If today were the last day of my life, would I want
to do what I am about to do today?
You have lived about a third of your life, and suddenly you have realized that your job doesn’t bring you joy, instead it makes you feel tired and leaves you with a nagging sense of pointlessness. You have been cherishing an idea of a career change for a while, you want to turn your world upside down, give up everything and go on to do something that will bring you satisfaction and ideally а decent income as well.
Is this a wish, a whim or a fantasy? Not at all. In fact, most people in their 30s or so, no matter how successful their careers are, can experience a sense of disappointment about their job and a burning desire for change. It may have something to do with an infamous midlife crisis – a time when a person looks back on the period he has lived so far and reevaluates his accomplishments and mistakes, realizing that a lot of time has been wasted, whereas what has been accomplished seems far less then what could have been; moreover, those long-held life beliefs and attitudes about life seem no longer satisfactory.
If you have come to realize that here comes the dead end and life has turned into a joyless day-to-dayness – you should move forward, change your life and fear nothing! Take action! Imagine how painful it would be to realize in another 20 or 30 years that you have spent your life and somehow never got around to fulfilling your dream.
However, you should act properly so as not to crash into an iceberg of difficulties, which certainly emerge with any kind of changes.
- Don’t jump off the deep end, even if you really want to. Instead of quitting your old job – the one which you are sick and tired of, but which also brings you steady income, you should try to combine it with a new desirable activity. At least, until you can earn enough credibility and income which will let you cover necessary expenses.
- Find yourself a «Guru» – a person who can share practical knowledge with you. You can surely get knowledge at university, although, the educational programs followed at most universities are ancient history, being focused on studying theory and far from real professional practice. A great expert, however, can become your mentor from the practical point of view.
- While acquiring knowledge in new area, don’t dwell on theory. Practice is everything. Try to apply the received knowledge immediately. As soon as you have read any interesting material, share it with someone who might be interested. For one thing, chances are, you will remember the information much better; moreover, you will figure out without delay all the ins and outs, that you might have missed at first sight. On top of that, having shared your knowledge, you will attract attention to your personality.
- Do not be afraid to tell others about what you are currently doing. Tell everyone you know what you have started to work with, how it is going and using clear examples describe what kind of work you are doing. Our mindset is wired in such way that we are often afraid to talk about ourselves, show our work or product. «What will others think about me?», «What if nobody finds this interesting?». But, in Europe the situation is quite the opposite: people are not afraid to speak about themselves and even exaggerate their skills a little bit!
- Chat with like-minded people. Take into account their experience, share yours, ask questions. Join any topic-related forums or group discussions, sign up for groups in social medias, attend various meetings, exhibitions and conferences! It is so amazing to share with people who are on the same page with you.
- Don’t fear criticism. «Well-wishers» are awake and they can’t wait to tell you how wrong is everything you do, and even that all this headache is pointless as eventually you won’t be able to achieve anything. Certainly, some will like what you do, and others will find it dull or even silly. But, it is impossible to be perfect for everyone. Accept only useful information which will help you get better in your profession, but for the rest of comments remain deaf.
- Don’t fear to be rejected. Rejection doesn’t mean that you or what you do is bad. Look at every refusal as a benefit for yourself; it simply means that you and the person who has refused have different paths to follow. You should keep on moving forward and looking for new opportunities.
- Nothing happens overnight. You won’t learn the tiniest peculiarities of work in one week. You won’t get 100 clients in one day. As in all cases, constant and meticulous work is needed. But it is truly said that «practice makes perfect» and «there is a proper time for everything». Always show up and do your work diligently, be patient and persistent, and everything will work out.
Remember that «Genius – is 1 % talent and 99 % hard work».
Let’s do it!
Translator Daria Samusenko
Author Elena Ustinova