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WHEN IT’S TIME TO MAKE A CAREER CHANGE

A housewife in her fifties and a mother of four started on a fitness program as a pleasurable pastime activity. One year later, she became a bodybuilding champion.

Whenever I read articles like this one, I question myself whether it is time for a revision. A great number of people would find that statement foolish, still I’m convinced that if you’re not number one in your profession, it’s time to consider other career options, for you’re supposed to do something pleasurable.

This might sound ridiculous for ordinary mortals that are taught to believe that not everyone is exceptional – especially not them. In order to protect us from disappointment, our parents and teachers have been telling us that the majority of people, including us, needs to be simply irrelevant. However, they were mistaken – every single person has the potential to become a champion if they make the proper choice. The only reason people fail is because of the wrong choice of career path. For a natural born tennis player, it’s unreasonable to expect of him to cook like Jamie Oliver – he should start playing tennis instead. In turn, a second-rate chef could easily become the ATP’s number one. Similarly, if a girl that longs for a career in modeling prepares exceptionally tasteful food, chances are she’ll never succeed in the fashion industry, even if she’s stunningly beautiful. Why ? Because she is, in fact, a chef.

We’re all irreplaceable. And if there’s no profession for us yet, we can invent one.

Am I giving my best?

“For the past 33 years, I’ve looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ’If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today ?’And whenever the answer has been ’No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.“

-Steve Jobs

I assume that the misery a person experiences in marriage without love couldn’t be much different from what a person senses in a “loveless“ career. Having a job you hate and sleeping with a man who disgusts you ought to be identical situations. How does a person that does awful things for a living differ from a person that is married to another only for their money ?A lack of passion in professional life, just like in a loveless marriage, causes a feeling of painful emptiness, fatigue and apathy.

When I’m too lethargic to question myself, I usually say: “I’m okay with my job. Not that I’m particularly excited when I leave for work, but I certainly experience no difficulties doing it, therefore I love it in a way.“ The fact is, I’ve created a habit of doing it without paying attention to its shortcomings, so I don’t feel pain nor joy. And when I’m particularly nervous, restless and tired, I repeat: “I do my job perfectly. Seriously. My clients and colleagues know that.“ However, I’m not relieved in any way after that. The feeling that I’m trapped never goes away.

I do my job perfectly, indeed. The problem is that the lack of complications doesn’t equal an ideal job. Every intelligent, dutiful and attentive person can be taught to work properly almost anything. So, with years of experience, the person is already aware of all their duties and the quickest way to fulfill them. There are no bad surprises. They feel cozy, carrying out the tasks, satisfied with little effort, whilst not having the need to achieve more. The hard truth is that the person is in fact, half-asleep and sooner or later they will fall asleep completely.

Can I say that my performance at work is the optimal? Even when I receive praise from my peers, I find it hard to believe. Even more important questions are: “Am I am giving my best ? Am I achieving the maximum of my creative potential and do I feel to be in the right place?“ I stopped answering those questions with “Yes“ a long time ago.

Secret wishes

Women who married for money eventually begin fantasising about other men, which is natural – human beings need to be loved. Likewise, a person unsatisfied with their job probably yearns for a fresh start. However, that internal conflict can last forever without a sign of resolution as a result of the existence of countless self-deception strategies people utilise all their lives.

I needed to be fair to myself. What am I longing for? If I’m still attracted to a job I’ve been dreaming of during my teen years (but wasn’t in a position to develop that propensity for any reason), is it time to do it? Yes. Should I focus on hobbies that I enjoy and should I dare to turn them into a profession? Yes. It is that simple. However, in certain cases, people are not able to detect what they’re longing for at all. They experience a strong sense of dissatisfaction, not knowing which way to escape. If that’s a case, they should consider career options that they had considered when they were much younger. When we were kids, before we were reshaped by considerations, we knew precisely who we were. Preferences we’ve exhibited then, are probably the ones we still have.

Banish all the fears

The wish for a fresh start ought to be stronger than the fear of failure. If it’s not stronger, I should banish all fears by doing a reality check. I need to become aware of the things that I truly need to fear. To face reality. A woman who married for money doesn’t have the courage to leave her husband and start a brand-new relationship because she financially depends on her spouse. Although dull, her current life is safe and secure and her well-being is guaranteed. Or is it? What if the husband from the story, living with a woman who doesn’t love him, which he can sense in one way or another, becomes displeased, more and more every day? His wife is lovely, yes, she is loyal, yes, she’s a caring mother, yes, but there’s something definitely wrong. They’re not connected. She’s not dedicated completely. They live like roommates who have sex occasionally. One day, he meets another woman. She’s enthusiastic, playful, inspiring, in short, she’s like a breath of fresh air, so he falls in love with her and leaves his wife. It doesn’t sound impossible. On the contrary, it sounds predictable, doesn’t it?

The same way, people doing a job they’re not genuinely fond of are one step away from madness. In a loveless profession, you’re not truly being yourself. A steady job equals steady income. If it lasts for years, it provides the sense of certainty and therefore people rarely wish not to maintain it. However, if they don’t genuinely enjoy it, chances are they’re going to lose it someday anyway. Yes, they’re familiar with their job at the moment, and they consider themselves relatively successful, others too. On the other hand, for how long will it last? Times change and jobs do too. Possibilities grow and techniques advance on a daily basis. If I don’t love my job, I won’t be able to keep track of improvements, simply because I won’t be fully present and concentrated. At any moment, somebody superior may come along, someone who loves their job, and who is inspired to achieve exceptional results due to that love.

That’s the situation I need to be afraid of, not the fresh start. Fresh start difficulties are much less jeopardising than the risk of being a lousy worker. Fresh start fears are irrational. The fear of not achieving obvious progress is realistic.

Don’t give up

Every person has the ability to achieve everything they long for. Human beings are gifted with all the capabilities needed to achieve every single goal in the shortest possible time. If they’re not successful in it, it’s because they try to achieve something unimportant, something they, in fact, don’t desire. In order to not be a loser, a person should do only one, yet crucial thing – to wish to be a winner. It sounds untrue, since there are a lot of bitter stories about unfulfilled dreams all around the world and throughout the history of mankind. However, a majority of people (if not everyone), that hasn’t succeed in their efforts, are those who  made a fallacy in believing that their current goals are their true goals.

It’s not enough to assume that I wish something. I need to be exclusive and absolute in my craving. That craving is the source of inexhaustible determination. When you come to that point, nothing will stand in your way.

Don’t stop until you get there.

Yes, it is that simple.

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