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A Briton who went viral on LinkedIn after swapping a high-paying career to become a postman has said “Covid has made people value the simple things in life”.
Phil Goddard, 56, from Orwell in Cambridgeshire left behind decades in sales and account management after going through furlough and redundancy in 2020.
In September last year he found work at TalkTalk but, while he liked the people and the company, he eventually realised he was not enjoying the work.
After his career switch, he said: “I’m not earning £100k a year anymore. I’m a postman, but I’m happy.”
Mr Goddard told the PA news agency: “I had a job that paid really well, but do you know what? It really stressed the hell out of me, and it took me a long time to realise that money’s not everything.
“I think I was probably the last person to acknowledge that I was unhappy. My wife could see it. (She) has been a great support.
“I’ve got friends who have retired at a similar age, but I’m not quite ready to retire yet.”
Shortly after quitting his job, Mr Goddard’s wife spotted a Post Office vacancy, for which he successfully applied.
Just days into his new role, Mr Goddard is enjoying pounding the pavement.
“There’s a sense of fulfilment there that I’ve never had,” he said.
“And if I can lose a few pounds, build up my stamina and improve my cardiovascular, then for me, the job’s a good ‘un.”
Mr Goddard said his postman’s pay is “sort of a quarter of what I was earning” and described working his first Saturday shift in more than 30 years as “a culture shock”.
However, it is clear he is delighted with his decision.
“What appeals to me is the freedom, the ability to be out to meet people,” he said.
“I’ll talk to strangers, whether it’s an old person that hasn’t seen anybody all week, and you’re that little lifeline.
“You can sense, when you see some elderly people, you might be the first person they’ve spoken to for some weeks.”
Mr Goddard’s reach has extended far beyond his postal route however, with more than 50,000 reactions to his career change on LinkedIn, as well as thousands of replies.
“I’ve been accepting LinkedIn requests like they’re going out of fashion!” he said.
“I’ve had messages from people in Russia, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, India… people just saying ‘Your story’s resonated with me, it’s given me the motivation, thanks for sharing.’
“I’m humbled that so many people have taken the time – I’m not often lost for words, but this has really knocked me for six in a positive way.
“Covid has made people re-evaluate their lives – (it) has made people value the simple things in life.
“Perhaps at long last I’ve found a proper job!”