You are sat having coffee with your friend and they tell you that they are not happy in their current relationship. They don’t feel their boyfriend gets them, they don’t want the same things, what’s important to her is not to him and vice versa. He wants to sit and watch the TV she wants to get outside, he is all about enjoying today she wants to plan for the future. She’s tried talking to him, but nothing seems to change. It’s got to the stage that she is having problems sleeping and chocolate has become her new best friend. In fact, she is feeling miserable and can’t continue in their relationship. What would your advice be to your friend?

The majority of us are probably saying it’s time to let go, it's run its course and maybe it’s best to end it now and remember the happy times the good memories, appreciate what you got from your time together. If you aren’t happy the chances are that your boyfriend isn’t as well and we need to acknowledge that relationships can sometimes come to a natural end. Maybe you would go on to say that life is too short and it’s time to put yourself first and focus on finding what will make you happy.

Would you give the same advice if your friend was talking to you about her job instead of her partner? You see we can also fall out of love with our job.

You used to enjoy the buzz, would thrive on the challenge, would love the results you got, but now you just feel like you are treading water. You struggle to find your enthusiasm and while your colleagues may not have any idea you just know your heart isn’t in it anymore and now it’s a case of living for the weekends and planning your next holiday.

But you’re conflicted as you have invested a lot of time in this organization; it’s taken you ages to get to where you are and to earn the salary that you do. Your performance rating is in the top quartile, you’ve been on the recognition trips and your name is on the succession plans, but the thought of staying in this job for another year, just makes your heart fall. You wish you felt the same but you don’t and you feel guilty for it. Let go of the guilt it’s not serving you, in fact, it's misguided, click on this link to find out why.

Let’s get back to the dating advice. When you were younger what you looked for in a partner is probably a little bit different from what you want now. It’s not just about the looks, but how they make you feel, whether your values are aligned. What once was important to you will evolve as you do. It’s the same for a job. The skills you enjoyed using can become boring as we grow and want new challenges. What was once at the top of your must-have list has dropped down to the bottom or maybe even fallen off the list completely. So cut yourself some slack and if you are no longer excited about your job, let go of the need to make it work to make do and take action.

The experiences you have gained the hard work you have put in are not going to be wasted as there will be transferrable skills you can take with you. Even if your next move is in a completely different direction there are always experiences and learnings from the past that are useful, whether you are a teacher and yearn to be a personal trainer, the element of teaching and communication runs across both. Perhaps you are an Estate Agent and want to help people plan their dream holidays, both require you to understanding your client’s needs and making recommendations.

These feelings are normal and in fact, on average people think about changing their jobs 10 times a year and 46% of people will retrain. It's ok to fall out of love, but putting up with something that isn’t making you happy, isn’t fulfilling your needs is as bad as staying in that dead-end relationship.

If this is you I want you to imagine a good friend is telling you this story and think about what advice you would give to them and then listen to this advice and take it for yourself. It’s time to find that new career relationship. The first step in any career change is to acknowledge that a change is necessary and create the right mindset and part of that is about being able to let go.

Take with you these three thoughts

  • Careers can come to a natural end
  • You are not alone as nearly half of the population will retrain
  • The first step is to give yourself permission to plan your exit.

If you are looking for inspiration for others who have been there then let me share with you my own story and those of some of my clients. Maybe you are ready but you need someone to help you create that mindset and identify that next career move. Sounds a plan? Then we need to talk!