I turned down a job.
I won’t bore you with the details of how I ended up in a car park in Easton in Bristol being asked to confirm a start date for a job I had neither applied for or accepted.
I agonised over the circumstances of the job offer for a couple of days, out of loyalty to an old friend who had recommended me to one of their friends.
In the end, I had a moment of pure clarity.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want that job, it was that I didn’t want any job at all.
I have a job, I made it for myself. I have the capacity to do more work, yes, but I like my job; why would I give it up?
Five Minutes of Pain or a Lifetime of Regret?
It was a tough conversation with a friend I respect deeply, but that 5 minutes of awkward conversation was far better than the ongoing regret and resentment of taking a job for the wrong reasons – because I hadn’t had the guts to say ‘no’ when I should have.
I felt so much better afterwards. Suddenly, I appreciated my freedom all over again.
I came dangerously close to giving away at least 2 or 3 days of my life, every week! A lucky escape – phew!
Doing A Little To Help A Lot
As a Business Mentor, I work with hundreds of micro-businesses every year, being there for them for that hour or that workshop when they need me.
This particular job involved going into a business that had rapidly grown, having won a big contract and not yet having systems and processes in place to cope with the influx of extra work.
Essentially, they needed someone to join their team as an Office Manager, working within the business to get them organised, to set things up and put processes in place.
My friend had really talked me up as the solution to the problem.
But I’m not.
I am capable of doing the job; I’ve had similar roles in the past.
But I didn’t want to do it.
I chose self-employment because I didn’t want to get sucked back into the minutia of an individual business.
I want to empower and impact lots of businesses, even if it’s just in a small way.
When I chose the freelance route in 2015, I vowed I would never work for anyone ever again.
I feel this way more strongly now than ever.
Of course, I will do bits and bobs of employed work in the future as necessary, but I never want my career and future dictated by a single employer ever again.
We’re all facing challenging times with ongoing COVID 19 restrictions.
In the UK, we’re in an economic recession and we are facing the looming threat of severing ties with our biggest trading partner, the EU.
Many would think me mad for turning down a job that quite literally fell in my lap.
However, it’s these tough decisions, in tough times, where you need to trust your gut.
It’s OK to say NO.
And ‘No’ is a complete sentence.