There comes a time in life when you may be feeling like you're stuck in your career and considering jumping into something new. Sometimes this happens when you've already clocked 15 or 20 years in a position, other times you may be just five years in and have come to realization that it's just not working for you any more. The good news is that it's okay to press reset on your career. We only have one life but you can have more than one career.
Many employees find themselves stuck in a rut 5-7 years after joining the workforce. They stay put, often thinking that they must stick it out with the job where they started, like their parents did. However, we're in a new day and age where employees are having two and sometimes three careers in their lifetime. Vera Wang started as a professional ice skater turned Vogue Senior Fashion Editor for 15 years. She then left Vogue to become the design director for Ralph Lauren and finally opened her own bridal boutique when she was 41, becoming the most prominent bridal wear designer in America. With three full careers under her belt, she amassed enough knowledge, wisdom and creativity along the way to win at her dream.
As a business coach, I've worked with several passionpreneurs who have taken a pastime activity that they love doing and transformed it into a viable business venture. When they come to me for advice on starting a business, they often express how they don't feel satisfied with their current career and are searching for more satisfying work. Though, the entrepreneur desire is there, many lack clarity about what they really want to do.
This biggest key to making the transition successful is knowing what you really want. Without clarity, you could find yourself in a tough crossroad with no real direction. So before making any moves get clear about what's next for you. Here's an exercise that I have my clients do when they are ready to make a shift:
1. Get five colorful file folders and title with the top five interests you have, no matter how different the topics may be.
2. For 14 days hunt and gather information to fill the folders with. Using every resource available, fill your folders with quotes, magazine tears, online articles, photos and artifacts that inspire you in some way. When the 14 days are up, you will have created five purpose files filled with clues to what you are most passionate about. You will have five folders full of information that surrounds your passion.
3. Next go through the folders and identify the things that make you light up, noting what you would love to do more than anything else. Out of the five categories you will begin to notice a theme and identify a niche that you are really are passionate about.
4. Start working on turning that passion into profit. You can do this by starting a side business or exploring other ways to monetize your skills and services.
With clarity of purpose, you can make a non-negotiable decision to finally go after your dreams, instead of shrinking back into a mundane career that you longer love. While the journey may not be easy, it will be very rewarding if you stay the course.