The 21st century has radically changed the way we live, work, and navigate the path from youth to retirement. More and more often, grown adults find themselves switching professions mid-career. Sometimes this happens out of necessity, and others it happens because people wake up one day, look around, scratch their head, and ask themselves – like the character in the Talking Heads song –
“Well, how did I get here?”
Sometimes the answer is unsatisfying. Sometimes people have no idea how they got there. Things just happened. One life decision led to another, and there they are. The day they ask themselves that question is the day they realize they’re not where they want to be.
Make Big Changes Carefully
Whether you change careers or life circumstances by choice or by necessity, it’s important to do it the right way. I’ve met many people who do it the wrong way – and by that, I mean they do it too quickly. They take a rip-off-the-bandaid approach because they think a clean, sharp break is best, or because they’re seeking instant relief from their immediate circumstances.
That’s not wise.
That approach is almost always based in fear and made on impulse – and one thing adults know is that fear-based, impulsive decisions almost always backfire. Things change for the worse, self-confidence plummets, and then there they are again, wanting desperately to make another change.
Don’t be that person.
If you want to change the default circumstances of your life, do so deliberately. Be careful and smart. Keep your job so you can support your transition. You need that stability. Stability enables you to stay composed, creative, patient, and precise. Keeping your job is not a compromise and it’s not selling yourself short. Nor is it an indication you lack faith in yourself or the opportunities the universe presents: it’s simply prudent.
When the big pros make changes, they don’t chuck everything out the window for fear of missing the moment or losing their place in line. They make a solid plan and create ideal circumstances for a smooth and easy transition to the next chapter. They take it step-by-step. They maintain their confidence, composure, and mature champion’s mindset. They don’t cave to impulse, and neither should you. Be like them: when you want to transform your life, don’t throw it into disarray. Make a practical plan, stay the course, and your changes will stick for good.