When The ‘Dream Job’ You’ve Achieved Isn’t Your Dream Anymore

....and it's time for a new one


For Danielle Bowern, landing her ‘dream job’ as a Sky News weather presenter was the culmination of years of dedicated work. Alongside her PR and journalism degree, she was squeezing in unpaid internships at local radio and TV stations and her first job as a snow reporter for Thredbo was a “dream come true” to the young, eager journalist.

“I was on my way to making it,” Danielle tells Collective Hub. “Or so I thought.”

As it turns out, there was pretty cavernous gap between the dream and the reality of Danielle’ job: from the 3am starts to the isolated offices and lack of contact with colleagues, Danielle decided it was time to find a new path. Here’s her journey from realising a dream, leaving it behind and finding a new one.


[When I was a weather presenter], Thursday through to Monday, my alarm would blast at 3am. And snoozing was never an option. Dishevelled and bleary eyed, I’d stumble out of bed and past my housemates – they’d be coming in from a night out and I’d be leaving for work. I’d usually drive to work in my PJs – one of the positive notes of being the first one in the studio. Turn the lights on, make my first coffee for the morning and then it was time to get TV ‘ready’. Forget, the make-up artists and hair stylists we didn’t have budget for this. I learnt how to do my own hair & make-up and after months of practice, my routine was down to 15 minutes. Around 4am, I’d start my research. Then the technical producer would walk in. I’d be busy watching the radars and synoptic charts around the country. Writing my scripts and taking notes for the national weather reports. There was no tele-prompter, sound guy, camera person; it was all me. Then I’d mic-up, and we’d be live at 5am.

I’d step into the blue screen, stare down the barrel of an automated camera and deliver the weather. A technical producer upstairs would count me in and this began my shift as a weather presenter. For the rest of the day, I was running between the studio and my computer. Checking weather updates and rerecording reports. On the weekends it was me, an automated camera, a technical director and a virtually empty office. There was no-one around to banter with, no-one to have fun with. On top of sacrificing my social life, I was spending my weekends with no-one around. I feed off energy from others and spending 8 hours a day talking to an automated camera in a virtually empty office wasn’t the dream. I’d never felt more alone in my life. Not my kind of dream.

There was a huge misconception between my idea of the dream and the reality. It was one of those [jobs that] looked good on the outside, felt crap on the inside. Whenever I told other people what I did, they had stars in their eyes. At the start, I liked it. Lapped it up. Yet, soon enough the reality of the early hours, weekend work and dehumanisation of it all took a toll. It wasn’t a reflection of who I am. I love being around people. And when I wasn’t interacting, [or] being around others, it all took a toll. This had become my life and I’m not saying it’s not for everyone, it’s just certainly not for me. The starry-eyed moment dimmed in a flash.

I remember crying one afternoon when the barista closed the coffee machine at 3pm; sometimes I was having between 6-8 coffees. I was running off adrenaline and when adrenaline ran out, I crashed. I couldn’t see my friends or family because I was working or too tired. Too exhausted to do the things I love. The final moment came, was when I was asked to sacrifice more. I remember thinking, ‘I have nothing left to sacrifice’. I was seeing a naturopath, masseuse, doctor, kinesiologist all to cope with the hours. You’re meant to give up a few things for your dream, it’s meant to be hard. But I do not believe it should sacrifice all of your health and happiness. I was no longer happy. And for me, happiness had never been something I had to strive for, I could just be.

[Letting go] was probably one of the hardest decisions I’d ever made. I battled with the decision for months and months. Imagine breaking-up with a part of yourself. [A part that] you had created, moulded and carried around with you for years. Every decision was dictated by this dream. Now what? But once I made the decision, it was a relief.

I didn’t jump into this new dream right away. I didn’t know what my next dream was going to be. I just jumped into the flow. I got a job at a coffee shop and started to find things I loved doing. And watercolours happened to be one of them. I’d finish work and in the afternoon, I’d get my watercolours and draw.


[Yoga was a big part of my] huge value reshuffle. I used to turn up to my 9am Tuesday flow yoga class and connect with myself. This was a very big turning point in reshuffling my values. When I practiced yoga and my mind stopped, my body relaxed and I felt a calm wash over me. My mind became clearer and suddenly I knew what I valued. I realised this: life has three precious commodities; time, people and your happiness. When I realised my time was not spent with any of these invaluable resources, it was time for a reshuffle and new dream.

After letting go of my first dream; I decided to have fun. Fall in love with life again and find new hobbies. Watercolours happened to be it. I became obsessed. I was making them as birthday cards and sending them as presents. It was like this whole creative side was unleashed. The more I played with both, the more creative the watercolours became. I was seeing life and it was inspiring. I remember sitting on my black yoga mat one afternoon in Manly, my watercolours splayed everywhere and it hit me. Why couldn’t yoga mats be as beautiful and colourful? And that’s where Bowern was born.

I remember the first mat I ever sold – where the buyer had discovered Bowern on Instagram before I’d even thought about a marketing strategy. She was about to open a yoga studio, contacted me, bought our first sale in person, and then she hugged me. A real hug. The whole time I was in television, I don’t think I ever had a single hug. That’s when I knew I was on the right path.

Even though I launched three months ago, I’ve been working on it since September last year. For months, I’d been pouring all of my energy into this new dream and there were no results. No one knew who I was or what I was doing. I was laughed out of one yoga studio because why would someone buy a no brand if they could buy a big well-known competitor. So, I’d just get up and keep going. I’d make myself proud everyday because results aren’t going to happen overnight.



I had never started or owned a business before or thought about manufacturing anything. So I spent a lot of time researching, going to seminars and getting advice from experienced entrepreneurs. I asked plenty of questions and there were even some stupid ones but I wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting into. I read as much as I could and listened to inspiring podcasts. But the biggest upskill was to learn let go of fear. I’ve jumped in head first, and haven’t looked back. The best piece of advice I was given, ‘Everyone who has ever achieved anything, they are just like you. So feel the fear and do it anyway’.

IMG_0425 2@TheBowern

Verity Lawrence

Definitely needed to read this right now….. I am in my ‘dream’ job but the days it’s a nightmare far outweigh the ‘I love my job’ days. Major dilemma right now as I have no idea what I want to do if I’m not doing this!

Danielle Bowern

Well at least you are one step closer to figuring it out. You know where you don’t want to be. Major dilemma or exciting adventure? Because now you can figure out all the things you love to do. It’s daunting and exciting at the same time. Good Luck!


Thank you Danielle, me too. I am finding myself in a cross path too of figuring out what is next too… thank you for being a HUGE inspiration!!! LOVED your stuff btw :))))

Danielle Bowern

Thanks Debbie.

Just follow all the things you love to do! Keep going!


Laura Nesbitt

Absolutely loved reading this! That dream job always looks good on the outside, but unfortunately that’s just the tip of the iceberg, no one see’s or talks about what makes up the day-to-day duties. Congratulations Danielle Bowern on taking the leap! I hope to one day have that courage 🙂

Danielle Bowern

Thanks Laura. This is really lovely to hear! You will have the courage. Because you now have the desire to do it. It’s only a matter of time. Good Luck.


So inspiring! Good on you for making the change, the hardest part is realising it isn’t working the way you anticipated and allowing yourself to move on. We forget that our paths in life arnt meant to be straight and these experiences make us better equipped to find our ‘real’ dreams if we allow them to. Congratulations for your huge success, you earned it.

Kate Robinson

I love you positive mindset and tenacity! I am so proud of you for being true to yourself and your values! You are such an inspiration Danielle!


What a great read. Well Done to Danielle! I’ve returned to work in a new role after returning from maternity leave. Whilst I enjoy the role the hours were having a significant impact on my health and family time. Whilst my employer has been very supportive, I feel I’m in a similar situation. If only I could think of what else I could do. I’ve been studying Interior Design online as its been an interest, but to have the courage to change paths………that’s my hurdle and it seems to be very high. Thanks again for sharing this story.


Wowsers…I had no idea who you were when I started reading the article..Danielle..you are so meant to be doing this and inspiring others. I hold down a 9-5 job that is sometimes great but mostly stress and am working on my passion..becoming a yoga teacher😄. I recently attended my residential training in Sydney and had decided to reward myself with a ‘decent’ mat to replace my cheapy. I looked at a few and then…absoultley fell in love…with your Dreamer mat. I didn’t buy it straight away, telling myself all the usual stories of extravagance, who needs a fancy mat etc etc…all the things we do to ourselves. Anyway..the image of the mat along with the beautiful quote stayed with me and were still there first thought when I woke up. I was on holidays and getting to as many varied classes as possible,when I stepped on old cheapy I just knew it was the last time…I couldn’t get out to buy my new Bowern mat fast enough…bought it, unwrapped it, sent a pic to a fellow yogi and was in my first class with it the same morning!!! It mattered…your beautiful colours along with the saying spoke to me..to remind me to value myself and to treasure my dream. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Knowing your story has made the mat even better. Keep going, keep the dream strong.

Danielle Bowern

Gillian, your message has made my day! Thanks so much! I’m so glad the Bowern Mat is inspiring you to continue to follow your dreams. You also keep up the amazing work and maybe one day I’ll be in your yoga class! xx


Thank you for sharing your story. So very inspiring. I am in this transition zone also and I totally relate to breaking up with a part of yourself. 16 years in a career which no longer gives me pleasure. Taking the time now to also find my next love. This was exactly what I needed to read right now.


Danielle! What an incredible story and I can tell from the comments that you´ve moved thoughts in more than one beautiful head with this article! I just started yesterday a book that explains how we react to FEAR and OMG it has totally openned my eyes to new dreams and new ideas. Thank you so much for sharing, was exactly what I needed to read tonight!! Sending you a big hug. Gaby.

Danielle Bowern

A big hug right back at you. Just keep feeling the fear and do it anyway. It’s always going to be a little scary, I guess that’s when you know you are on the right path.


Danielle, this article is spot on. You are so honest, and so brave (I can only imagine the process you must have gone through to move out of your role and into a more entrepreneurial space – that’s scary as hell!) Here’s to you! I’m grabbing a mat as soon as I touch down in Sydney.

Maria Eugenia

Just wan to say congrats! finding beauty in every day things is an amaizing talent! Mi husband is having a hard time at the office so i am going to share your story with him. Thanks from Caracas Vzla.


Danielle, thank you for sharing this story! I’m trying to decide between a promotion I worked 5 years for, and a crazy new start as a creative entrepreneur – just like you.

Everyone I know has told me I’d be crazy not to take the promotion. I have 3 days to decide. They’ve already started the paperwork and it’s a lot of money and a fancy title to be walking away from.

I was feeling SO LOST till I came across this (literally by Googling for “what to do when you get your dream job but don’t want it anymore”).

I still don’t know which road I’ll take – but your story gives me hope to maybe take the leap and say no to the promotion 🙂


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