This is a funny topic for me. If you remember, about a year ago, I posted about my epiphany… to follow my heart and my dreams. To not work that mundane 9-5 just to pay the bills, but to find something bigger and better, to be my own boss, to move to another state and start over. And now here I am, another year later, back in the same spot I was so determined to leave.
Practice what you preach, right?
Well, I did and I didn’t… I suppose. I took that leap and started a new job. I explored a new industry for a bit and I realized that it probably wasn’t for me and it wasn’t everything I thought it would be. I learned a lot about myself and life, though. Like, for one, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side!
Being your own boss is really cool and I have a newfound respect for anyone who works for themselves. It seems like it would be so awesome and easy, doing whatever the hell you want to do all day, having no one to report to.
On the other side of that, you also have no one writing you a check every two weeks, no one to keep you accountable to actually be productive, no health benefits (yeah, I kind of realized those are a little important LOL), no PTO and no structure whatsoever. It takes a lot more hard work and discipline to work for yourself and actually make it than it does to get that 9-5, lemme tell ya. It takes a lot of balls to just dive nose first into entrepreneurship. I don’t think I have them quite yet.
While I was learning all about being a real estate agent, I started missing a lot about my “old life”: my paychecks, my PTO, my health benefits, the security, the stability… Never thought I would say that. Especially since I was so determined to prove to everyone and myself that its stupid to follow society’s rules about corporate America. [The other thing I didn’t fully realize was that if you have plans to buy a house, you shouldn’t leave your stable job and consistent pay just yet, because you need that background to get you pre-qualified for a mortgage. If you work for yourself or are just commission based, you need to have 2 years worth of commissions/pay to show a loan officer that you are actually making a reliable income. Obviously we had plans to buy sooner rather than later, so I realized it was just not the right time for me, and that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be in my head. It was scary.]
I also realized that while it was cool that I was taking a leap of faith to try a new career path completely unrelated to what I went to school for, and in the realm of being my own boss, I still wasn’t being true to myself. Real estate isn’t and never was a passion of mine. Taking that time for myself allowed me to discover what I am passionate about and also tasks that I didn’t love as much as I thought I would.
My Passion is and always will be in the realm of fitness and nutrition. How do I know this? Because it’s a topic I genuinely enjoy researching and learning more about. I love to practice it and I love to share what I know with anyone who wants to listen. It makes me happy down to my core.
Now, for the tough question.
Would fitness and nutrition still make me feel happy if it were my only source of income?
I’m not sure, to be completely honest. And I won’t know unless I decide to try one day. For now, I know that being able to write about it and share what I know with the world, is enough. There is no pressure on me to make money from engaging in something I love and that is what is right for me at this moment. I have considered getting certified in personal training and nutrition and taking clients online, so maybe one day I will work towards that on the side. 🙂
So, how do you find the perfect career?
- Ask yourself what sets your soul on fire. What makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing during your free-time? Would you still enjoy doing that if you added the pressure to make a living from it?
- Figure out what you don’t like about your current career path. What are you doing now? Make a list of the pros and cons of your current career/job. Determine what you would change to make your current job your dream job. Is that possible, or is it the nature of what you do in general? Are you really miserable and depressed every day because you hate what you do, or do you just need to work under better management/for a better company? I realized that my job is much more bearable when I am working for a smaller company who appreciates the work I do. I am not working at a big corporation anymore, and it’s made such a difference on my happiness.
- If you have an idea already, figure out if you would need to go back to school. Sometimes it isn’t as easy as quitting your current job and trying something new. You may need to go back to school altogether to pursue your new dream. Is that feasible for you? Maybe you have a mortgage and too many bills to pay to drop your job and go back to school full-time. Are there alternatives that will get you close (certifications/associates degree/online degree)? Look into those, too!
- Think you have it figured out? Shadow someone in that field/job. If you think you know exactly what career/job you need to be happy, don’t just jump the gun like I did. Reach out to people who are in that field/job and see if you can shadow them for a day or two, or even a week. If you’re willing to quit your job entirely to pursue this, you can definitely take some time off from said job to explore it more conservatively first. You may feel anxious and determined and have that “I know this is right for me” attitude, but that is just excitement about doing something new and leaving something you hate. Don’t rush it. Do research, and make an educated and rational decision.
I hope my personal experience and 4 pieces of advice help you in your search for the perfect career! It isn’t easy, but it will be worth it. Life is too short to be anything but happy!
Have you had a similar experience? I would love to hear about it and what you did to find happiness. Leave a comment below!