Prior Career: Sales and Marketing Manager
What is your purpose and passion?
I am most fulfilled when I am creating something. I am least fulfilled when I don’t have an opportunity to produce something tangible. Right now, I am a licensed inventor and I am a writer of children’s books. Both allow me to fulfill my desire to create.
Why did you decide to change careers?
While outwardly successful, I was very unhappy in my career and now I understand why. I had no opportunity to express my best skill set! The company I worked for was very happy with me and compensated me well, which made me feel confused and guilty for not being fulfilled. Ultimately, I wanted an opportunity to figure out how to enjoy work, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around that while steeped in my previous career.
What steps did you take to change careers?
I took classes in product licensing so I could “prototype” a career as a product developer. I enjoyed the challenge, and felt very rewarded when I got my first licensing contract. Regarding the children’s books, I kept writing and submitting and writing and submitting until finally I now have an agent and hopefully (fingers crossed) a book sale in the future! Both of these things required me to grow a thicker skin and become less afraid of the word “no,” which was in itself, very valuable.
What do you love most about your current career?
I kept trying to tell myself that I had to whittle my interests down to one career, but that just doesn’t work for me! I like doing both! They are both creative in very different ways, and they nourish that part of me that hungers for a creative challenge.
How do you feel since your career change?
I feel much more excited about my future! I am learning constantly and growing as a writer and an inventor. When I think about it, I had stopped growing in my last career, and it feels energizing to learn and grow!
Did you find career change to be easier or harder than you expected? Definitely harder. I wish I had done it sooner! I think the hardest part is peeling away the expectations (mine and others) and deciding that, no matter how difficult, it is worth it to find some way to contribute to society that doesn’t drain you but in fact, energizes you. Working outside my talents and skillset was a huge drain on me. I always felt a bit like a fraud, but the worst part was not having the language to understand what was making me unhappy. Now I do!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Hiking, fitness, photography, cooking (sometimes, when in the mood), reading, exploring.
What advice would you give someone considering a career change?
It’s always a good idea to invest in yourself. The more you understand yourself, the better your chances of designing your next career will be. You can’t be in the driver’s seat if you don’t know where you’re going. (Well, you can, but it won’t be very productive). If you’re not in the driver’s seat, then you’re just passively going along for the ride and you may end up somewhere you don’t like. That’s why it’s better to not give that control to anyone else, and design your career for yourself based on your likes, skill sets, talents and the world’s needs. If you are in a place where you cannot simply state what you want to do (I definitely could not before working with Career Design), then it would be invaluable to explore that further with people who are skilled at teasing out the truth, and who have your best interests at heart. Heather and Hollis are very good at what they do, and they have a passion for helping people – a great combination!
Change is: Necessary for growth
Jobs are: Necessary for money, but can also be outlets for satisfying and meaningful contribution
Life is: Fascinating
Final Thoughts: Don’t let fear drive you to action or inertia. Fear shouldn’t be driving, anyway. I definitely wasted some time in “paralysis by analysis.” 😉