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What work had been you doing beforehand?

I used to be working in monetary knowledge for a big media firm.

I began there as a market analyst in my early twenties, and simply shot up the greasy pole. Finally I grew to become international head of fastened earnings.

What are you doing now?

I run my very own firm: I’m a author and writing coach.

I write articles and blogs and tales, and I assist different writers on a wide range of tasks.

Why did you modify?

It wasn’t my place. 

In a way, all of that profession was an accident.

I stayed for therefore lengthy as a result of the organisation was superb at caring for me in some senses, and likewise flattering me with promotions and pay rises. 

There’s a component of that world that retains you so busy and occupied that you simply don’t have time to ask ‘what do I actually need to be doing? The place do I really need to be in life?’.

When was the second you determined to make the change?

After I’d been promoted to the worldwide head position, I did a little bit of a whirlwind tour and stayed in Singapore for ten days to spend time with the workforce there.

The work was, on reflection, completely insane. I’d rise up within the morning and work the Singapore day, after which when Europe got here on-line I’d choose up that work too, operating afternoon by means of to night. I’d have some dinner and America can be on-line, so I’d be responding to emails, selecting up on the spot messages with colleagues there too. I’d go to mattress at 12pm or 1am, sleep for just a few hours, after which get up and begin another time. I did that on repeat for 5 days.

On the Saturday morning, earlier than I flew out to India, I had the entire day to myself in Singapore so I did some speedy sightseeing. I used to be strolling by means of the botanical gardens, and simply had this second.

There’s a factor that occurs with burnout once you all of a sudden get nice readability. I may really feel the sunshine and all of the sounds round me. It was calm, and delightful, and extremely vibrant. It felt like I used to be coming again into myself.

I had this actually clear sense of: ‘I don’t want to do that’.

It took me a full yr after that to depart, however that was the seed.

How did you select your new profession?

My background, and my curiosity, had at all times been in literature and writing, however I simply occurred to be good at numbers as properly. 

I wished to dedicate time to writing – that was the primary factor.

How did you go about making the shift?

A part of the explanation it took me a yr to depart was that I wanted to outline what my new life would appear to be.

I knew, no matter means I did it, I wouldn’t be on the identical wage. I used to be high-quality with that, however I wanted to make some particular adjustments first, and take care of a whole lot of life stuff.

In amongst all of that, on the finish of my time in my outdated job, my mum grew to become very sick, and I grew to become her major carer. After she died, I used to be coping with grief, and likewise needed to change my plans.

I ended up shifting to Bristol right into a shared home. I had a 17-year-old sort of mindset at that time, despite the fact that I used to be in my thirties. It was a giant celebration yr, and I wrote and did some theatre work part-time. I additionally met my now husband.

My firm, Ridley Writes, emerged out of the work I did round then, however initially I used to be nonetheless figuring out how I may earn a living from it. I ended up doing much more marketing-based content material work, and it’s taken numerous years to iterate by means of that into different work. 

Are you proud of the change?

Sure, vastly. 

It makes me really feel good.

Final week I agreed to assist on a college journey on the final minute. I wished to do it, however on the similar time I had this actual sense of unhappiness that I wasn’t going to be doing my work that day. It made me assume: most individuals can be fairly joyful to take a break day work and do one thing a bit completely different. However not me!

There isn’t a day that goes by once I don’t assume ‘wow, I get to do that’.

What do you miss and what do not you miss?

I do miss the folks, and dealing in a multicultural setting made the world really feel very related. 

No matter was occurring within the information, I knew someone in that nation. I felt very related to what was occurring on the earth. My world is extra native than international now.

I look again on my outdated profession as a form of jet-set way of life, though it didn’t actually really feel like that on the time. 

I don’t miss the wage. I earn sufficient now, and that’s what you want.

How did you develop (or switch) the abilities you wanted in your new position?

I undertook a Masters in Journalism on the College of the West of England (for which I gained a primary!). 

I did this while working part-time, and I additionally obtained a careers improvement mortgage to assist pay for the course charges.

I joined a enterprise teaching group known as PR with Coronary heart, which helped me take into consideration my enterprise and my viewers.

However in any other case, I’d gained numerous expertise earlier than, and a whole lot of it was repurposing what I already had.

What didn’t go properly? What flawed turns did you’re taking?

Very early on I did a part-time job that was one thing to do with monetary markets, and I began to slip down a route that was a bit too just like earlier than.

It began occurring once more. I simply went in to earn some cash to pay the hire, however then fairly quickly obtained promoted to Head of Operations.

The universe retains throwing these items at you to be sure to’ve realized your classes. The actual problem is simply staying actually clear on what you really need to do, and trusting that there’s fee for it.

What was essentially the most troublesome factor about altering?


You don’t know that it’s going to work. Managing and overcoming that has in all probability been essentially the most troublesome factor.

What assist did you get?  

Having a coach was actually useful. 

She actually helped me to see that despite the fact that it wasn’t instantly apparent to me HOW I may make my ardour my enterprise, it was the place I wanted to maintain placing my consideration and intention. It inspired me to turn out to be a writing coach.

I had a whole lot of mentors by means of the theatre and humanities centre and neighborhood work I’d undertaken in my free time, while determining who I used to be and what I wished to do in that yr between deciding to depart and leaving.

Associates are an excellent useful resource as properly – I talked to associates who had labored in and left the company sector. 

What have you ever learnt within the course of?

In the beginning, I gave myself away so much.

In my outdated profession, I by no means had to consider how I used to be spending my time. In a means it didn’t matter immediately, as a result of the wage got here in anyway. 

However as a freelancer, you have to be a lot clearer in regards to the worth of your time. That’s taken me some time to recognise. I’ve realized to not undersell myself or give myself away too cheaply.

What do you would like you’d completed in a different way?

On the one hand, I imagine that each one the issues I’ve completed have contributed to who I’m at present.

Equally, there’s the me that will revisit the lady in her twenties and inform her to stay with what she was actually fascinated by. I feel we surrender on ourselves too early on, by way of our passions. 

So if I may return and inform myself something, it might be to stay with the writing and hold going: you’ll get there.

However then I’d be a really completely different particular person to who I’m now…

What would you advise others to do in the identical state of affairs?

Do what pursuits you, comply with no matter pursuits you, and see the place it takes you. 

Determining who you’re and what you need to do is way larger than simply the work you do and the programs you attend round that.

Be actually open to issues. Don’t count on your journey to be linear: it’s not a straight line, it’s going to take time, and it’s iterative.

And take heed to your self. It’s within the least anticipated locations that readability of thought will come to you.

To search out out extra about Rebecca’s work, go to

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