Self-care and maintaining a healthy work-life balance are phrases used a lot these days, but how successfully we apply them to our own lives varies greatly.
When Jenny Exford achieved her goal of making Regional Manager for a large retail chain before her 35th birthday, hers all but disappeared.
“I thought my job defined me. As I drove up and down the country, taking on bigger and bigger roles, I measured my value by my professional performance. I missed family gatherings and holidays because I was too busy with work to attend.”
Jenny began to re-evaluate her priorities and realised that the two were not compatible. “I could either be a corporate success or the person I wanted to be. I was never going to find my happiness working constantly.”
Jenny’s first love had always been animals, and so, with the support of her fiancé, she quit her job and fulfilled her passion, caring for horses. This change in lifestyle also gave her more time to spend with her dogs, Martha and Jasmine. The stables she worked for were impressed with her animal-handling skills and trusted her implicitly. When they asked her to take on the additional role of walking their dogs for them, Jenny realised this could be another way of supporting herself.
“I had never thought that these things could be revenue streams for me. They were things I did for pleasure. Getting paid to do tasks I enjoyed was a revelation.”
Happy Paws was established and, based in Holymoorside, Jenny now covers the Chesterfield area. She is fully insured and has the knowledge and experience to take on any dog. Her confidence with animals is immediately apparent, as is her love for them.
“I really am living my own dream now,” beams Jenny. “I like who I am better, I have softened, and my change in career allows me to focus on the things I truly care about.”
If you are looking for an experienced animal handler to walk your dog, Jenny can help and offers group or solo walks.
Happy Paws: 07391 593936
Words: Annie Littlewood
Photo: Jenny Exford