You Always Have Choices
You’re in your early 40’s. You have put your entire life into your career. You have reached a point where you have a certain level of success and maybe even job security. And…you decide to leave everything.
You leave the countdown to retirement and that good package waiting for you. You leave a certain level of earned respect and a bit of daily control.
When you tell your friends, family, the soccer moms and dads you chit- chat with while you pick your kids up from practice, you see that look on their faces.The ‘’have you lost your mind? Did you get fired? Did you lose your mind then get fired?’’ look.
I became quite accustomed to that look for some time after I left teaching after 15 years. I truly liked teaching, but I had made a deal with myself long before deciding to leave. The deal hinged on three realities. Becoming any one of the three was my deal breaker, at least for me, at least in this career: time to do something else.
Reality One: You get to a point where you come home every day frustrated and exhausted or just plain old numb and dumb.
RealityTwo: You no longer can put forth the energy required to do the best you possibly can, consistently, daily. You begin to coast, putting more energy into reaching retirement than what you do daily.
RealityThree: You feel that you don’t have enough control in your job to make the difference that needs to be made, or accomplish your goals.
I had made this deal with myself; however, I’m not suggesting that if you qualify for one or three of my realities that you leave your profession like I did, to become a children’s author, nonetheless-like I did.
WhatI’d like to suggest is conducting some serious soul searching and pinpoint your current latitude and longitude, then try to picture where your next position should be. If you can’t see your next place, or if you doubt there is a next place, a desirable place, then try and list the pros and cons of your current latitude and longitude.
Then try to pin point what exactly is holding you back or sticking you to this point like a thumbtack on a map.
Then ask yourself some very real questions. And do honor them with the best answers you can provide yourself.
- What can you do to change any of this?
- Can you take on some additional training, align yourself with different people, take on a new inititiative, account, program, something to spearhead, something that matters to you.
- Base it on your strengths and skills, your talents and interests. How can you use them better?
- Relate what you have to offer to your businesses/organizations bottom line.This will help get you support if you decide to take action.
- Especially take stock of all of the training, skills, and strengths you have and have built over the years. How can you use them to your advantage, use them differently?
- Can you do anything to reinvigorate yourself, your career? What can you do to get to that point-get you moving again, you know the place that you catch yourself daydreaming about, thinking about more and more.
Now, if nothing works, remember, you still have choices
- You can leave your business for another or you can change titles within your business or organization.
- You can go back to school, or you can do something like I did: pursue a lifelong dream if you have one.
- Mine was becoming a children’s author. I’ve done that. I have an award winning children’s chapter book and working on the follow-up series. I have a great publisher.
- I’m reinvigorated, happier than ever, and am now doing financially great as well. I see the potential to make much more in the future than I ever could as a teacher.
Remember you have choices…always. At this point in your career, I imagine you have many skills you’ve built, skills you can use to do other things, seek other pursuits, seek other careers. You know…that one, the one you dream about when nobody is around or when you get a chance to breathe a little during your day.
Yes, changing like I suggest here is not for everyone. It’s drastic. It may not make sense for you or is best for your family. But, for some…it may be the best choice.Like it was for me.