12 months ago I was in a job I truly hated, working with people who were so far off my page, that the book hadn’t even been written.

I had 2 choices: suck it up and hope for the best or jump ship and swim. Unusually for me, I took the risk and jumped. A year on, I’m celebrating the first birthday of Bijou Recruitment and could not be prouder of the business I have nurtured and seen evolve and grow.

Deep down, I always knew I had an entrepreneurial and creative streak and had been yearning for an opportunity to let it flourish. I was brought up with the adage from my Dad, ‘it’s always better to work for yourself than someone else’. The fact that a milestone birthday is approaching probably reinforced my decision along the “I’m getting too old to take this s..t” basis. Whatever the reasoning, it was an impulsive decision but one that  I wholly endorse and recommend.

On Day One, I had a vague idea of what my own recruitment business would look like. I knew the sort of name I wanted for it: I just had to dig deep and find it. I knew the sort of clients I enjoyed working with and have been fortunate enough that investment in those relationships over the years has paid off. I knew the kind of roles which were within my area of core competence to fill.

What I didn’t know was what Bijou would look like as the first 12 months rolled by. But today, I have a website, a healthy client and candidate portfolio, a team of great collaborators, an invoice spreadsheet of which I (and my accountant) are very proud and most importantly, a brand that is gaining recognition and will grow.

The moral of this tale? No job is worth the level of discomfort and anxiety I was experiencing. There is always an alternative. Maybe you need to spend time in investing in your CV, in cultivating relationships with good and trusted recruiters, networking with friends, colleagues and acquaintances via LinkedIn until you are at a point where you can be confident and assertive in an interview. Or maybe you are the sort of person who can take a risk and with a bit of spirit, find the solution that is right for you. Like I did.

Good luck. I’m off to buy a birthday cake and one huge candle.