier for us as we don’t have commitments beyond ourselves. So keeping the dream alive in conversations daily is a good way of reminding yourself that you are making the right choices.
3. We want to do something in line with our beliefs & core values
‘But you have a job and that’s what counts!’ – They say. No it doesn’t – it doesn’t make anything count if it’s not in line with your beliefs. Dave reminded me of a bible study we recently went to where we had to go around and say what our names were and what job we did. A girl called Sarah interrupted the flow of the ice-breaker and asked if we could not mention what job we had, as she felt it did not define who we were. Beautiful, I thought to myself. Our job is not who we are, it’s what we do and so many people get caught up in defining who they are by their job titles.
We want to do something that is line with who we are. We love people, we love to help and empower others, we love creativity and bringing joy to others worlds and sometimes, the job you have now doesn’t always fit exactly with those beliefs or core values. If it doesn’t – change it. Sometimes, the both of you (assuming you are in a couple) are not going to be able to do it together (or maybe you can). For ourselves, its small changes to make our future fit in line with who we are. But every small beginning starts with small changes.
4. People think life should be one way only
When Dave is explaining that he doesn’t yet have a job to go to, people’s first reaction is ‘that’s a bit risky don’t you think?’. Don’t let peoples one way be your way. You don’t have to live in the norms of society, although some people are very happy to slot into that flow. You don’t have to. When we arrived outside my office this morning, this is what we discussed. It is OUR life, OUR family and OUR future that we have to be concerned with. If someone is not happy with the decisions we are making for our future, I am sorry, but they will have to go put their beliefs onto someone else who cares.
Once again, I am not saying that this means you have to quit your day job and I am not saying that Dave and I wont ever have to get a ‘normal job’ to make things work for us. But be encouraged that you can make the choices you need to be happy when it comes to choosing your future career. I was reminded of the story of Peter in the bible when he sees Jesus walking on the water and he takes a step of faith outside of the boat and starts walking towards Jesus. (Matthew 14 – MSG)
”Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!” 31 Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”
My thoughts are…God wants us to step out of the boat and if we make a mistake or things don’t go to plan, he will reach out to us and grab our hand.
As I sat at my desk and opened my email, a satisfying ‘piiiing’ noise followed a goodbye email from Dave’
”Good morning everyone,
For those of you who don’t know, today is my last day with Learndirect.
It’s been a good time for me over the last year and 9 months and I will be sad to say goodbye to friends that I have met here and people who have helped me out over that time.
I currently haven’t got anything in place yet, but I’m trusting that everything will just fall into my lap without me doing anything or lifting a finger……
I jest, but seriously I haven’t yet secured other employment but I am excited about some future projects I will be starting and what not.
Worst comes to worst, I will be joining you all again but on the receiving end of the work programme!
Thanks again to all the amigos that have been there for me during the good and bad times I’ve had at JHP/Learndirect.
My final words of wisdom to you all is, flee. Flee from this place.
Long live JHP.
Yeah he actually put that picture in the email, LOL along with the featured image which says…
”And so….the adventure begins”
I am excited to see what the future holds for us and Dave in terms of work, self employment, projects, whatever he feels makes him happy. Money is money after all, and it comes as it goes. Don’t be defined by your job, don’t do something that doesn’t bring you joy and make something happen, even if its a small change to see the dreams in your heart come alive.