Many of you have admitted to me that what you wanted to do when you were younger, and what you actually ended up doing, have turned out to be two very different things.
Some of you wanted to do something artistic, but were advised by well meaning parents to go where the money is. Some others wanted to study in a certain area but didn’t get the entrance marks so settled on something, anything, else. And some of you actually nailed it – going into a field that you loved and were passionate about – but were so good at it that you got promoted into a managerial position and went on a tangent further and further away from your first love.
Whatever it was that side tracked you – is now the time to pivot and head back in the right direction?
Before you can answer that question, you’ll no doubt need to shut down a whole lot of voices in your head. You know, the ones that say but what about all those years of training and experience? You can’t just throw them away! Or, but you can earn good money doing what you know, if you start again you’ll have to go straight back to the bottom of the ladder.
As practical as those voices may be, are they necessarily looking after the real essence of who you are? And should you let them win?
If you’re currently your family’s breadwinner, then changing tack now may not be an option, but if you’ve taken time away from your previous work to raise your children, and you don’t have to get a job tomorrow, then do you think it’s reasonable to take a bit of time to consider what it is that might bring you fulfilment, that will be worth leaving home for and jumping through all the hoops that will no doubt be placed in your way?
You’re no longer that bright-eyed 22 year old, wondering where your life is going to lead. You’re now a mother who knows yourself just that little bit better. You know what work you’ve loved and you know what you hated. You know what you were genuinely good at, and you know when you were faking it. And you also know when you’ve looked at the career that someone else has with envy. Perhaps that is what you should pursue now.
All your life there have been signs pointing to what your soul feels most deeply connected to. Often you’ve had to ignore them. Sometimes because of circumstance, like needing to move for your partners job, and sometimes because you’re scared of them. You think that’s what a lucky few get to do. It’s too late for you, you’ve already started on another path.
One of the wonderful things about taking time away from your career to have children is that you have now officially stepped off the path that was leading you in a direction you didn’t necessarily want to go. You can go join another path, one that leads you to a place where you will be doing what you want to do now for you.
I’ll leave you with one question to help you decide if now is the right time for you to pivot.
What will happen if you don’t?