Why I Gave up my Corporate Job to Become an Agency Nurse
Updated: Jul 26, 2019
Mhari Williams tells us about her career move from marketing to nursing, and why she’s never looked back
Like many 17-year-olds, I was pretty uncertain about the career that I wanted to commit to for the next half a century. I decided to undertake an English degree, essentially to pacify my parents, and then eventually drifted into marketing. It was a high-pressure environment but, at the time, I enjoyed the buzz as well as the perks, such as travel and some pretty fancy industry events.
But when I was in my early thirties, the novelty started to wear off. I felt unfulfilled and was ready or a change. I was working for a lot of financial clients and doing so didn’t sit terribly well with me. I undertook some work around my own personal values and ascertained that something that was really important to me was a feeling that I was helping people in some way.
"I started to think that it was time to give something back to society."
Input and honesty from loved ones
I chatted with friends, family and colleagues in order to get input from those who knew me. With their help, I established my strengths, which can be hard to do alone – outsider opinions helped me enormously. Nearly everyone commented that I’m a naturally caring individual and that I’m at my best when I’m working as part of a larger team, as opposed to in silo.
Another factor that helped guide my decision was that around the same time, my grandfather passed away. He was the only grandparent I had known, and despite his age, it happened quite unexpectedly. My family and I were in awe of the amazing nurses and doctors who worked tirelessly to support him in his final days, and I started to think that it was time to give something back to society.
"I get to support patients and their families through incredibly difficult times"
Biting the bullet
About eight years ago, I finally made the leap. It wasn’t a decision that I took lightly. It took me a while to save up so that I could afford to study full-time for three years, but I’m so pleased I did so – I enjoyed this course infinitely more than my original degree. I also learned how much I enjoy developing and pushing myself. That’s what I love so much about working in this industry – the opportunity to upskill yourself and work in new fields. Turns out my dad was right, education really is wasted on the young!
I also think, given that we’re all living longer and are therefore most likely going to be working until we are all at least in our 70s, fewer and fewer people will have just one career in their lifetimes. Gone are the days of 50 years of service at one company. For me, these two very distinct paths worked so well for my different life stages. I certainly have no regrets about my former career, but for me, it wasn’t forever, and I simply adore the fact that I’m doing something so worthwhile and meaningful now. I get to support patients and their families through incredibly difficult times, but to be honest, it’s an honour. And I know how proud my grandpa would be of me.
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