A postcard from my former life as a political advisor (this photo was taken 2 years ago in Brussels - just a few days before the #Brexit referendum, when we were all so optimistic about the world we lived in - Cameron was PM and Obama was President - and how the vote would go). On the one hand, I battle pretty much daily with the knowledge that I’ve turned my back on two university degrees and a career I worked *so hard* to achieve (and then worked in for 15 years) - knowing that walking away meant it would be really challenging to ever go back (in politics, so much is dependent on the knowledge you amass of legislation, current affairs, and who’s who - as well as becoming enough of an insider to know exactly how and when to win a battle - that by default you’re irrelevant almost the moment you’re away from that sphere). But mostly, it’s such a place of chaos, frustration, and negativity at the moment that I’m thankful that isn’t my daily routine right now. The reason I went into politics in the first place (because I care, very deeply) is also the reason I burned out (when you care that deeply, it can become impossibly difficult when all around is madness and there is seemingly no hope at the end of the political cycle). So while I will continue to feel a bit sad that I’m not in the thick of things, rolling up my sleeves to help, and guilty that I’m not using my skills in that way, reading the news on days like today acts as a reminder of how much lighter and easier my days are now - when I’m able to dip in and out of current affairs just because I want to know what’s going on, and not because it’s literally my job.
So here’s some free advice (that it took me a really long time to figure out): your self worth is not determined by how ‘important’ you in the workplace are or how demanding or stressful your job is.