We all find ourselves at a crossroads from time to time, and often the direction you choose is evident, and other times it can be hard to commit to a decision. Career crossroads can be some of the hardest to navigate, especially if you feel unfulfilled in your line of work and the career progressions you have made have been less than satiating.
From my journey, I studied Marketing and International Business. Although I have enjoyed the work, I had to do some soul searching to realise I was dismissing my passion for working in the field of counselling. So due to redundancy and a global pandemic, I decided to take a leap of faith and start a Counselling Diploma. Here is how I came to that decision and gave me the confidence to take a leap of faith.
Identify your passion
At the ripe age of 18, upon graduating from High School, the next rite of passage was to go to university, and the notion was to do something that was going to make you money generally. I knew then that psychology fascinated me, but being young and erring on the side of caution, I went down the more traditional business route.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy marketing, but after some years, my desire to work in the well-being space has never gone away. At 24 years old, I questioned if I had missed the boat to go back and study… ridiculous, I know, especially considering that my brilliant mother, who has no former territory education, went to university at 48 years to study dental. She was the reminder I needed. It’s never too late to seek out your passion – you just need to identify what exactly it is you want and go for it!
Understand what it will take
Now some leaps may be less scary than others. Perhaps it is upskilling or slightly deviating from the core foundations you have built. For others, it can be a complete recalibration of their professional journey. However big or small, you need to do your research.
You may need to go back and study, relocate, reduce to a part-time job for the meantime – whatever it is, get it down on paper. Make a list, weigh up your options, research, and brainstorm different approaches, and when you’re ready to, open up to your support system. Once you verbalise your desires to someone else, it makes it more real, and it allows you to gather other perspectives.
With some luck, I have landed in an ideal situation. I am the Marketing Coordinator here at MADI, where I can apply and build my current skillset, and I love what I do. This job allows me the freedom to study simultaneously and, given the nature of the business, has helped me immensely with my studies and opened my eyes to possible roads my Counselling Diploma could take me that I hadn't considered before. The ability to merge these two worlds has provided me a whole new perspective on the scope of roles out there - and that is exciting!
Don’t get discouraged
Sometimes people don’t get it, which is fine; it is not your job to convince others. I remember when people asked how my mum was doing, and I would enthusiastically tell them how she had enrolled in university and made a courageous effort to better herself. The responses were a 50/50 split between the “good on her, that is amazing” and “really, why? God, I couldn’t imagine doing that at her age”. Luckily my mum is determined, strong, and was finally putting herself first for once. She is so close to graduating, and she doesn’t regret a thing.
Taking a leap of faith is daunting and scary – but as Theodore Roosevelt said himself, “nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty.” I guess what I am saying is that going to an unfulfilling job is hard, and so is taking a risk to pursue something you love – choose your hard.
We do hope this blog helped anyone out there, thinking about or in the process of taking a leap of faith in their career. You got this!
If you have found yourself at a crossroads and need some help, we offer a wide range of career coaching options that could fit your needs. Book a free 20-minute clarity call to see how we may be able to help you. There is absolutely no obligation or pressure to work with us; it's just a chat to see if we can provide guidance and connect.