If you are considering a career change, talking about it with friends and family could be something you are dreading.
One of my colleagues asked me the other day, “How do I tell my spouse, who helped put me through medical school, that I want to leave medicine?”
Another asked me the same question from a different angle, “My wife is miserable. But how can we pay our bills and other debts if she quits her job?”
Any career transition is tough. Changing jobs or industries might mean you make less money – at least for the short term. It might mean a change in routine – going from Monday – Friday working 9-5, to working nights or doing shift work. Even if your routine gets better or your pay improves (and it often does!), you’re taking a risk.
Mentally and emotionally it can be even tougher. Many people don’t consider the mental and emotional toll it takes to leave the familiar and venture into uncharted territory – even if that familiar territory is either dangerous or toxic or just incredibly boring. People don’t consider the stress it will place on them to change their routine. And those with families have more than themselves to consider. Maybe a spouse will have to go back to work or you won’t be around to tuck your 5-year-old into bed. Those thoughts can be crippling enough to prevent some people from making a move. If you are able to overcome those potential realities, the next step is telling your friends and family – who will all want an explanation of WHY. Then they will ask HOW and will probably offer you unsolicited advice. Sometimes they have themselves in mind because of the effect they anticipate it will have on them. You’re no longer around to take your aging mother to the doctor on Thursdays or you won’t be able to cook the big meal for the Saturday evening family get together that happens once a month.
While your family and friends do have your best interests in mind, they will be skeptical, especially if they watched you spend 10 years of your life in your current industry and want to start over. Some may not understand the need for less money and more work life balance.
What if, instead of becoming worse, your situation and life actually gets BETTER? Consider for a moment, that your angst with your job or career isn’t unwarranted and that you could actually create a better life for yourself and your family? You could live where you want to live. You have time for hobbies. You have time and energy to take care of your health through exercise and stress reduction. You can attend your kids’ sports events and piano recitals. You could even be Jonny’s soccer coach.
I get it. I was there. That’s why this community and guided path exists. Sometimes all it takes is a nontraditional job or learning about a career you didn’t know existed. We are all either working through this process or have been through it. You are not alone. Join us to start purposefully creating the life you want.