I didn’t have just any corporate job. I had my dream corporate job. Or at least I thought I did. If I could have written my own job description (come to think of it, I think I actually did write my own job description, ha!) it would include almost all of my responsibilities at the time. If I left to work for another company, I'd leave to do the exact same thing. I left to start my own company and guess what? I'm doing a lot of the same things. I had that kind of corporate job. One that was a match for my skill sets, had growth opportunities and my colleagues were some of my best friends, truly. And yet, I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that it wasn’t right for me. I was still craving a career change.
That. That right there is what I call a total mind f*ck. You have a seemingly perfect opportunity but something in your gut is telling you to run. Ever been there? It’s the worst feeling when your brain conflicts with your gut. (which btw, “gut” feelings? They also happen in your brain! Weird.) I spent my days, weeks, months in a total mind f*ck for 2 years longer than I should have and let me tell you… “waiting it out” and not making a career change when you first feel the urge can even have an adverse reaction. It can do a number on your judgement, confidence, and motivation.
I wasn’t just questioning myself, I actually believe that I no longer really knew or trusted myself. That’s the harsh reality of overstaying your welcome somewhere – anywhere. (Could be a job. Could be a relationship.) My gut instincts were screaming at me to make a change and I’m pretty sure I ignored the screams so much that I silenced them.
At the time, I wouldn’t have known that I was “living out of alignment with my values.” (Who even thinks or talks like that in the real world?! - no judgement if you do) I only knew that I was unhappy; I felt ungrateful for having such a good job and being unhappy and I had spent more time complaining than getting to the root of the issue.
I don’t remember a singular crucial light bulb style moment where I decided I needed to rally and make a change but I know that as a coach, I felt very strongly about being congruent with my message and if I was going to coach people to overcome their fears and make a positive career change in their lives, I’d need to get to the bottom of what was going on in my life.
I made a commitment to re-get to know myself and I asked myself what came to be the 2 most important questions that lit a fire, brought back my motivation, and sparked my career change into entrepreneurship:
1. What do you want your day to day to look like? It sounds so simple, right? I’m a huuuuge goal setter. I set and re-visit my goals at least once a year and I make a vision board to accompany those goals. I want to be clear that I 1000% standby long term goals. However, for the purpose of getting myself out of this rut, I needed to immediately change my day to day and throw out my 5 year/ 10 year/ 20 year plan – because why bother with a long term plan if you’re not happy right now? This exercise gave me the space to see how I was spending my time vs. how I wanted to be spending my time. I learned that I want to be in charge of my own schedule, I wanted to coach people who wanted to be coached (not because it was in my job description.) I wanted to work primarily from my laptop, and I wanted to write. Those were all things that I wasn’t getting in my corporate job. Those things didn’t necessarily make it a bad job, it was just blatantly clear that the job was no longer a fit – I was swimming against the current.
2. And can you make money doing it? If the answer is yes, what are you waiting for – go do it! However, if the answer is no or yes, but not nearly enough, it just means you’ve got some more planning to do. I’m a realist. I can day dream all day long about what I want my day-to-day life to look like but I fully realize if it doesn’t bring in income, it aint gonna werk – for me. Giving up my full-time salary was no joke. I decided I wanted to work for myself, primarily from my laptop, coach independently, and write – oh and I didn’t even mention before that I also wanted to take a magical 30 days off of work entirely to “recover.” Those things do not magically bring in a paycheck and sometimes they don’t bring in money at all. I knew that making the leap out of my corporate job to entrepreneurship would be a huge financial risk and I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. This didn’t stop me from doing it. Getting real with myself about what it would take to actually quit my job, take 30 days off, and build my private coaching business was not easy but it was necessary for my happiness. This step allowed me to put a realistic plan in place and without that plan, I wouldn’t have been able to make a career change happen.
The moral of the story, folks? Listen to your gut. It has no capacity for language. (You won’t be able to rationalize it.) And it exists for a reason. If you’ve ignored your gut for as long as I did, take a step back. Re-commit to getting to know yourself again and rather than jump into major 5, 10, 20 year life plans, take a look at your day-to-day – start there. Start small. Start now.
Let's talk in the comments, below! Have you ever ignored your gut, overstayed your welcome, or felt like you're really in need of a career change & you're just not sure where to begin? How did you get out of it, what sparked a change for you? Really, dudes. Let's talk!