Changing your mind about your career is A-OK!

February 15, 2011 § 21 Comments

Roses are red, violets are blue,

True love is scoffing a cream pie or two!

Bonne Hallmark day for yesterday, health warriors!

Being the big dreary cynic that I am I usually tend to boycott the whole mushy affair, taking my cut of the chocolate bounty and deflecting any stray sonnets that may be flung my way (ok, so no-ones ever written me a Shakespearean ditty, but if they did I would throweth it back in their face!). But raining on the love parade is a little mean even for me, so I decided to make amends with a big fat raw banana pie! Cos every man likes π.

I actually didn’t expect this baby to turn out so well, so in usual scatterbrain style I have no recipe. YET. But I do have a couple of (terribly lit) pictures to add insult to recipeless injury!

Kinda dramatic with the crazy purple background. We students improvise with whatever we have on hand…

…much like Bear Grylls, who we watched massacre an entire peruvian ecosystem, by candlelight. My sorta romantic valentine viewing!

I have a serious internal conflict raging in regards to Man vs. Wild. On one hand, I admire his resourcefulness, warrior-like wisdom and supreme indifference to personal hygiene/comfort… But the fact remains, my vegan soul cannot reconcile with his barbaric butchering of so many happy woodland creatures, merely for the purpose of demonstrating survival tactics in the unlikely event that you should wind up lost & alone in the middle of the Sahara. Cheers for the useful tips, Bear.

Here is another gratuitous picture of pie, with floral flourish. I’m embarrassed for myself.

Now that I’ve recapped my valentines pie triumph, I’ll be moving right along. What did you all get up to on Hallmark day? Do you celebrate it?

********************************************************************************

Yesterday, I received an awesome email/question from a friend (who I hope won’t mind me sharing) which I thought warranted a blog post. In a pistachio-nut shell, he is basically feeling a little dissatisfied with his career and educational situation right now, and knew I had gone through the whole quarter-life crisis, changing my life path scenario.

(FYI – for new readers, I was studying Film & French from 2008-2010 in an epic 5 year double degree, but halfway through realised I was not passionate about my studies and definitely had no inspiring plans for my future. I found my passion was health and after some tough soul-scouring, I left my degree to study Naturopathy. Result = happier, more energised, re-invigorated, life-addicted Katey!)

This is a simple outline of the steps I followed to make an educated, and ultimately life-changing decision about my future:

1) Identify your true feelings.

So you feel flat. Dissatisfied. Stuck. Whether it’s your job or your studies, try to identify exactly what part of the situation is giving you the willies.

  • Without reference to your boss/your lecturers/your uni/your finances, do you LOVE and feel passionately about your chosen area of interest or profession?

If the answer is yes, it’s clear that your unhappiness is circumstantial rather than intrinsic. With this in mind, you can work towards pinpointing and resolving the factors that are causing distress. If you have irreconcilable differences with your employer, perhaps it’s time to move on. I truly believe that our job should enhance our happiness, not be an obstacle to it. This may sound like a luxurious worldview, but the fact remains we all have a choice. Nobody determines the details of your life but you. If it means working somewhere nasty for cash in the interim, fine, but don’t sell yourself short and be absolutely confident in notion that you are a jedi-master of your own destiny. Wield the force as you see fit.

If the answer is no, then this can be a little scary. Like, holy basil the thing I’ve been working towards is suddenly kinda lame on closer inspection, scary. That’s ok! I’ve come to realise that very few people maintain a steady interest in one single area forever. Most chop and change around 7 times in their lifetime. Get your comforting statistics on!

So if you’ve realised that you’re deeply unhappy with your chosen area of work or study, move on to phase two.

2) Get your head around it.

I distinctly remember the night I was lying in bed thinking about my film degree, and the full weight of ‘I’m not happy’ hit me. It literally felt like a physical force. A jolt. A shock. Dare I say it, an epiphany? It was a fearsome thought that threatened to unhinge the doors of my comfortable little box in which I went to uni, zoned out in lectures and ignored the bigger picture. ‘Dropping out’ seemed like the habit of vague student drifters, not me with my inflated sense of pride and dogged adherence to the status quo.

If you have these thoughts but dismiss them as too implausible, really question yourself. Why am I ignoring my wants/needs?

The truth is, most people up-end their lives at some stage. You’re allowed. It’s ok. Once you’re honest with yourself and can sit comfortably with your new revelation, it’s time to get practical.

3) Logistics.

There is always a way of doing everything if you truly want to change. Now is the time to consider the boring stuff.

Research.

I immediately scoured the net to compile all my possible options for studying natural medicine. Remember to consider other locations and seemingly ‘far out’ prospects because you never know where your new life may take you! Be open. Ha!

Then, talk to all relevant parties. Phone prospective places of study, friends or family with knowledge/connections/experience, centrelink (or other government financial services that can assist you), universities, the higher powers that be…collate and dominate! Being armed with knowledge is going to make the plan seem less daunting, and perhaps a heck of lot easier than you initially expected. My mum said to me a while back when I was struggling with some random issue (not uncommon!) people are there to help you! Just ask. It’s so simple, but it really struck a chord. People are happy to offer assistance in any way they can – they don’t want to stifle or oppress you (unless they are an evil dictator) and can be an invaluable source of moral support.

4) Embrace freedom and liberation!

It’s intensely intimidating to fathom a sudden exit from the mould – but it can absolutely be done. The mind tends to over-inflate problems and new challenges to momentous proportions, ones which are decidedly manageable upon closer inspection. You’d be surprised of the support you’ll receive from others when you tell them your plans to re-direct the course of your life, and most will probably share similar stories of upheaval and change.

I’m happier than ever doing a new course that is actually interesting and invigorating – what a novel idea! Despite fears that you may be ‘too old’ or ‘too under-financed’ or ‘too scared’ to effect a dramatic change, really ask yourself why? Who says you’re too old? (There was a man who was 75 studying nutrition last year at my college!) What’s stopping you from manipulating my finances so I can get from point x to point y? What is life for, if not to unlock your passion and embrace every opportunity?

I think i’ve saturated you with enough motivational goo for one day, so I’m going to leave it there. But i’d be incredibly interested to hear from people who have made drastic life changes or who have advice for my awesome friend on finding career happiness!

Thanks for reading as always, and as much as I shudder to promote the holiday – you’re all my rosy valentines!

§ 21 Responses to Changing your mind about your career is A-OK!

  • squigglefloey says:

    Just found your blog! What a wonderful post about career changing. I’m going to graduate from my university in June and I have no idea what I’m going to do after I graduate! I’m a journalism major, so we’ll see where it takes me🙂

    • Katey @ Bonne Santé says:

      Thanks so much Floey!
      Congrats on completing your degree – things often have a way of falling into place and i’m sure you’ll land on something wonderful!

  • Eli says:

    This is very true especially for all of those out there that are finding out about raw food and getting closer to issues that are around food. The truth is out there we just need to inform ourselves and choose the best path that suits us. This is my case and that is why after I finish college I will try to work in the area of raw food and others associated with it.

    • Katey @ Bonne Santé says:

      Awesome! Working with raw food as a career must be amazing!I agree that engaging with our culinary choices can set the stage for contemplating larger issues in life.
      Thanks for commenting🙂

  • Hof says:

    Interesting read, enjoyed the way it is written. I found it funny, as today i started the process of evaluating my current employment situation and decided it was time for a change. I have begun looking at my options and how i would cope without an income for a while. It was intriguing how my mind darted off on all these new tangents for my future. Anyways nice blog! Keep up the good work.

    • Katey @ Bonne Santé says:

      Thanks Hof! Appreciate the blog love🙂
      Good luck with your decision making/plans for world domination! You’ll go far, kiddo.

  • I am still in the number 1 stage, where I love my job but not really. I want to have a life. I love food/health but do I have the guts to quit my 10 year career and start over. I feel like I am heading into stage 2 but still really stressed about the whole thing. Thank you for this post, I will be reading a couple times over.

  • Sarah says:

    Wonderful post! I am in a situation right now where I am dissatisfied with my work, but not necessarily my area of interest (environmental science), but sometimes it’s hard to differentiate. Especially in my field. When your sole purpose for choosing the field was to do good things, and you feel like you aren’t doing good things, then it’s sometimes hard to tell if things would be different elsewhere. I have worked enough in my field to be skeptical at this point. At any rate, I am going through immigration processes right now, so it’s this horrible state of limbo that won’t be resolved for TWO YEARS. So whilst I agree that we have power over our own destinies, I think it’s important to recognise that external factors can dictate a lot, particularly time tables!

    As a side note, I think that you are from Perth, and it just struck me – did you ever go to Madeleine David? She’s a vegan naturopath in Perth, and she’s amazing. I know you are studying to be a naturopath yourself, but if you ever want to share thoughts with another vegan naturopath, she’s an excellent one to contact! She’s got a website – madeleinedavid dot com dot au.

    • Katey @ Bonne Santé says:

      Sarah – thank you for the extremely thoughtful comment.
      I totally agree that sometimes it’s not as easy as just ‘choosing’ one way or another – and it sounds as if your situation has a lot of added implications that would certainly make it hard!
      I guess you just need to overcome the logistics and try to minimise stress right now. But what a fantastic area to work in! Best of luck getting everything sorted.
      Actually i’m from Sydney, but do love Perth – gorgeous city. Next time i’m there, I will definitely be visting Madeline – how awesome to find a veg-friendly naturopath! Thanks for the tip🙂

  • Amanda says:

    I just found your blog after reading your post on high on health. This post was absolutely perfect for me to read right now! I just graduated from college in December with an degree in Studio Art (minor in Photo and Art History) and I knew for the past year or so that I had no intention to go into the art world when I was done with college. I stuck it out and finished the degree since I was more than 3/4th of the way through with it and it’s good to be able to put down that I have a bachelors degree in anything on a resume… BUT then I had to figure out what to do… and actually, I’m still trying to figure that out. My health, the health/well being of others (including animals), and the health/well being of the planet are my passions and I’m trying to figure out how to roll those up into some sort of career path. I’m not sure what I’m doing yet (yoga? nutrition coach? non-profit work?), but hearing that it’s OKAY to change your mind was good for me to read for now! THANKS!

    • Katey @ Bonne Santé says:

      Hehe thanks Amanda – I loved reading your comment. It is great to have that qualification, even if it’s not exactly the field you see yourself in, in the long run. Sporting impressive letters after you name also looks awesome on paper!
      I’m right there with you being baffled about choosing just one area of interest though…can’t we just be professionally healthy?!

  • Amanda says:

    OH! and I love your writing style! You made me laugh🙂

  • Great post girl! Choosing what career path can be hard, as well as a wonderful experience. I remember in college I knew I wanted to be my own boss. I knew I loved food. I knew I loved making food for others. So after a lot of work, and still a lot of hard work I am trying to make my dream come true. I think it is great when people find what truly gives them a reason so go on, you know??
    xoxo

    • Katey @ Bonne Santé says:

      I really admire the effort, work and love you guys (and a lot of other bloggers who have associated businesses etc) put into what you do. I am so intimidated by the thought of running my own business, but it is ultimately so empowering!
      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, as always🙂

  • paijery says:

    Uuugh I am in the same situation right now. My job is NOT what I want to be doing at all and now that I have figured out what I want to do – to start with – is such a headache. I am trying to get into a vegan cooking school in the US and it is so hard to get a visa figured out!! Oh well, no pain no gain right?
    Cannot wait for the recipe!!

    • Katey @ Bonne Santé says:

      From what I’ve read on your blog, your work life sounds FULL ON! But vegan cooking school….how freaking exciting is that?! Best of luck for getting in & can’t wait to hear all about it!

  • Love this post and your blog! I’m a massive believer of following your passion. I’ve worked as a Fitness expert for 10 years and it’s taken a little bit of chopping and changing to get here and be in love with it everyday.It’s important to set goals and work towards doing the things that make you eternally happy. I think if you start with making a list of those activites you love doing and would love doing even if it didnt make you any money, you start to find paths that you can follow and eventually make a living out of.

  • Katey @ Bonne Santé says:

    Thanks Natalie! Awesome advice – I love the idea of considering what you would do even without monetary gain. This is a really interesting way of breaking from the financial fixation we have and getting to the crux of your passions!

  • […] I originally made this raw banana pie to share with my man on Schmalentine’s day, and a couple of you have since requested the recipe. […]

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