I guess turning 30 is not just about running your first marathon, buying your first anti-wrinkle cream and hosting dinner parties to show off new table decor. It was at this age that I realized I had let fear and lack of self-confidence paralyze me from pursuing something I had always known I wanted. I can tell you, somewhere between graduating college and pouring my heart and soul into a grueling and thankless job, I had stopped learning and being inspired. It didn’t take long for me to realize, I only had myself to blame. I was determined to funnel my energy and efforts into something more fulfilling and pursue my passion. Those who know me would say, I have always been a practical person — that is, until recently.
Fuel The Fire
Maybe you missed your calling in life. Or maybe you’re fed up with hearing the phrase, “If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life.” I know that always made me a little bitter. In any case, you’ve done some serious soul searching and decided to make a change. Whatever the reason for this career overhaul, use it to fuel your motivation in this next journey you are about to embark on. Make pursuing your passion a priority and don’t look back.
Speaking from personal experience, taking control of your destiny sounds pretty badass but it can be extremely scary. It’s important to remember to trust your decision. Besides, fear may have played an integral role in delaying this decision in the first place, I know it did for me. It’s time to be bold, take initiative and get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Plan Of Attack
Upheaval of your current career to pursue your passion takes a certain level of strategy. Proper planning is essential. You know that monthly budget you were going to make to find out where that $500 bucks is disappearing to? Make it. It’s crucial to know your financial standing to make informed decisions about your future. Stick to your budget. Ok, so no more weekly trips to the mall or impromptu nights out in the city — Boo Hoo! We’re making big moves here, this will be a small price to pay when you are finally happy getting up to go to work in the morning to do what you love. Some financial clarity makes it easier to choose a path to achieve your ultimate goal. These paths will be different for everyone. Maybe your dream job requires you to go back to school? Or maybe good ol’ You Tube Academy will suffice? Either way once hired you may be starting at the bottom of the totem pole. It will be beneficial to have prepared for this adjustment.
Pretty Ballsy Huh?
This may sound silly now, but it’s useful to tell friends and family about your decision to make a change in your career. “Why?” you ask — So that when you blow off your friends to attend a local meet up to begin networking in this new field, they are somewhat understanding, or fake it at least. Maybe you missed Aunt Gertrude’s birthday brunch because you’ve locked yourself in your room determined to teach yourself how to code? At least grandma will be able to explain to everyone that you’ve finally decided to follow your dreams. I actually had one last hoorah with some friends before diving into the deep abyss of dream hunting. It will be time consuming, sacrifice is necessary.
Everyday I’m Hustlin’
Ok, so no one said this was easy, but with a plan in place and everyone on board you’ve cleared a path to make this happen. This is where you eat, sleep, and breathe your passion. Self-discipline is your best friend. You’ve come this far, don’t half ass it. Resources are plentiful and many of them are free for that matter. If you enrolled in school, give it your all. Whether you begin listening to podcasts, following new blogs, or join the library to further educate yourself on the subject, immerse yourself in what you love. Reach out to individuals in the field to let them know you admire their work. Find a mentor, make connections and build relationships with people you can learn from. When you feel like the walls may be closing in on you, take time for yourself and remember what led you to this journey. Stay inspired and persevere because it’s all worth it.
In the words of Penny Lane, “It’s all happening.” Ok, so maybe not that quickly but you’re well on your way to making huge strides in your career. Every day brings you one step closer to landing that super cool job you fantasized about and until recently you never thought it was possible. Take chances and apply to jobs you may not be completely qualified for. This is your chance to seize control of your future, don’t underestimate your capabilities and ability to learn. Be authentic. Transparency about your journey takes courage but your decision to make such a profound change in your life shows determination.
The Juice Is Worth The Squeeze
What I have learned is that admitting I had allowed myself to stay unhappy in my career for several years and avoid change due to fear was tough. Taking initiative and making the decision to rectify that, was even tougher. Hitting the reset button to actively pursue a career that drives me, a career I always knew I was meant for but too scared to go after, was the best decision I have ever made. My only regret is not making that decision sooner. Through this journey, I’ve found that the gratification felt through pushing yourself, taking on new challenges and following your gut is way sweeter than that of staying comfortable in complacency. It may be too early for a classic success story, but in my mind, I’ve already accomplished what I set out to do. The rest will fall into place.
I hope these tips will serve to make your journey a bit smoother. Don’t be fooled there is nothing anyone can provide you to make this journey an easy one.