What does it really mean to “have it all?” When it comes to knowing what you want from your career when do you know it’s time to make a change if you feel you are not on the right path? Having all that you want and desire from your work life may seem like a pie in the sky concept that no one can ever truly achieve. Being in the right place at the right time, or being very lucky in succeeding in your career are misconceptions that roll around in your head when you battle the choice between keeping your day job and pursuing your dream job.
When it comes to thinking you may not ever be able to pursue what you have always dreamed of doing, think again because there is a way to have it all and not give up your day job to accomplish it:
- Think Before You Act: When it comes to making a change into a career that you always wanted to try but didn’t have the courage to pursue, make a well-thought out plan of action before you actually strike out. Having an idea of where you want to go and how you want to get there will make any transition easier, even if after the analysis you decide the timing or the plan is not worth the risk. Visualize where you’d like to be in the next 2, 3 5 years after you have made the move to a new career. Picturing what it looks like will help you map out the road to accomplishing your dreams. Jumping into something head on without thinking it through maybe a dangerous choice when you are trying to make a change into something you love. Leaning on a group of advisors, or maybe speaking with a career counselor may lead you to make a more informed decision even when you don’t have all the pieces to your career puzzle mapped out.
- Talk It Over: Nothing helps you process an idea, thought or plan more than having a confidante or a group of people you can discuss your plan with. It does not mean you have to take anyone’s advice because in the end the idea to make a change is really only your decision. Having someone you trust help you think through the pros and cons of a choice to change career direction even if one of those choices is to quit your job to go back to school or to stick with what you have until you are better prepared to make a change. Confiding in someone you trust will help you discover your true motivation in wanting to switch careers and pursue another path and may help you to decide if you are considering the change for the right reasons.
- Look Before You Leap: Once you’ve gone through the process of thinking through your decision, it might be wise to test the waters a bit before making the leap. If you were thinking about a career change, is there something you can do in your spare time that will allow you to dabble in your new area of interest without sacrificing your rent check? Maybe moving home with mom is not an option until you figure out what you want to do, so what can you do to explore your desire to be a movie producer, songwriter or athlete without quitting your day job? When it comes to wanting it all maybe you can gradually explore your options by volunteering in your field of interest, cultivating a new group of friends in the area you want to explore or even taking some classes or webinars to learn a little more about the field you are interested in pursuing? Just because you may have feelings that you are not living up to your full career potential does not mean you have to jump ship and dramatically switch directions.
You can still pursue your dream job or career passion by keeping to a plan, having a trusted group of advisors and making sure you watch where you are going no matter how anxious you are to make a change. You can have your cake and eat it too one bite at a time and by being smart about it.
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