Core of Change

The Journey of a Change in Career


I’ve noticed a far too common theme. There is a trend where people in their 30s, 40’s or 50s, are deeply dissatisfied with their work situation and don’t know what to do. Most of these people suffer silently, feeling hopeless or even desperate knowing they have bills, mortgages, and families. They feel trapped and don’t know where to begin.

If you find yourself showing up to work year upon year, dissatisfied and feeling empty. The pain and discomfort your job is stealing from you can’t be understated. When someone decides to make a change in career paths, it usually is after they have suffered longer than necessary.

So, if someone’s work conditions are causing them distress, what are the reasons for staying in that career? We may assume that it is solely for money and financial reasons. Leaving the financial security of a familiar role to the uncertainty of a new future can be cause for concern. However, there are many other factors that often don’t get considered.

That is:

  • We’ve tied our sense of self esteem to our career identity.
  • Many of our connections and networks are associated with our job situation.
  • We feel that leaving job security could be an unfixable mistake.
  • We feel that if we suffer through a bit longer, there will be a payoff.
  • There is a “momentum” we carry.
  • We are proud and feel like people are relying on you.

If you feel called to a change in career, you may experience some of the following:

  • A feeling of dread the day or night before the workweek begins.
  • The uncertainty of how to use your off-work hours. You may frantically try to “balance the time scales” for the hours spent at work by completing endless tasks or attempting to escape.
  • As though your work issues are impacting your health and relationships.
  • Feeling a weight on your soul.

Common Misconception: Work is something you have to reluctantly do. That's why they have to pay you for it.

Reality: When we proactively engage our careers in a way that's meaningful, they can be a source of joy. Although there will always be aspects or tasks that aren't our favorite, we can do them with the intention that they are helps craft our version of a happy life.

There’s a false assumption that many people adopt. The assumption is that suffering at work is a necessity. It’s a sacrifice we must make for the things we enjoy in life.

I can dispel this myth. There are plenty of examples of people whose work is their vocation and source of joy. We often reserve this idea for artists or celebrities perhaps, but engaging in fulfilling work isn’t just a pipe dream for some lucky other person. We can all change our views about work and challenge our career beliefs. We can drop these beliefs that don’t serve us and pursue a change in career trajectory. One that allows for our version of happiness.

Common Misconception: A change of career is a matter of making a decision.

Reality: Making a major life change like one in your career can be a major disturbance. Everything in our life is in a sort of balance. When you make a major shift, this can throw off our equilibrium. Leaving a job, even if it's a source of discomfort can cause us distress. You may find it's easier to go back to the familiar and comfortable.

Leaving a job position you’ve held for many years can be disillusioning. You likely will go through a form of grief.

As a career development professional, I help someone who’s lost hope in their career:

  • Reflect and assess their current work situation.
  • Reel them in from the “tuned out and trying to escape” mindset.
  • Transition them from an emotional “fight or flight” state to a reinspired proactive decision maker.
  • Allow them to powerfully move forward towards fulfillment and a meaningful career.

When we are chronically unhappy and feeling empty in our career, it is because we are being called to do something else. There is a part of us that knows a change in career will challenge us. The change of career will allows us to offer something in a way that we aren’t currently doing.

Before becoming a career development professional, I viewed my career as a means to an end. My thinking was, once I had a career, my professional development was over. This was short-sighted thinking. The reality is that we are always changing and growing and in need of new challenges. A job, like everything else has a cycle and is constantly in flux. When things get stagnant, career apathy will be inevitable.

Common Misconception:  If I just knew what else I could do for work I would be doing that.

Reality: You aren't doing your dream job simply because you haven't found it or thought of it yet. A dream career isn't an act of discovering, it is an approach or mindset you engage in daily.


A common thing I hear when someone is unhappy in their job is; “well, I wouldn’t even know what else to do.”

The journey to a change in career doesn’t begin with brainstorming job titles until we find inspiration. It starts by assessing the current career mistakes that are being made.  We address those mistakes and make a plan of action by setting goals and making decisions. Only then will you be able to powerfully move forward with abundant possibilities.

Back when I was running my home services business and things were beginning to feel stagnant, I knew I wanted to get out of the industry. I felt stuck and didn’t know where to begin. When I thought about a change in career, I did so with an escape mentality rather than one of curiosity or exploration. Mentally I made the mistake of putting myself back in the shoes of my younger self. The version of me back when I first got into the workforce. I only saw the options, skillset, and experience that he had.

A job or career is something that should uniquely fit for us each individually. We each have our own version of happiness and fulfilment. We must actively cultivate and craft our career commitments to fit our unique needs. It is common mistake where people make career decisions based on how their social circle, family or society as a whole will view them. This inevitably leads to unhappiness and dissatisfaction and we wonder why we're unfulfilled.