We all have that one friend that talks about how much they hate their job. They clearly are miserable and talk about doing something else on a regular basis. Maybe they hate the city they live in and have talked about moving for the last five years, but still haven’t done it. Maybe you are that friend.
So what do you do when you’re seemingly stuck on a life path you no longer want to be on?
Self help and career advice articles everywhere give you the steps to achieving change in terms of concrete ideas and execution, but few address the planning and personal stress you will incur when you flip your world upside down. As brave as we all are, or like to think we are, changing your entire life circumstances is stressful even if it’s what you wanted all along.
If you are that friend that is making a major life change, the first thing you have to do is mentally prepare.
This sounds self explanatory but the amount of people that begin to take action before considering what they actually want is greater than you would think. Let’s say you’re considering switching careers or moving to a new city. These are all huge events that determine our life path. If you fail to consider obstacles you may encounter it will be impossible to accurately be aware of the challenges ahead of you. As challenging as clearing the upcoming hurdles will be, it’s a lot tougher when you don’t see the hurdles coming.
When it comes to making a major situational change in your life, also consider what your strengths and weaknesses are. If you aren’t thrilled with harsh winters, moving to New York City probably isn’t the best idea if you have other options of cities to live in. If you are an incredible theatre performer but love working in film L.A. and NYC are both options, but so are some smaller cities like Chicago, Atlanta or New Orleans.
Do your research.
Evaluate all of your options before making a decision. For example, rather than assuming NYC is the only city for you, consider which other cities offer opportunities that benefit you most, such as the bustling life of New Orleans, Atlanta or Houston. You never know what you will uncover. Evaluating your options also requires considering things like your budget, will you have roommates, do you enjoy the types of job positions available locally? Ask the questions.
Consider what you want and why you want it.
Once you have seen what your options are, have a clear picture of what you want. Having a vision that is concise and predetermined will help to avoid frustration, disappointment and dissatisfaction down the road. Are you frustrated with your current job or just having a rough week? Do you hate your career path or is it the current company your working for that isn’t working for you? Knowing what you want and why that is will help instill confidence and encourage you to persevere through this time of considerable change.
There’s no time like the present.
Remember that many life decisions aren’t permanent, so take the leap, test it out and if you hate it, make a change. Trying it out and realizing what you changed wasn’t for you can be better than staying in a situation where you feel trapped. Life is short, so don’t get stuck somewhere you don’t want to be.