12 months of grief series: month 6 – changing career paths

Over the last year, I have been very intentional with examining my life and making changes when needed. The last six months have seen monumental change for me. I got my fitness and health regime back on track, I finally acknowledged my undiagnosed mental health issues, I am focusing my energy on spending quality time with my family, I am posting on the blog on a regular basis and I’ve made a new commitment to financial freedom. There was one aspect of my life which wasn’t working and that was my job.

When it comes to our careers, I think most of us use “should” as a driver and measure of our success. I “should” be in this type of position, I “should” make x amount of money to be happy, I “should” have a stable job, etc. How do you know when its time for a drastic change? For me, I used my mental health as a measure. This post won’t be me shitting on my previous job – there really isn’t a point in doing that. My previous position allowed me to take two months off when I needed a pause on life. I had an incredibly encouraging manager who supported me both in and out of the office. More so, this post is about figuring out when its time to make a drastic move.

My drastic move was moving from full-time union position into a part-time non-union position. If you work in a union environment, you know how hard it can be to get a full-time gig. You may be reading this and seriously confused about why I would leave this security. Let me tell you why – I could feel my mental health slipping back into a familiar dark territory. How do you know when to make a drastic move? Is there ever a ‘right’ time to do that? I won’t have the answers for every situation. I do know life is too incredibly short to be unhappy and stressed. With any major change, sacrifices will need to be made. What are you willing to give up to be happy? What can you do today to help your health?

Before I made the change to part-time, I asked myself a series of questions:

  1. What financial implications will this change have?
  2. How do I alter my budget?
  3. Who (besides me) would be affected by this change?
  4. What conversations do I need to have with them?
  5. What are the pros and cons of this change?
  6. What is my gut telling me? What is my heart telling me?
  7. Why do I feel that this is the right change and the right time?

This has been a change I’ve been wrestling with for about a year. Rest assured, this wasn’t an emotion-driven decision. Yes, emotions have a role to play, but they cannot be the driver of your decision making process. Since making the change, I have noticed a lot of positive changes. As per my previous post, you’d see that I have a love of shopping. Well, since making this career change, I have a renewed will-power to be WAY more budget conscious. When you feel fulfilled (in my case, my work) I don’t need to fill the void with material things, like clothes or home décor.

You’re in charge of your own happiness. As much as we wish our partners, spouses, kids or friends can do it, at the end of the day, YOU are the captain of that ship. You are much stronger than you think, and believe me, once you make that change, your grief, frustration, stress and sadness will become less raw.  Surround yourself with your village to bounce off ideas, thoughts and advice. Ask them for their feedback and what they’d do in your situation. Trust your instinct and with some sacrifice, personal assessment and communication, you’ll come to the right decision.

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

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