Like Anne-Louise a change can make you happy!
Aktualisiert: Jan 8
I met Anne-Louise in Berlin through some friends we have in common. I immediately liked her humour, her kindness and her intelligence. Later on I discovered her atypical background and the courage she showed when she decided to make a change in her life. That is why Anne-Louise is one of the first people I asked to share her story, which I find inspiring.
Sandra: Can you describe what you do professionally today?
Anne-Louise: I am a freelance translator from German to French in France, after ten years living in Germany, and I am currently setting up a tourism project for German-speaking tourists to discover Marseille.
S.: What did you do before that and how did you get the idea to change something in your life?
A.L.: After my studies, I worked for a few years in a museum in Berlin and then worked for a German social networking company. This company had websites in other countries, so there was also a team for France. At first, I worked there as a customer service representative and as a translator before I had the chance to become Manager of the French team. I stayed there for three years.
S.: How did you come up with the idea of working as a translator?
A.L.: Choosing to be a translator was pretty easy. Since I used to do in my former company, I thought I could do it on my own. It was a good solution for me to work in any country and to be able to travel while keeping my clients..
S.: Which criteria played a role in this change? How long did the transition last?
A.L.: My body often speaks before the rest. I was sick for a little while, nothing serious, but it made me understand that my life needed a change and that I wasn't necessarily happy in my job. I had the feeling that the weeks were getting longer and longer and that my job was no longer challenging enough. Challenges are important, not necessarily on a daily basis, but overall they can make a job more rewarding. I was in a human company, which offered a lot of advantages, so it was very much in the balance. It's hard to make the leap and leave a job (especially an open-ended one), and that's perfectly normal. Between the time I realized that I needed something more rewarding and the time I left the company, only 4 months had passed. 😊 I then took a little year for myself to travel and accomplish projects that were important to me.
S.: How did you manage the financial aspect during the transition period?
A.L.: I admit that I had been a little inconsistent 😊 I was in a hurry to leave and I didn't take all precautions beforehand, like to be entitled to unemployment for example (which is often difficult when resigning). And it took me a little longer to find another job. But I had very few fixed costs at the time (I had also left my apartment since I was planning to leave Germany), so I was able to live on very little for a short year. But of course, it can be very different for other people with financial and family responsibilities. I am well aware that I was also lucky to have a lot of freedom on that matter.
S.: What would you recommend to someone who would like to change jobs or career but is afraid of the consequences?
A.L.: Listen to yourself! I am convinced that we know deep down inside what we need. When we don’t feel happy with our job anymore (or not enough), it is quite healthy to ask yourself questions and eventually feel like changing your professional project. And listen to others if you need pieces of advice but remember that many people have fears and their own mental blocks, which they can pass on to you, even without realizing it. So if you're thinking of changing, be careful to talk about your projects to people who can understand you and help you in your process. For example, I was in a comfortable position at the time with a permanent contract and a lot of people told me that I was crazy to leave that comfort without knowing what I would do after that. I don't think these people said it to be mean, but today I'm very happy I didn't listen to them. Of course, take time to think about your project, it is not always necessary to leave your job completely, but some extra activities can be a good start in baby steps for example. And if you feel in your heart that this is what will make you grow, then don't hesitate. We spend too much time at work and it's a shame not to use that time to grow! Good luck!
Merci Audrey for the beautiful picture!