#Share1Story: I experienced burnout. FeelGoodCo is my personal mission to support people with the tools to thrive at work.
In the run-up to Mental Health Awareness Week, we hope that by encouraging people to share a story of how Mental Health has affected them at work, others will be inspired to do the same and seek help. Share your story below and tag somebody else to share their's using the #share1story hashtag.
When I arrived from Australia at the age of 24 armed with buckets of enthusiasm, excellent references and a First Class Marketing Degree, I was one of the lucky ones to land a job in the glamorous world of advertising.
In the face of enormous competition (most of my contemporaries held an Oxbridge degree) I was given the opportunity of a three-month contract as an Account Manager with Y&R, one of the UK’s top advertising agencies.
My appointment turned permanent and my career flourished. There was a fiercely competitive culture where long working hours were king.
It was pretty standard that the young and ambitious stayed at the office late every evening because if you didn’t you’d be passed up for promotion. And my hard work paid off.
“I was no-longer thriving on the pressure of endless deadlines and demands, I had hit a wall.”
I rose through the ranks moving on to leading agencies including KHBB, Lowe and BBDO where I was trusted with their blue chip brands’ which included Sugar Puffs, BT, Emirates, Baileys, Smirnoff and Diesel Jeans.
I had become a machine in the sense that I was able to power through an enormous workload and built a reputation as a go-to for pitches and subsequently new client wins. Drinks after a long day in the office seemed the only way to wind down, right!?
Give your work to a busy person, as they say. It was vaguely flattering that I was that person trusted with new projects and I found it too difficult to say ‘no’.
My days became longer until I found I was no-longer thriving on the pressure of endless deadlines and demands, I had hit a wall. I was utterly exhausted and despite the late nights never on top of my workload any more.
My nerves were shredded. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was suffering from burnout and I realised that I needed to make a life change to safeguard my health. The next day I handed in my resignation.
"I wanted to work alongside organisations to promote and educate around the importance of wellbeing."
Reflecting on my exploration and love of yoga and Ayurvedic Medicine during my gap year in India, I decided to retrain in Chinese Herbal Medicine. My ambition was to use my own personal experience to help others.
I wanted to work alongside organisations to promote and educate around the importance of wellbeing and create a culture where it is acceptable and important to prioritise peoples’ physical and mental health.
Two years later FeelGoodCo was set up and dutifully, my previous three employers saw the value in my mission and become my first three clients.
FeelGoodCo’s mission is to support people to be their personal best and thrive in work and life. We want to change the workplace for the better and inspire a work-environment designed around being human rather than robust efficiency.
Ironically, all too often it is those A Type personalities, the perfectionist types (like myself) who need to be reminded that we are human and we really do need to balance work and rest time to allow ourselves to recharge the batteries and avoid burning out.
Share your story below and tag a colleague or friend to do the same. Let's normalise discussions around Mental Health in the workplace.