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Everyone thought I had a dream job. Here’s what they didn’t know.

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Then: Ad sales at a major tech company

Now: Founder, Brooke Taylor Coaching & Consulting

Brooke Taylor’s job was working with big advertising agencies to find brand success on social platforms. And in some ways, she loved working for such a respected company. “Part of my identity was tied up with being an employee there,'” she says. “I secretly enjoyed the positive assumptions people made in their head when I told them I worked there.”

But having her identity tied to work had its downsides, too. “Like many ambitious women, I had a belief that my success was equal to my worthiness,” she says. “This created a manic, insatiable ambition to succeed at all costs, which manifested in workaholism, drinking alcohol to cope with the unworthiness, and not reporting a harassment.” Brooke says she struggled in silence. “Working seven days a week is accepted and even applauded, and alcoholism is stigmatized and never spoken about in corporate settings.”

She finally broke down, asked for help from the onsite therapist at her company, got sober, used her newfound voice to report the harassment, and realized what she really wanted to do: coaching emerging female leaders to help them break into management. “I left the dream job and have found balance, fulfillment and, most importantly, I found myself again.”

Her advice: “Asking for help is a leadership skill and is required for women who want to make an impact on the world. We cannot do it alone — and you don’t have to.”

“I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing”

The lesson from all of these women? If an on-paper “dream job” doesn’t feel like a dream to you, don’t force it. It’s not worth your happiness and health.

Megan Hellerer, mentioned earlier, says that leaving her dream job was the most profound and transformational breakthrough of her life. “I’m happy to report that it is, in fact, it is possible to find work that doesn’t feel like work, to look forward to Monday as much as Friday, and to wake up every morning (ok, most mornings) and think ‘I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing.'”

Her final words of advice? “A job can be a great job … and still not be YOUR job. There is simply no one objectively great job, or one objectively great company to work for, that applies to everyone.”

Dreamers // Doers mission is to increase the number of successful ventures launched by women. It consists of Collective, a high-impact community reaching over 25,000 women globally, and Onyx, a highly curated private members’ collective for value-driven female founders, trailblazers, and change-makers.

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