The job you have now doesn’t have to be the job you have forever.
Over time, a great career can turn into a job you feel chained to, or held captive at. But you don’t have to stay in a job you no longer enjoy.
And yet, people do all the time. They sometimes work themselves to death, or spend all the best years of their life there, only to retire too old to do all the things they dreamed they’d do.
Is this punching you in the gut right now? Because if so, this message was meant for you.
Maybe there was a time you loved your job. Maybe it use to be exciting. But you’ve grown out of it, or grown tired of it.
They’ve been good to you. It pays the bills. You’ve been there a long time and feel you owe them your loyalty. But how many times have you seen another employee let go for one reason or another? That could just as easily be you. That loyalty doesn’t usually go both ways. It’s nothing personal, the business must do certain things to remain a successful business.
But you don’t want to leave for some perceived obligation to be loyal to a company that can’t be loyal back. A job that’s making you miserable. That’s no way to live. Life should be enjoyed. You should love life.
But instead you drag yourself into a place you despise…every day… same thing… over and over. You show up. You try to be positive.
“Today I’ll be in a good mood.”
And by the end of the day you’re ready to pull your hair out. You bolt for the door the moment it’s time.
And once you’re outside, you feel a weight lift from your chest. You feel a surge of energy and joy.
So what’s the answer? How can you turn this thing around?
For such a complicated question, the answer’s pretty simple. Quit. Do something else, something you love. Something that gives you purpose.
The problem is people get stuck in a freaking routine. A routine that tells you everything is “good enough” here.
You should be thankful you have a good job. Work is hard, and sometimes it sucks, but that’s life.
But is it really? Is this all there is to life? Wake up, go to a job you hate, come home tired and emotionally raw, just to go to bed and repeat the cycle over and over. That’s it? That’s all you’re getting out of this life? Maybe you take a week off from time to time and go somewhere. Maybe you meet up with friends after work for happy hour. But it’s okay to spend the majority of your life somewhere you don’t want to be?
I don’t think so. And deep down, you know I’m right.
There are things in this world that light a fire in your heart. Things you’re naturally good at. Things no one else can do the way you do. Those are the things you should be doing for a living.
Let’s use my sister as an example of this. She’s four years younger than me, and for as long as I can remember, she’s been better at being a girl. She came out of the womb knowing how to do hair, how to do makeup, and what clothing will look great on anyone. She has fun doing it. It makes her happy.
Me on the other hand, I’m useless in that department. If you see me looking cute, just know she dressed me, and did my hair and makeup. It’s not a gift I posses. But she has this gift, this magic way about it.
Why is that? Why does she have this gift and I don’t? I think we all have our own special gifts that make us unique. We do things in a unique way that others can’t. I’m not saying she’s never had a bad day, or a bad customer. That comes with the territory, but for the most part, she loves her job. She’s never been happier working anywhere else.
I’ve worked at a hospital for 15 years. Talk about a really good, stable job. But it’s not what lights me up. It’s not where I”m supposed to be.
I’ve known that for a while. But it’s one thing to know it, and quite another to do something about it. Stepping off that ledge into the unknown and the unfamiliar can be terrifying.
“It’s foreign, and the part of us that’s supposed to keep us safe by making sure we continue to do what’s familiar begins to freak out.” -Grace Smith
We’re programmed to do what’s safe. To choose the safe path. For self preservation. So stepping into the unknown sends out alarm bells. Everything in us is screaming “Danger!”
Your brain starts reminding you of all the reasons this wouldn’t work out. It lists the reasons things should stay as they are. You begin to doubt yourself. You start to wonder if maybe it was just a moment of insanity. Until it happens again. And again. And again!
You can try to shove it down. You can try not to think about it. You can drink about it. Or eat about it. Or do any of the other things people do to distract themselves from how they really feel.
But at the end of the day, it’s still there. That deep desire for something more. That yearning in the pit of your stomach. That feeling that you’re not living up to your potential.
You feel it don’t you? I know you do. Because that’s how I felt.
I’m mid transition now. One foot in, one foot out. And it’s still scary as hell. But you know what scares me more? Not doing it. Not doing it and hating my life more and more every day.
I just can’t have that.
Will Doing What You Love Ruin it?
I’ve heard before that turning what you love into your job, ruins it. That it takes the fun out of it. I disagree. I think it’s a blessing to get to do something you love.
You know what ruins life? Staying in a job you hate. Even if you love the money. Money’s great. I love money. I’m sure you love money. But most of your life is spent at work. That means you’re spending most of your life doing something you hate! Doesn’t that sound stupid? Why would you spend your whole life doing something you hate?
That’s like eating broccoli for every meal, even though you can’t stand it. It doesn’t make sense. If you saw someone doing that you’d want to say “You know there’s other stuff you can eat right?”
And there’s other stuff you can do for a living.
What you’re doing right now gives you stability. It’s safe. It’s a sure thing. And you’ve gotten use to it. It feels normal now. Your misery has become normal.
But do you have any idea the joy you could find in your life by just changing careers?! It’s so crazy to think about. You could be so much happier. That’s not some unattainable goal. You could really, really be happier.
And it’s just by changing jobs. I’m not asking you to literally jump off a cliff. I’m not asking you to shave your head bald or remove a limb. I’m just suggesting a change in careers. That’s not so crazy to consider when you step back and look at the big picture.
Pros and Cons
My favorite way to put things in perspective is to make a pros and cons list. It helps me organize my thoughts. I suggest you try it with your current situation. It could look something like this:
- It’s scary.
- I’m too old.
- I don’t want to give up the salary.
- People expect me to do this and I don’t want to disappoint them.
- It’s a lot of work to start something new.
- People count on me, they rely on me to be there, to show up.
- My husband/wife wouldn’t be supportive.
- I would have to sacrifice my free time to get going.
- It’s exciting to start something new.
- I’d get to do what I love.
- Every day is better than before.
- I can get paid to do what I love.
- I will be happier.
- FREEDOM from this anxiety.
- I’d actually look forward to my days.
We only get one life (as far as we remember anyway). One life! At the end of it, that’s it. All the choices you’ve made are cast, done, permanent.
When you get there will you be satisfied with your choices?
Sure, there’s some risk. But isn’t it worth it? Maybe you’re poor for a little while when you first get going. Maybe you have to make some sacrifices. Maybe it’s hard and scary and unpredictable. But wouldn’t you rather look back on that risky bastard with pride for giving it a go?
Even if you fail, there’s always a way to climb back up. So what are you afraid of? You’re older and wiser every day. You’ll know what to do when you get there, or you’ll figure it out.
But one thing is certain, you’ll regret the chances you didn’t take. The life you could have had. The dreams you let pass you by.
Don’t look back on your life with regret. Seize the moment right now! Start doing something to move you in the direction of your dreams. And never look back.
Go. Do. Dream.
You have everything you need within you. I believe in you. Even if I don’t know you. Because I know, you have a purpose in this world. And I know what it feels like to try to ignore it.
I know you can do it, because I’m doing it. You got this.
Much love to you on your journey!
I hope you have a magical day!