Are you at a crossroads? Is your current career not working out, or worse killing your soul? Rest assured you are not alone. According to a recent article in The Washington Post only 13% of people in the world actually like going to work. I am currently at this crossroads. I don’t hate my job, but I have hated jobs in the past that fell into the soul sucking category. But I now recognize the signs that it is time for a change. Remember, don’t panic because there are no mistakes. Your current job choice WAS NOT A MISTAKE. There is no such thing as failure. Hey, if Oprah agrees then it must be true:
Many happy hours of late seem to point to this in my close friends as well. One friend just quit his job and went to coding school, another is fed up with the education system and is looking to get out of teaching. Even more friends are panicking, crying, depressed, because they have no idea what to do next. I struggle with this as well, but this time around I am choosing to look at things through excited eyes at opportunities to explore something new. This, of course, is easier written on this page than done. I say to you, congratulations! What exciting things will you do next? Don’t focus on what you should be doing. Focus on the possibilities. Jennifer Aniston was a bike messenger in a previous life. Rod Stewart was a gravedigger. Colin Powell worked at a baby furniture store before becoming a diplomat and a general. My point is that people reinvent themselves all the time so I ask you, why are you telling yourself that this is wrong?
I think the most important thing to remember, when in the midst of a career crisis, is that you have learned something about yourself and what makes you happy in your work life. What a gift to now know. For me, I know it is impossible for me to be happy working in an office, in a cube. It doesn’t matter how much I like the work it is the setting that is very important to me. I don’t like to work on someone else’s schedule or for someone else. I don’t want to own a car in order to drive to said office. I am an introvert and offices celebrate extroverts. It’s not me. The entrepreneurial bug has bitten me and it has me both excited and terrified. The drama of this real life career change will play out on the pages of this blog in this small corner of the internet.
Whatever your decision, and next step you choose, remember to make that decision out of a place of excitement and calm. Do not choose your next career during a bout of panic. Believe me I have done just that and it led me to jobs I hated even more. Remember what Lao Tzu, a great philosopher and poet from ancient China so wisely said, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” So congratulations, you are on your way.
Remember that the collective belief in our culture that you must graduate from school and somehow find great happiness and success in that 1 thing, that 1 career, that will last you your entire life, filling you with joy every day and a sense of purpose, for most of us is a journey. It is not a boring, non-struggle. For that would be well, boring. You want to struggle, you want to strive, for how sweet it is when you come out the other side. Your goal in life should be to continue to grow and learn every minute, every day, every year. Let curiosity be your guide and you will be just fine!