You’ve contemplated what you would include in your resignation letter, maybe you have thought about how you would tell your boss, should you tell them the real reasons or keep it simple? You start to contemplate how much better you would feel and then you… STOP. You come to a grinding halt, the brakes are slammed on and you tell yourself to get back in the real world and to stop dreaming. You need to face reality, this is your life and those dreams are serving you no purpose. Instead, you start to tell yourself all the reasons why you won’t be resigning; you won’t be writing that letter or walking away from your job and you surrender yourself to the fact that things are just the way they are. But do they have to be like this?
Do you continually have these thoughts of escaping? Do you dread the daily grind of your job? Does it consume you and leave you with little time for other things? Is your unhappiness at work impacting your health and your relationships? Do you feel you have more to offer the world? Life is short and most of us will spend a third of our life at work, don’t we deserve to enjoy it?
This is a cycle I found myself continually faced with, having the same conversations over and over in my head until I really acknowledge what was happening, I was putting up barriers, reasons why I couldn’t take the leap because I was scared, I was getting in my own way.
To break the cycle and move forward you need to get honest with yourself, understand how you are holding yourself back and admit that actually, you are putting the barriers in place, preventing yourself from escaping.
In my experience working with individuals facing their own career crossroads there tends to be four main stories they will use to talk themselves out of taking action.
- Money worries. Perhaps in your current job, you are the main breadwinner or the only breadwinner and you don’t have the luxury of being able to rely on someone else to bring the money in. Perhaps you are contemplating moving and you need the security of your steady income to get your mortgage. Perhaps you are waiting for that big bonus payment or pension lump sum.
- The time is not right. Perhaps you have big events happening in other parts of your life, birth, marriages, kids changing schools and you tell yourself it wouldn’t be sensible to make a career move at this time.
- You don’t know what else to do. You have wracked your brains, awoken in the middle of the night desperately trying to work out what else you can do but nothing comes to mind. Instead, you tell yourself that until you figure it out you just have to accept the way things are.
- Fear of failure. Maybe you do have an idea of what that next career chapter could look like, but the thought of leaving the security of your current job and having to start from the bottom is too much. You just don’t have the skills or the experience so who would employ you?
Is one of these your story? It’s important to acknowledge it, behind it are some genuine fears that need to be managed. Write it down, say it out loud. Don’t hide it, deal with it!
We can always find a reason not to do something but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. This is just our mind trying to protect us from the fear of the unknown, from stepping out of our comfort zone.
Now you have acknowledged your story, understand if it has any substance.
For example, if money is the concern, get clear on your figures. What do you need to earn to pay the bills? How could you cut back on your expenses? What savings could you draw on during your transition? What other ways can you earn if you were to take a pay cut? What is the salary you could command in your potential career and the longer term earnings?
If timing is the story challenge yourself to understand if this is really the issue or actually are you using this as an excuse. Reflect on the unhappiness you are feeling and the cost this is having to your life. Is the cost of doing nothing, putting up with these feeling less than the pain of trying to start your career journey now? If yes, then commit to a date when you will start the process. Remember a career change does take time, and there is some work you can do in terms of reflecting on what you want for yourself that doesn’t require you to announce to the world your intentions, which you could start now.
For those of you who don’t know what else you want to do, then your first start is to get clear on who you want to be in your life, what you want to be able to do and to have. Then you need to reflect on what skills you enjoy using, what interests you, surrounding yourself with what type of person and environment will enable you to flourish. Take a look at these free resources to help you.
And if fear is your story, acknowledge what is happening, this is just your minds way of protecting yourself when you are contemplating something outside of your comfort zone, but it doesn’t mean it’s true.
You have a choice, you can continue to tread water and go through the motions, put up with those feelings or you can choose to do something about it, to take action and to find a happier you. A journey is made up of many small steps, just start today and acknowledge what is your story so you can start to rewrite it.
If you want to accelerate your career change then why not book in for a free call to find out how I can help you and to get some simple steps that you can take now.