From 70-hour weeks to more sleep

Below is Julie’s story. Reading it might feel one step removed. If you’re thinking, “that’s alright for them but I’m not sure it would work for me,” we get it. Julie’s escape was uncertain and it was definitely difficult. Without a clear end point or a plan for how to get there, Julie moved forwards anyway, learning about herself and the work she wanted to pursue along the way. Only now can she look back and connect the dots. The most important part was that she started.

Before I escaped, I was a senior media executive navigating politics, pressures, overtime and restructures for over 12 years. I felt undervalued, unfulfilled, not living my full potential, depleted, and stifled. To make matters worse, I felt completely unsure of how to begin exploring alternative professions, or how to progress my career in a way that could bring more happiness to my work and life.

I knew I was looking for something like a Tribe, but I didn’t know it existed. I described to my friends what I was looking for: a coach, a programme, inspiration to be able to figure out my interests, values, and my strengths, and support for connecting all of this with my past experience. I wanted help defining my ideal working criteria and guidance for developing an inner compass that could lead me in the right direction.

The Tribe propelled me forwards to try new things, explore and get to know myself better. It helped me grapple with psychological blockers and preconceived ideas. I also learnt essential techniques, shortcuts and tools to help me along the way. Above all, the Tribe helped me regain my confidence and be unafraid. And doing this with like-minded people made all the difference in the world. The quality of the people I met on the Tribe is totally mind blowing. Brains, personality, inspiration, experience, insight, generosity, drive, kindness  – they have it all! The Escape Tribers are MY people.

I realised during the Tribe that I needed to find a balance between survival work – the work that pays the bills – and soul work – the work that inspires and excites me. So, after the Tribe finished I began contracting under my own limited company, Libra Rising Ltd, part-timing for a couple of digital startups for 6 months. It was during this time that WeSleep was born. WeSleep is a concept of sleep workshops and retreats to support insomniacs, and I’m working on it with one of my fellow Tribers.

One Year On…

I’ve gone back to full-time work in media and entertainment, but with fewer responsibilities and less hierarchical seniority. With my values compass guiding me, I chose to work for an organisation with a healthy, forward-thinking culture and environment; one that allows me the financial stability, time and mental space to develop WeSleep outside of work, which is both exhausting and deeply rewarding.

I am a work in progress, and whilst I am far from where I want to be, I know I am on my way. There is still fear and uncertainty, but I am not paralysed. And to me, this makes all the difference.”

Julie escaped over 12 years as a senior media executive, into a role that gives her space to explore entrepreneurship on the side. 

You can find out more about Julie’s project, WeSleep, by visiting her website or by reaching out to her on Twitter or Facebook.

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