The world is full of people who feel that their current job is not reflecting their values. The more the time passes, the bigger the gap is between who you are and how you earn your living. Your current job provides you a steady income to support your family’s needs. Yet, you feel you are withering inside each day when you step into your office. Your inner voice shouts inside, “Stop pretending! Find your true role in society, that role that represents who you really are!” You have two choices: ignore it or listen to it. Ignoring it means continuing a life of professional frustrations. What can happen if you listen to it?
Take as an example a mid-thirties woman who is a hairdresser but her dream is to become a medical nurse. How can she start the process that will lead to having her dream job? Take small steps to continually improve your life – this is the advice of Robert Maurer in his book, “One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way“. Based on my own experience, the first step is the most difficult in this kind of situations.
Moving away from your comfort zone may be the most daring action you’ll ever do (if we don’t count the one when you get married). Fear is the biggest impediment. In order to overcome the fear, you may want to develop a new set of beliefs. Patience is a virtue so try to exercise it during the transition to your new profession. Any long lasting change takes time to grow and get carved in you. For example, when you study for a new diploma, you might need to invest at least 3 years of your life. The steep learning curve in the beginning may be damn scary. Don’t worry too much! Beginnings are difficult, even the beginnings that you cooked up for years. The effort of learning will be compensated by the authentic joy of doing something you love doing.
When you make the first step, believe from the bottom of your heart that you will succeed and trust that God will support your initiative. If you’ll say to yourself that you’ll succeed many times, you’ll end up believing it!
Optimistic beliefs are the remedy for the inherent fears that some of us have when we start a new chapter in life. Be kind to yourself and accept the moments when fear is taking over. It is human to be afraid, so smile at your fear. It will go away so it’s important to stay focused on your short-term goals. For example, financial insecurity may be a recurring fear. Provided you quit your job, the financial responsibility for the family rests upon your spouse. Again, think positively: this is only temporary. Trust that the Universe will unravel to you the opportunities that you need at the right time and place.
Support from family and friends is needed like drinking water in hot days. Start talking with them about your fears and your plans. Since people change, you may be dismayed to discover that the persons who you thought would support you, turn out to be judgemental. My mother thought I went all nuts when I told her I am thinking of a career change. Reassess the relationships you have with the dear ones and keep on collecting members for your support group. Another option is to join initiatives like B.J. Fogg’s Tiny Habits – if you have the opportunity (http://www.oprah.com/spirit/The-Fastest-Way-to-Make-Change-How-to-Change-Your-Life/2). But if your spouse supports you, you don’t need anyone else’s support. Of course, there is a bonus if you have several persons’ support. More shoulders to cry on, in your moments of despair.
When you finally make your decision public, the other small steps will follow more smoothly. You may find useful Robert Maurer‘s six general strategies to tackle the change: 1. asking small questions to get rid of the fear and become creative; 2. thinking small thoughts to develop new skills and habits; 3. taking small actions that guarantee success; 4. solving small problems even when you are overwhelmed; 5. rewarding yourself or others; 6. recognising the small but crucial moments that everyone else ignores.
Once the fear is under control, you’ll feel your wings spreading. You are a butterfly in search of new knowledge, new people with whom you can cooperate and jobs to suit you. Your life enriches as a result of the new professional relationships that you are building.
You grow and glow as your new career kicks off. Expect that there will be challenges but they’ll feel less heavy. You finally do the job you believe in! Good luck!