It’s Okay to Change Your Mind About Your Career
What to do once you decide your current career is no longer working for you
I’ve been nursing for about 2 years now. I had a plan. Be an emergency nurse. Be a travel nurse. Go back to school for health informatics to learn how to bridge the gap between healthcare and technology. Then, the pandemic happened, and I realize that I no longer want to work in healthcare.
All these plans went down the drain after experiencing the brutal reality. You realize that you don’t want to work with the elderly. Or that you don’t want to work with people who don’t respect others. Or that you don’t want to work with the homeless population. Or that you don’t want to work with people who feel entitled and abuse the (Canadian) free healthcare. You realize that you don’t want to work in a profession where you are on your own because no one else will support you. After some time, it becomes too much.
Sure, I’ve learned to become the most resilient person I’ve known myself to be because of this whole experience. I applaud myself for being able to last this long despite the circumstances. Initially, I thought that I was being entitled. How can I want to quit nursing? “Your job must be so fulfilling,” people would tell me. And the truth is, it’s not. I’m burnout.
You’re allowed to change; it’s called growing
But despite all of this, I didn’t want just to quit nursing completely. I like some parts of it, like the pay and the flexibility with the schedule, or when you care for really sick people.
But I know now that it’s no longer a long-term option for me, and I need to find something else.
I’ve been working on myself to feel at peace despite what’s happening at work or around me. And I’ve accomplished that. I feel at ease, and I have a sense of inner calmness. I no longer hate going to work. I thought that by ‘fixing’ the way I think, I would no longer be annoyed, frustrated and angry about the job. For the most part, it worked.
But I realized that I was forcing myself to stay in something that I no longer want to keep doing. I don’t feel excited to go to my job. I don’t want to be in it anymore. Reframing my thoughts about the job wouldn’t help — it was nothing more than a band-aid fix.
That’s when I realized that it’s time to move on. I used to like it being a nurse. But now, I don’t. And that’s okay. It’s okay to change your mind about your career and find something else that you like. That’s the whole point of life. You get to try things, and when you realize you don’t like it, you are allowed to move on. No matter how many times you try to fix your relationship with it, sometimes it just doesn’t work.
Here’s what you can do once you decide your current career is no longer working for you:
Explore your interests while working part-time
Whether you want to stay part-time in your current job or search for another decent part-time job, take advantage of the free time that you have. I have reduced working my hours significantly while I figure out if I like writing, filming, or both.
Quitting your job with no plan is not a good move. It’ll make you worry about not having an income. It’s better to find a decent job that you don’t mind going to and look forward to spending time on your day off interests.
Tip: To figure out your interests, observe your daily habits, and take note of the things you like to look up online.
Commit to doing one of your interests, one at a time
I have a lot of interest. I like watching youtube videos, reading blog posts and listening to podcasts. It was hard to pick which one I could start with. But, the easiest I could start with was blogging. I only needed a laptop and wrote on topics I already knew.
It’s so easy to get stuck in the deciding phase that most people don’t take any action. We overthink, and then years go by, and you still haven’t done the thing that you wanted. The sooner you pick one thing, the sooner you’ll realize you don’t like it and try something else.
Once you’ve picked one thing to explore, commit to it for at least a month. I thought I’d hate writing, it’s been two months, and I still look forward to doing it every day.
Tip: Always document your journey, whether it’s private or online, about what you’re learning. People love to watch people’s journeys. If you don’t post it anywhere, you’ll be amazed when you realize how much you’ve grown.
Learn and master the skills by investing in yourself
I’m a big fan of online courses, especially from those who have gone through what I’ve gone through. They know and overcame similar struggles, have gotten results, and now they’re teaching those things to others.
Buying online courses is an investment for yourself. They will save you time, especially if you’re trying to reach your goal at a specific time. If you have no deadline, then I’d consider taking your time and figure things out yourself.
Tip: There are hundreds of online courses out there. If you are considering this, make sure that you’ve been following that person’s work for a while. If you like them and know who they are, you can most likely trust their course.
Do some research about how people are making money with your interests.
How are people making money online with the interests that you chose? Doing my research, people are into weird things, and people will buy into weird things. I recently read an article where this girl who’s addicted to cups has made her $5,000.
Whatever you’re into, trust that some people are interested in it and will be willing to pay for it. Of course, you’ve got to do your research.
Tip: Google is your best friend in the next while, and possibly forever if you take on this journey. YouTube has thousands of people telling you how to make money doing certain things. Do your research and pick what to pursue.
I don’t have a clear path of where I’m going, but I know that I want to learn how to make money online using my skills. So, I’m investing time, energy and money into learning how to do that. I’m using this journey as an experience that I can share with others.
People should be able to leave their jobs if it no longer serves them. It’s going to not be the best situation for a while, but as long as you’re doing something to get out of it, you know that it’ll be worth it. Because the choice is to be stuck there forever, and for me, that’s terrifying.
There are endless opportunities for everyone, and sometimes it can be hard to pick. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you choose now because always you get to change your mind.
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