How resolving to change careers can feel like leaving a committed relationship
As a geologist who graduated in 2014, the past 5 years of “work” have been beyond discouraging.
“Maybe it’s time to start thinking about doing something else with your life,” a close friend suggested.
STAGE 1: RESISTANCE
The push-back. Somewhere deep inside you know that it may be time to leave this career ‘relationship,’ but you refuse to acknowledge the fact. You recall the time, money, and sacrifices; the blood, sweat and tears, and you refuse to walk away. The idea of some other career is insulting to you. There is nothing else you want to do.
STAGE 2: BARGAIN
Okay fine, you take a bit of time to humour other possibilities. You start with the role you already know, and you consider another industry. Perhaps even another city. In my case, I tried on a few alternative industry t-shirts that did not quite fit: environmental science, mineral exploration and finally, my pipe-dream, geothermal.
While contemplating what you can do, perhaps you land on what you want to do, or better yet, what you should do…
STAGE 3: SURRENDER
You’ve decided to take the leap. In my case, goodbye rocks, hello holistic nutrition. This moment, when I turned my back on the past 10 years of attempting to be a geologist, was painful. Something similar, perhaps, to walking away from that ex-boyfriend that I knew in my heart of hearts did not quite fit the bill.
STAGE 4: CLARITY
You did it! You left that career you married and now everything starts to make sense. In hindsight, you realize how long and hard you were fighting for something that was ultimately not the right fit. Not who you are. Not paying you for your inherent value. Not capitalizing on what makes you, you.
STAGE 5: HARMONY
When you finally leave that professional mismatch, the Universe moves everything in place to support that brave step. As you move toward a future that aligns with WHO YOU ARE, everything begins to fall into place. You are no longer swimming against the current but stepping into your flow.
Now, I am not saying that a career change is for everyone, but you know who you are. And yes, breaking it down into 5 stages makes it seem like nothing, but I assure you, it is NOT nothing. Is leaving a marriage nothing? It is painful and humbling, but there is so much more waiting on the other side.
As the cliché goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea.