For 18 years I had been working in the restaurant business. Mostly I had been working in the service, but for a small period of time, I also had worked in the kitchen. And even for half a year, I had been a manager. It all started when I was 15 years old and I started working as a dishwasher. Three years later I already discovered I did not want to work within four walls so tight together.
That’s when I started to look for something else. Because I dropped out of school, I knew I had to do a study first before I get a job. Before dropping out of school I was strong in languages, so I started to look for an education where I could improve my language capabilities. Turns out there was an education for that, tourism and leisure management. It was really the leisure management that was attractive to me because then I could work outside, guiding people to climb walls, do some archery, kayaking and all kinds of outdoor related activities.
Unfortunately, my father passed away in the second year of my education. It happened just before I was going on an internship. But the situation of my father’s passing blocked me from getting out of my comfort zone and doing something else than the restaurant business. I was able to do the internship in a hotel, but I wasn’t able to do the activities I was required to do and thus I stayed working in the restaurant and bar.
Now at the age of 33, I was able to make a decision that turned my life around. But still, there was something I had to become aware of. I filled in a form that allowed me to see how I was spending my time. I discovered I was working approximately 10 hours a day for 6 days a week. It wasn’t really the issue that I worked so much, but I didn’t love what I was doing. And the hours I had left from my job, went to sleep or playing video games because I was way too tired to do something else. Although I did always get the best out of me, it just wasn’t my passion anymore. At looking back to my past, I might have enjoyed the first 3 years of it. The other 15 years, I tried to fight my way out of it.
I had to change my life around because if I would keep continuing the things I don’t love to do, I wouldn’t live at all. So I didn’t really care what kind of a job I would have to do, of course, there are some boundaries. Still, I was able to find a job that didn’t require an education, I found a job as an order picker. The job is very simple and the hours are perfect for me, plus the payment is better. What’s even better, I have more time available for my other areas of life. The one thing I have to get used to most is that I have the weekend off. I’ve always been working at least one day in the weekend and rarely I would have a weekend off. I still haven’t really figured out what to do on the weekends, but I’m pretty sure that I will enjoy them soon.
Another thing that happened is that I have so much more energy. I’m able to sleep 4 hours a night and 1 or 2 hours in the afternoon. Getting up early used to be a major challenge, now I absolutely love it. Getting up at 4 am was not something I expected to do. But now I’m able to accomplish a lot of things in the early hours that I want to do for my day.
It was a hard time to switch my career but I managed to get it done. But changing career doesn’t make the world feel like sunshine and rainbows. There are still some challenges to overcome and there are new challenges born. But just this change of career makes me feel so powerful. I used to think that I would work in restaurants for the rest of my life. Now, I’m ready to grow even beyond my beliefs and enjoy my life.