If you’ve been considering a career change but feel uncertain about it because you’re already midway through your career, I’m here to tell you, you can. And how do I know?
Because I’ve done it along with countless others who had those same apprehensions. Nearly 10 years ago, I left my thriving corporate career feeling undervalued, burnt out, and ready for a change. I decided to start my own consulting business instead of jumping back on the corporate ladder and without the question, it was the best decision.
But of course, there were those nagging questions. Should I keep climbing the corporate ladder? Is there more out there for me? What if I don’t succeed?
You’ve probably been asking yourself those same questions for quite some time, but it's time to stop asking questions and start taking action. In Season 1 of my podcast, Fork in the Road, I sat down with a variety of women who reached their own fork-in-the-road moments where they had to decide to pave their own path or stay where they were.
Many chose the former (including myself) and the others decided to make where they were better for their lifestyle. These courageous women made the leap with 5 key mental, emotional, and physical changes rooted in going after what they truly wanted.
Today, I am sharing the 5 key things I learned from the guests of our first podcast season and how you can apply them to your own life.
1. There Really is More Out There for You.
When you’ve reached a certain level of success, it is easy to get comfortable with where you are. But sometimes, even when you’ve reached the “top” you have that nagging feeling of wanting something more.
You need to lean into that feeling because I wholeheartedly believe that if you desire more, then there really is more out there for you. And your “more” can look completely different than someone else.
For some, it looks like quitting your job to start a business. Other times it looks like working with your employer to create a more balanced work schedule that allows you the time freedom for family, hobbies, or side hustles.
In episode 5 of Season 1, I chatted with Darien Sutton, who decided that she needed to reduce her work schedule in order to lead a more fulfilling life. And you know how she did it? She just asked.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
And then there are callings that are pulling you towards something completely different. Leah Frazier of Season 1 Episode 2, was a successful attorney who couldn’t shake her passion for fashion. So, she went for it. And now has a thriving business.
Whichever path you choose, the key thing to remember is that there is more as long as you go after it.
2. Don’t Forget to Pause.
I can’t tell you how wildly important it is to not jump from one thing to another. You have to allow yourself time, even if it’s just a little, to make sense of all the ideas playing around in your head.
This means you should take a moment to reflect and clarify your intentions. The pause is an essential step towards self-discovery, which is necessary in order to achieve a purposeful life.
During the pause, you should think about your ambitions and things you want out of life so you can be more intentional in your day-to-day decisions.
An intention is simply clarity about what you’re hoping for. You can set intentions by clarifying your values, what's important to you, and what matters most. Figure out what you’re good at and use all of those elements to your advantage.
3. Just Start.
The most important thing you can do to make progress professionally is to take action. If you remain stagnant, you’ll end up wasting more time than you realize.
Sometimes, starting looks like taking an immediate leap of faith but other times it looks like starting slow and steady. Consider your lifestyle and responsibilities when deciding how to structure your next move.
Slow and steady could look like starting something new as a side hustle at first (Leah Frazier, Ep.2). Taking an immediate step could look like walking right up to your boss and asking for a change in your schedule that offers more work/life balance (Darrien Sutton, Ep. 5).
Whichever you choose, remember that none of us has all the answers. We just have to start.
4. Find Your Champions.
It is no secret that a support system is critical to anyone’s success. We literally cannot do it alone.
If you find yourself trying to control every aspect of your life, you’ll end up burnt out and struggling through each day on your own. Especially, with increased expectations from our jobs and society as a whole.
The mental load that we (and especially, women in particular) face can be overwhelming and distract us from our greater purpose. That’s why we need people in our corner to support us and push us toward our greatest potential.
Your champions can look like a spouse, colleagues, or even hired coaches. Whichever you have at your disposal, lean into them and use them as leverage to propel your career forward. These are people who genuinely care about you and want to see you succeed.
You need them to help you have clarity, to help you recommit to your intentions, or to challenge you when you need it most.
5. Have Faith in the Universe.
Sure, this may seem cliché but it’s true! I want to introduce you to a quote from my friend Toria Frederick who joined me on the very first episode of Fork in the Road.
“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor”
I love this quote because it forces us to assume the positive. It forces us to believe that no matter what, things are going to go our way.
This rang true for each woman I had the pleasure of getting to know over the course of Season 1 of the podcast. Each one of them came with their own unique struggles that could have easily held them back from what they were meant to be.
From an abusive relationship (Hannah Kay, Ep. 4) to family health scares (Samara, Ep.6) to everyday obstacles like losing a job due to the global pandemic (Anne, Ep. 3), it takes a certain level of faith that everything will work out to stay committed to change.
And it’s not just about having faith. You’ll find that the universe is telling you in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that it’s time to move on. You feel physically uncomfortable, you feel anxious, you feel unfulfilled, etc.
Lean into it and give yourself permission to choose differently. With these 5 mindset shifts, you’ll be able to confidently go out into the world and share your gifts.