The impact of selling your soul to a job you hate every single day

Replace career heartache with career happiness; simply by listening to your soul instead of your head.

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The alarm clock startles me as I jolt from my slumber, that sinking feeling creeping over my body at the thought that it’s only the start of the week. Climbing out of bed grudgingly, heading to the shower, feeling bad that I'm wishing my life away as I count down the days for the weekend. It's a feeling I remember well.

The majority of the UK population experience this every single working day. Heading to do a job that not only stifles their creativity and unique potential, but also forces them to conform in order to progress and succeed within their career at the expense of their integrity and happiness.

For me, I sold my soul to a job 10 years ago and completely lost my identity. Working in the corporate world, I sacrificed my personal life to be what the executive leadership team believed was the right definition of a leader.

Leaving my morals at the door every day to be what someone else wanted me to be, simply to gain recognition and status. My thoughts not my own and following my peers like sheep to deliver someone else’s vision of success; becoming hard-faced, stressed and overworked as a result in order to progress my own career. My body was giving me messages as I started to suffer with migraines, back pain and stomach upset from stress. I was on the fast-track to burnout.

How many of us do this and become someone else’s pawn in the corporate world to establish recognition, that will help lead to our promotion?

I’ve seen this time and time again and, worse, the true impact it has on an individual’s health and personal life.

Life is short, we are here to live authentically and make our dent in the world.

The awakening I experienced came as a result of being made redundant. Feeling lost, devastated and saddened with what I’d known, it was time to re-evaluate and take stock.

Deep down I knew it was the right thing, but my head took over with worry about what my next step would be. It was time to listen to those deep yearnings inside and start taking action. Retreating to the countryside to seek nurture, lick my wounds and work out those next steps, my journey started to unfold and my path became clear. Focusing on my personal strengths, along with what makes me happy I realised my purpose was to help people develop and find their career purpose. The funny thing is, over the years my climb up the corporate ladder was tough, but this transition was simply effortless. When it's right for you, everything just flows.

That's where I am today; achieving my career purpose effortlessly, helping others to succeed and be happy in their working world.

You can do this too.

By reconnecting with your true self you too can ignite your passion for your work and life again using the 3 simple steps that helped me:

  1. Do some soul searching. Get out into nature, go on a retreat, switch off your phone; think about the last time you enjoyed your job. What are you passionate about? What do you like your work? What don’t you like?
  2. Make a plan and set realistic goals. Where would you like to be in the next 6 – 12 months? Your soul searching WILL provide answers and it will help you to think about the next steps. Think about how you will get there, what you need to do and who will help you achieve your goals.
  3. How to cope in the meantime. Having a plan is great; you are working towards your ideal world, but the reality is that you are dealing with the present moment. Here's some tips on helping you with the 'right now':
    • Take comfort in knowing that you are moving forward. Treat yourself at least once a week to something that uplifts you.
    • Embrace your daily commute and listen to inspirational audio books or music.
    • Wash away any stresses from the day. Dance it out, grab a shower, go to the gym, practice yoga or sit in a meditative state for 10 minutes in the evening or as soon as you get home.
    • Get creative and visualise how life will be when you are doing what you want to professionally. Build the scene in your mind of how a day in your new world will be - feel it, see it and trust it.

Remember that life will change; with a positive and focused mindset mixed with an appetite to achieve your aspirations, you can make anything happen.

Josie Copsey

Life Change Expert, Author, Mentor, Josie Copsey Ltd

Career changes, figuring out the perfect job, building incredible leaders and wellbeing are my jam. But before all of this, there was a corporate girl who had to go through quite a few setbacks, lessons and experiences. Ambitious, driven and focused I built a very successful change and training career that spanned over two decades. Helping leadership teams of large companies to transform their business. But back in 2013 I had enough. I was lost and didn’t recognise who I was anymore. A combination of being professionally bullied, suffering with burnout from working 12-hour days and zero personal life had done me in. My corporate work life had taken over me, I was selling my soul to a job and my health was suffering as a result. I took action and quit the job. Getting clear on my career was the ultimate light-bulb moment for me. But, there had been no definitive path in how I go about making this career change happen; all I knew was what I wanted to do and my determination and focus guided me through. I’m a gal who loves to plan and organise – a couple of my superpowers – so I documented every step and action I took knowing that one day, this would help others just like me. Those who have an idea on what they want to do, but unsure how to make it happen. Those who feel lost and hate their job, but don’t know what to do. Those who are stuck and looking for direction. I teach what I’ve done personally to build a career doing what I love and living the life I want. I’m all about taking action; you tell me what you want and I’ll show you how to make it happen. It is absolutely possible and achievable to be in a job you love; a job that brings you purpose and job satisfaction. You’re here for a reason. Your talents, your heart, your passion – you are one of a kind.


Go to the profile of Caroline Diana Bobart
about 5 years ago
I love what you've captured here Josie. That feeling of going against your grain to take home a pay packet is one I remember well. Your tips to help make the transition into a life and work that is happier and more aligned are so right on point too. Your work is so important and much needed in the working world.
Go to the profile of Amanda FitzGerald
about 5 years ago
Wow - I was in that very same position a few years back (well 20 to be precise!) but that horrid 'I hate work' feeling is easy to conjure back up just thinking about the tube stop where the job was. I love your tips, wish I had known them then!!!