Back In The Pink
Ok, so this has taken an insane amount of time to actually write. I have tried many times but I have found it really difficult to explain. I get messages everyday asking why I went back to Benefit Cosmetics and what happened. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly, the planets somewhat aligned and it made sense.
I think the first question is why I left in the first place. This is the easy part to explain. I worked with benefit for almost 9 years. It had become part of me and I gained so much experience working with the brand. Let’s not forget that over 10 years ago I was hired as a part time beauty advisor as a Christmas temp in Arnotts :) Over my nine years at Benefit I grew with the brand and got experiences I could never have imagined to get. I developed this close bond with the brand and the people that I worked with. As the brand grew I became an important part of the Benefit Ireland family. I opened the first boutique on South William street. I was the first member of the Irish marketing team and set up and established that team over the years. At the end of my time with Benefit I started to question things, as we all do. It was a ‘ is the grass greener?’ kind of feeling. I hadn’t worked anywhere else really and I felt I had run my course there. I wanted to get an opportunity to gain knowledge from another brand and I had been approached by a smaller affordable beauty brand to come take the reins. I was excited by the new challenge and was ready to take the plunge.
New Job, New Start
So starting a new job is tough as it is but going in as the brand manager and everyone waiting to see what you do next is even scarier. I was really lucky in that the people I worked with gave me the chance to really put my stamp on it. The brand was growing fast and Pennys + Primark were hungry for further roll out in markets outside of Ireland. I was excited to be part of it but about 10 months into the new job something started to change for me. I was used to working with a big team with lots happening for the brand at a local and global level. I found I was spending so much time caught up in logistics rather than getting to really excite people about the brand and the product. The second really big factor was location. I wasn’t working in city centre anymore and I never realised how important that was to me. It messed up my routines, I couldn’t go to the gym. I didn’t have access to nice healthy food or fancy coffee shops. I know that sounds ridiculous but I urge everyone thinking of moving jobs to really take into consideration the environment you are going to work in. In particular for me being able to get to the gym is really important. Not just from a fitness point of view but I have realised that for my mental health I 100% need the gym. Anyway, in a nutshell I just didn’t enjoy the job anymore and I started to feel really down. The good thing was that the moment I realised that it was really effecting me I quickly made the decision to make a change and handed in my notice. At that point I had no idea what I was going to do but I had to be upfront with the people I was working for and tell them I wasn’t enjoying it.
So what would I do now?
The day I handed in my notice, I felt a massive weight lift. I knew I was back in control and ready to decide what was next for me and I had a really good idea of what I needed from a job to be happy. It did cross my mind to try blogging full time but two reasons I didn't do that 1) I wouldn’t be able to pay my mortgage :) I only have a small following so really don’t make very much money off my content 2) If I was blogging full time, I would totally loose the passion for it as it would be come a thing I HAVE to do. Whereas currently it is something I like doing .
I decided to go out as a freelance marketing and PR consultant. I was really excited about it and had hand picked some brands I really wanted to work with. I was super pumped about the idea but if I am honest, I probably wasn’t in the best state of mind to make that leap. The whole situation was pretty stressful and its never nice leaving a job as it always gets complicated. At this point I didn’t have a choice. I had handed in my notice and had to make the next move.
Then, the planets aligned and I know it sounds silly but I think my Nan was looking out for me. I got a call from my old boss at Benefit. They had a change in structure and the person who had taken my job was moving to the UK. The job for Head of Marketing was up for grabs and I was given the chance to interview for the job. I took it as a sign that this was the right thing for me as I just didn’t know if I had the strength at that point to go out on my own. I went through the recruitment process and was quickly offered the role. Everything then just started to fall into place. I started to design the life that I wanted. I decided I was going to walk into work and abandon the early morning car stresses. ( I mean we live in Drumcondra so it would be rude not to). A new gym opened in the city centre and I sign up day one and haven’t looked back. ( Gym update also coming soon.)
I am 4 months back and have found my stride again with Benefit. It is beyond busy but it is so exciting. Everyday there is something weird and wonderful we are doing. I am also really respected there and trusted to make decisions for the business that might be risky or unusual but set us apart from everyone else. I am so excited to share some of the plans we have been working on but you might want to fasten your seatbelt because we are taking things to the next level.
I am not thinking about what next to be honest. After a year of not really feeling myself I am just going to enjoy the now and focus on the job I love. I also realised that there is no such thing as work life balance. I think it’s something I need to stop chasing. What I have started to achieve is work life integration, which is a whole other blog!
What did I learn?
I needed to leave Benefit initially or I would have always wondered ‘ what if?’. I do not regret the change!
When changing jobs money is not the only deciding factor. It is obviously super important but look at the environment and the people you are going to be working with as an important element to.
if you aren’t happy, take control and change something. It’s the hardest part but I believe everyone is blessed with many skills. There are multiple jobs and opportunities out there for everyone. I know that it isn’t easy to find the right fit. I was super lucky the way it worked out for me but essentially if you hate your job start making an exit plan. We work 40 hours of the week. You should be able to find some joy in those 40 hours!
I need the gym! I have to have it in my routine or I loose my mind. I always kind of knew this but I really saw what can happen when I don’t have it. I had no energy and was just sad in general.
I just want to end this by acknowledging that I am so happy right now. I am really lucky to have a great set up at the moment surrounded by people I enjoy and that also don’t take life to serious. I am sure challenging times will come round as they do but I am taking a moment to say things are really great at the moment. We can take control. You can’t control all the things that happen around us but we can control how you react to them. Everyone just take 10 minutes to think about what is important to you and what you need to be happy and start a plan to get there!
Love and lashes