I talked to a client recently who was mere moments away from letting her boss know she was leaving to go and pursue her passion, whatever that may be. She was nervous. She didn’t have a crystal clear plan about what the next step was, she just knew staying put wasn’t a long-term solution. She was afraid he would question her and want to know more about her plan and she wouldn’t have much to say.
I can totally relate.
When I left public relations to find my passion and do it, I didn’t have a clue about the next step. I knew another day where I was wouldn’t get me any closer. More importantly, I knew that staying another day would continue to drain me of the energy I needed after work to search for my best-fit career. So I did something that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend: I made up a story.
When I told people I was leaving and they reacted with a “what?!?!” and “why?!?!?” I told them I was going to pursue my passion for the Spanish language and get a Master’s in Spanish. This wasn’t totally wrong. I did speak Spanish fluently and it was a consideration at the time, but deep in my core I knew that wasn’t it either. The Spanish plan was more for them than it was for me. People need to hear that you have a plan to calm their own insecurities.
What would have been even more bold would be to say, “I don’t know what I’m doing next, but I know I’m going to figure it out.” I met a Rice University student who did just that. During the onslaught of senior-year job offers from prestigious consulting firms, she stood resolute and told friends, family, and any one who asked, “I’m not sure what I’ll do next, but I’m continuing to search for the right fit.” She graduated without a job (oh, the horror!) and continued to search — using her talents and values as a guide — and landed an amazing job doing something she’s passionate about and getting paid to do it...at 20-something years old. So inspiring.
The truth is, it doesn’t really matter if you have a plan. If your finances are in order and you’ve got the drive to figure it out, you can work almost anywhere making next-to-nothing while you figure out your next step.
What’s most important is that you listen to your Inner Voice.
When it’s time to go, it’s time to go, and that’s enough of a reason.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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