A year ago I landed my dream job; at least I landed what I thought was my dream job.
After following my husband to two different states in as many years, we relocated back home. I had spent the last seven months in an unchallenging job that made me miserable and I decided that this time I wouldn’t take just any position. I was determined to get the job.
I emailed my resume off to a local event management company that I found on Google. I wasn’t expecting to get a reply, but two weeks and two interviews later I was their newest Conference Administrator. I would be working alongside one conference manager and handling the administration for her ten conferences for that year.
I couldn’t believe it. Having tried for the last twelve months to get my foot in the door of the event management industry, I had landed an entry level role with zero event management experience or qualifications. It was a dream come true.
The first six months were indeed a dream. The girls I worked with were so much fun and we became more than just colleagues. I loved the variety of the role and learning all these new things like e-marketing and creating and managing websites.
But come July, conference season nipped at our heels and the reality of working in the events industry hit hard. I spent my nights tossing and turning, worrying about how I was going to meet all my deadlines. I went to work early, stayed back later than I needed to and stuffed my face with my lunch in front of the computer just to try and keep up. I’d even forget to drink and go to the toilet.
I stressed about getting sick and having to take a day off because I knew I would return to at least eighty emails. It was hard for anyone to help. We were all drowning in deadlines and emails. We’d snap at each other one day and burst into tears the next.
I’d go home in anger and wore a permanent frown. I would snap at my husband over the tiniest things, even if he just talked to me and I didn’t want to listen. We didn’t have sex for months. I was drained emotionally and physically and spent the majority of my weekends sleeping.
I remember the moment I finally broke like it was yesterday. We had four conferences to manage in just three weeks. My conference manager was away at another conference while I remained in the office to prepare for our other two conferences the following week. We were on the phone and she snapped at me over something that I had taken a day longer than expected to get done. As soon as I hung up, I ran to the bathroom hyperventilating and tried to stifle my sobs. I told myself she didn’t mean it, that she was under a lot of stress. I told myself that I was doing a great job.
But I couldn’t take it anymore.
I loved the people I worked with and all that I had experienced like travelling to places I couldn’t afford to visit, staying in five star hotels, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef and meeting very successful and inspirational people. I was nagged by the question what if it is a huge career mistake to leave? This job could take me places. So many people would kill for my job and I was willing to throw it all away?
But then I remembered the many nights I spent tossing and turning, writing mental to do lists and worrying about how I would get it all done. I remembered that all my jeans were too tight because I had put on six kilos from being too tired to exercise. I remember the concern in my mother’s face and my husband begging me to quit because he hated seeing me constantly stressed. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw my friends.
That’s when I realised that no job is worth risking my health and relationship over and I decided that I needed to find a new dream job.