Not so long ago, I found myself in a situation where I had to change careers.
Not just get a new job, but a new career.
I had been a successful business owner and massage therapist for 15 years. I was my own boss and I was happy. The future was bright.
Then one day, my career path changed
I was hit by a drunk driver at 11 am in the morning while taking my son to preschool. It was the scariest experience of my life. Thankfully, my son was ok. Unfortunately, I was badly injured.
Over the next few weeks, I realized I was not going to be able to return to my career as a massage therapist. The physical demands of the job were too much for the condition I was in.
But I could not afford to stop working, nor did I want to. I was angry, devastated, and terrified of what my future would hold both personally and professionally.
Time for some serious introspection to determine my next career move.
What did I love about my former career?
More than anything, I loved that I was helping people. Day in and day out, being of service.
What career choices would offer the same job satisfaction?
I knew whatever I did next, it had to be in service. Doing good for others.
What kind of job is going to work with my specific limitations and needs?
I needed a job that would allow for flexibility so I could focus on getting better.
Luckily, there was something in the back of my mind
I frequently told myself I would return to my former career if I ever retired from massage therapy. I had been in the staffing/recruiting industry in the years before I started my practice.
I loved it. It was extremely rewarding to help people find gainful employment. So I started there. Fast forward to today and I am in a job that I love with the flexibility I need to take care of myself and my family.
Of course, this is a simplified version of what making a career change looks like. I share my story because, I did it. I changed careers at the age of 45.
I overcame many challenges and struggles. I found a career that makes my future look bright again. You can do it too.
How does this look for you?
After you answer the above introspective questions, consider the following if you want to make a career change.
- Why do I want to make a change?
- Will this new career satisfy what my old career doesn’t?
- Does this new career align with my core values and ignite my soul?
- Is this a realistic change right now, or do I need to obtain more education/training?
- Do I have the financial resources and support from family/friends to make this change?
- Who do I know in this field that can offer honest insight and perspective?
- How can my previous experience help me make this move?
- What struggles can I predict and how do I minimize these struggles now?
- Does this new career have long-term opportunities for growth?
- How can I best use my network to land a new career?
When you are able to be honest with yourself and lay everything out on the table, a picture will start to develop.
You will be able to see a clear career path
Consider your options, listen to your advisors, and take your time. That said, follow your gut and enjoy the process!
This is an exciting time and you too have a bright future!