Wanting to change job or profession in a radical way is not uncommon in many people. Professionals who have spent years working on one thing, suddenly discover that their passion is something else, nothing to do with what they have always been doing, and don’t see the way, because of the great impact this radical change of activity may have on their lives, to achieve it.
Personally it has happened to me, moving from the engineering field to the “directly helping people” field (through coaching, alternative therapies, through writing books and articles and blogs like this one), and, it is curious how in many of the cases I have seen, the professions to which one wishes to reach are quite related to activities that allow the total expression of oneself: writing, painting, composing music, helping others, etc. I don’t think it’s a coincidence, but I’m convinced that more and more people are looking for the most appropriate expression channels to express their hobbies, talents, values and abilities, and with what we feel comfortable, and that’s why there are more and more brave people willing to leave their comfort zone and undertake the path to that new profession that really fulfills them.
Between two worlds
The problem with these changes is that, as we begin to create our new profession, we still have to maintain the old one, in most cases, in order to continue to have the economic security and stability that one always needs. So, we start writing at night, we compose and play music with friends over the weekend, paint one afternoon or another, or volunteer at one place or another when we can. We try to grow the part of the profession that we want little by little, until it takes on weight and rises to the level of the profession that we now have. So what happens then? We enter the limbo. We enter into a situation in which mentally are between two worlds: our current job that carries the inertia, responsibilities and activities that it has always entailed, and the new work or profession, which has grown to ask us for part of our resources.
We find ourselves writing twice as many hours, spending absolutely every afternoon painting pictures, composing music every night, etc. But that also disorients us, there is no dominant ”profession” in this sense, and we begin to complain that we have no time at all, that in our current work we are burned, that we want to leave that one in any way to dedicate ourselves to what we really like, but we still cannot, because even the scale is not tilted enough on the side of our new profession to allow us to leave the old one. A mental block occurs, and from that moment on, neither profession advances in any way. We’re stuck.
Taking a “mental” decision
It is clear that at “material” level we cannot yet live 100% of what we want, and that’s why we cannot yet leave our current work, but that does not have to mean that we remain in that mental “limbo” stagnant. We have to make a decision, make a change and stop identifying ourselves with who we were (even though we are still doing it), and start identifying ourselves 100% with what we want to be. From now on, we have to think about ourselves and introduce us to others as that painter, writer, coach or musician (or whatever), who, at this moment, works as an administrative, engineer or whatever. Because that scale is totally imaginary, and as an imaginary being, we just have to put more weight on the side of what we want to be so that it leans there.
I mean that you have to start seeing yourself, talking about yourself, treating yourself the way you would do if you were already being and practicing your new profession. Do the mental change, stop identifying yourself with the old activity. Even if you still practice it, you are no longer what that profession represents, but you are part of the new one.
Even if it may seem silly, putting your new activity, in a mental way, as the priority one, the one you are, that you will come to live from sooner or later, eliminates all the stress that generates every day having to do something we don’t like, and waiting in the afternoon to do what we want. I’m just doing a job that serves me as a tool (economic in most cases), so I can actually dedicate myself to getting what I wish.
If you are between two worlds, get out of the limbo state, decide what you want to be, and put it as your first priority, while gradually built the foundation that will allow you to live from it. At a time when something has not yet been achieved, acting like it had already been achieved, at mental and personal level, requires more courage, but it is the only way forward the direction in which we want.