Sometimes it’s hard to believe, but it IS possible to turn your passion into a career. Here’s some evidence in the form of six very successful people who did just that!
If you read my last installment, you are aware that I’m running for office in NJ at the state level. It’s a full-time addition to an already full-time business and a full-time position as chief operating officer of a household with teenagers. This is not unlike what many of you are facing as you search for a new job or build bridges to your next career move.
PREPARE: Realize that what you are about to embark on will require taking back hours of your day. Clear the way to make that happen. Get out of unnecessary commitments and begin lining up people who can help you.
LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD: Please don’t tell me you can’t. You either have to ask for help or hire it. Rely on friends to drive your kids or take over volunteer responsibilities. Let your household responsibilities wait, or if you can afford to, hire out the pieces you will no longer have time for. My husband has taken over shopping and preparing meals, which had been my exclusive responsibility.
USE YOUR TIME WISELY: Make your new effort a top priority daily. What MUST get done today to move it forward? You can and should do more than the one thing, but you must have one FAIL PROOF item that WILL happen every day for your new direction or query.
BE CHOOSY: Along the lines of valuing your time, be sure that you are focusing on priorities in the rest of your life too. However, be very choosy. It’s OK to say no to things that will derail or distract your efforts right now. You have to be a bit selfish for a while. “No” to everyone who wants to meet for coffee, “no” to meetings with no agenda, “no” to even your workout some days. (OK I’m talking about myself on that last one)
KEEP A MASTER LIST: Keep a longer-term list of things that have to be done in separate parts of your life. (Current job, future project, home life) and constantly re-prioritize. Delegate to get the most important things taken care of first while keeping your eye on the next thing coming up. (I’ve often said my years as a waitress made me very good at this—but I know that may not be that helpful for you!)
RUN TO WIN! —Yes, that’s political campaign lexicon, but when you are working towards a new job or a career change, you don’t do it to lose. You do it to win. Assume the win and behave accordingly!
IF you hold on to the vision of what you are trying to bring into your life by changing jobs or careers, I would expect you to be inspired. That inspiration needs to fuel you as you keep up your life as a double agent. Fully living the life you’re in and the one you are growing towards.
You can do this! Let us know if we can help.
Finding herself (not unexpectedly) laid off, this young woman could have laid down with her tail between her legs, dog tired, and cowered in the corner.
Instead, she perked up and realized it for the opportunity it was – a chance to make her part-time venture a full-time career, and one that she loves at that!
Turns out she was a lucky dog after all!!
One big clue that it’s time for a career switch comes in the form of repetitive thoughts of “I just don’t care…” Odds are at one point in your current job you cared … you may have even cared a lot – about the work, about the goals, about the mission you were on. When this fizzles out, it is likely time for a change.
The good news is you’ve noticed! And, more good news — you don’t have to stay stuck on a path just because you put yourself there years ago – get yourself back to caring!
Big career changes are traditionally served with a side of FEAR. A big, whopping, overflowing dish of terror might be accurate too. Can you do your best thinking and make clear choices while feasting on fear? NO!
In a flight or fight state, pumped up on adrenaline, our actions can be super powered in bursts, but a long inhabiting of the adrenalized state will interfere with memory and learning powers.1
One condition I have for working with a client who is figuring out next career steps is that they cannot be in a rush or panicked about their situation. Years of experience have taught me that although fear is an appropriate response when life hands you a curveball or you’re going through a difficult time, the exploration that will yield the most satisfying choice of work, does not come from extreme emotional conditions.
Effective career and self-exploration just isn’t possible in a flight or fight state.
Sidney worked in the food and beverage industry and was growing increasingly stressed and unhappy with her work. She liked her industry but not the demands of her particular job. She was being proactive by beginning to explore a career change, but her stress was so high that she had no bandwidth to make much progress. As panic grew, the process stopped being effective. It was like asking a person who can’t swim to calm down while she’s drowning.
What do you do if this sounds like you?
Change your order — If instant answers are the only thing that will satisfy your hunger for results, know that they are not likely to be long-lasting or fulfilling. Choose to make a healthy decision instead of jumping into instant satiation.
Dine instead of feast — With the intention of enjoying every course and savoring the experience, you’ll have a very different experience than a feast where the emphasis is on quantity and variety. Take your time. Chew carefully and slowly. If circumstances make it hard to do this, then create two plans: one that will hold you over and one that offers a longer term solution.
Keep temptation at bay — It’s so easy to weaken and let fear tempt you into letting yourself down. Keep fighting to uncover the truest answers that lie deep within you. If logic brings up fear and ceases all action, beware. Pause and decide again if what’s coming from this fearful place is the best choice.
This is a tall order, but it’s do-able. If you need support keeping fear off the menu, let us know. We can help get you ready to make a big change that will be healthy and fulfilling long-term.
1 Matthew Joseph Sharps, Processing Under Pressure: Stress, Memory, and Decision-making in Law
If it’s time for a career change, here are some simple tips to help you slow down and take that next step intentionally. Rather than rushing or running away, take the time to get to know yourself, know what matters, and be mindful in your steps.
As this author expresses, this is ultimately about you, and when you tend to your true needs and desires, everyone benefits – family, friends, and coworkers.
Sometimes creativity takes you to places you never would have dreamed of! Places that even pay a living wage. Here, a former lawyer turned LEGO artist, says, “There are many ways to get to where you want to go, even if you don’t know where that is right now.”
What hidden talents may be waiting to be expressed in you?
Inspirational Career Story of the Day:
I Left My Law Career to Become a LEGO Artist (Video)
An astonishing 50% of American workers are dissatisfied with their jobs – that’s a whole lot of unhappiness leaking out into our workplaces, homes, and communities. This can’t be good for anyone! If you’re among the dissatisfied, check out these simple starting points offered by Now What?® Founder, Laura Berman Fortgang, and get yourself moving toward a better future. Why wait?