It seems like the more people I talk to nowadays, both online and off, I find more and more are struggling with the notion that they don’t like what they do for a living, or the direction their life has taken. They never imagined that this is what they would be doing with their life. They’re resentful, or tired, or bored that day-after-day they have nothing to look forward to. They’re sick of their routines, and are just going through the motions.
Many have jobs of necessities to pay the bills, or they’re unsure about staying in the field they are in. Some are homemakers. Some wish they could stay at home. Even the ones who may like their professions are often worrying about the opportunities for growth and advancement, don’t like the company they are working for, or are worried about the possibility of finding another position elsewhere if they leave. Others still don’t like working for someone else, and wish they could be their own boss.
All of them have one thing in common though: they aren’t actively doing anything to change their situation. They’re resigned to the fact that this is “just the way it is” and “there’s nothing they can do about it right now.” Some may hold out hope that “someday” things will get better, or maybe “later down the line” they’ll be able to try what they really want, but most seem to have just given up completely, at least for “right now.”
They’re in a slump.
But what do you do? How do you get out of it?
The first question you need to ask yourself is: “Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life?”
If the answer is “No” then it’s time for a change.
I know that’s perhaps one of the scariest thoughts to entertain, but if you truly want to be happy, then you need to put the excuses aside. If you let the fears control your action than you will always convince yourself that now is not a good time. If you try to wait until you have enough extra money first, you’ll find you never have enough money, and therefore you’ll keep telling yourself to wait, when the only person you’re putting off is yourself.
We spend more time out of the day working than we do at just about any other activity, so if all that time is being spent simply to manage and get by, you’re never going to feel happy and fulfilled. Doing something you love and enjoy for a living, on the other hand, is more rewarding then the monetary compensation it provides.
Yes, you need the money, and giving up the job you have and need is a scary proposition. We’re not suggesting to leap before you look, but at some point you have to make a conscious decision to do something else.
The ideas of starting over from scratch, transitioning from one type of position to another, or changing to a new field entirely, are daunting – but you can do it. You have to believe in yourself. If you’re not on your own team, who else will be?
First, sit down and have a real heart to heart with yourself. Don’t just ask yourself what you’d rather be doing, or what you really think you want to do, ask yourself what you love. Don’t even think about job opportunities right now, this is about self discovery. What are your passions? What are your interests and hobbies? What gives you joy?
Now really think about these things.
Now think about possible jobs that incorporate those things you’re most passionate about.
Don’t worry about how difficult it may seem, or how far-fetched you think it might be; really think about what your ideal job or career would be within the areas that bring you joy. What would you love doing, simply because you love it?
Next: research, research, research! No matter what your dream, there is information to be had and opportunities to be found that you may not have even known existed.
Perhaps you need to go back to school or take a training course for the field you’ve chosen; look up vocational courses or college classes nearby. You may be able to attend school at night or on the weekends, or even online. There might be financial aid and grants to help you out, and depending on your situation, travel opportunities and internships as well.
Perhaps you love food, but don’t want to work in a restaurant, or you’re not interesting in going to culinary school. Can you bake? Cook? Maybe you can start your own catering service or sell home-made baked goods to local businesses.
Have you always wanted to work with animals, but don’t know where to start? If you’re not interested in veterinary medicine or zoology, but still want to work with critters, look up rescue organizations and animal sanctuaries. They always need volunteers and more helping hands. If you call and express your willingness and desire to be involved you might be surprised to find many have internship opportunities where you can learn the skills and gather the experience to land a paid position later, it just takes a little time and commitment.
Love music? You may not be able to form that famous rock band you once dreamt about, but there’s no reason why you can’t learn how to become a music instructor.
Passionate about art but can’t paint a wink? Consider becoming an art history teacher, or working in a museum or art gallery.
There are solutions to every problem. Some may be more difficult than others, but until you get over the apathy and decide to be an active participant in planning your own future, you can’t expect anything to change.
Your dream job very rarely just falls in your lap by doing nothing.
Whatever your passion, there are opportunities, but it’s up to you to look for them and seize them.
Sometimes there are simple solutions, and sometimes they take a bit more effort, but anything worth having is worth working towards. This is your life, and if you want to make the most of it, you need to follow your dreams. Even if it means struggling for a while in the pursuit of your own happiness, it’s worth it.
Ask yourself this: What are you waiting for? If not now, then when?
In the end, wouldn’t you rather be doing something you enjoy every day than continuing in the same old slump wondering when things will get better?
Still Having Trouble Getting Out Of Your Slump?
Really ask yourself what is keeping you from following your dreams and finding a career doing something you genuinely enjoy. Don’t just assume it’s too hard, but try to determine what are the real obstacles holding you back.
What are they? How do you think you can overcome them?
Share your answers and observations in the comments below. Perhaps you’ve already made a change and are on the path to pursuing a vocation doing something you truly love, we’d love to hear your experiences as well. Do you have any further advice or tips to share?