Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I want to speak directly to those of you who desperately want to make a change in your job or career. It's not just a case of "I don't like my job" but rather a deep knowing that you are not in the right place. You also have a deep knowing that there's something more out there for you. You likely feel physically drained. Perhaps you even feel you're in a toxic environment at work. If these things are resonating with you, read on.
I understand the desperation. I have been there. In fact, I was there for almost all 11 years of my 11 year career as a lawyer. I knew almost from the very, very beginning that it was not the right career for me. It felt like I was betraying my soul by staying in that career. That might sound dramatic but if you've been in my position (or currently are in that position) that phrase probably resonates deeply with you. Like I said, this isn't merely a case of "work stinks" but a much deeper issue. A complete and total mis-alignment that tugs at your heart strings and your soul each day. You feel lost. Misplaced. Like an outsider.
Here's the problem with desperation - it can result in rash and extreme behavior. You need only look to a dictionary to see that is true. "Desperation" is defined as "a state of despair, typically one which results in rash or extreme behavior." So my message to you would be this: resist the urge to pick another job or career and jump to it. Instead, make your mental health a priority first. Work on the issues around career that are coming up for you. Again, and I can't say this enough, this isn't merely a case of "I don't like my job," It's far, far deeper than that. And those issues need to be brought to the surface and addressed first. In fact, just like in a romantic relationship, if you don't understand the issues that led to your breakup, you're more likely to repeat them in the next relationship..errr I mean career. You get the point.
Let me give you an example from my own journey. One of the reasons I believe I was attracted to the legal profession had to do with my father. My father was a bit difficult to grow up with, and he rarely gave encouraging, kind words unless we did something great at school. I grew up thinking that "in order to make dad happy, I need to get an A on my exam." On a deep level, that translates to "I am worthy of love if I am a high achiever." Of course this conclusion is incorrect, but as a child, you don't know any better. You don't realize that your dad has issues of his own that are causing him to withhold love from his children (in my case, my dad had some mental health issues). This belief carried throughout my life and led me to be an A+ star student and perfectionist. I went to an Ivy League college, went to a top 25 law school, graduated in the top of my classes, and got a big fancy lawyer job with a high salary. Sadly, my dad's love was not waiting for me at the finish line. Nor was my own happiness. I am so incredibly glad that I worked with a therapist before I quit my legal job. I was able to understand my journey much more clearly. In particular, I was able to understand the reasons why I picked law as a career. This newfound awareness ensured that I didn't pick another career based on the same subconscious motivations. Instead I was able to get in touch with my true gifts, talents, and skills and pick a career based on those things. There's a much higher chance of success when you take action from that grounded, practical place, rather than from subconscious beliefs you don't even know are running (and ruining!) your life.
I hope this journal entry was enlightening. If this sounds like you, make your mental health your first priority right now. Changing careers can be a dramatic change, depending on your circumstances, and you want to make sure you're setting yourself up for success. Maybe you don't have deep-seated issues around career like I did, but you'll never really know unless you pause and explore it. You don't become desperately unhappy in a job by accident. That feeling of desperation is deserving of being explored. There might be important information it's trying to tell you.
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P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!