“I don’t feel like getting out of my bed in the morning…..
Wish I could bunk work today….but I can’t because of an important meeting!”
Wish I could do something meaningful that makes me happy…but I am not sure what to do!
Many of us have such thoughts running through our mind on several mornings. We continue to drag ourselves to work and find quick fixes in a movie, shopping, party or on our smartphones. The truth is even though in the deepest corner of our heart we know what will bring us happiness, we do not have enough courage to move out of our comfort zones.
Only if we patiently listen to that little voice within and find the courage to take that leap of faith, can we begin to explore new career options with a renewed perspective and vigor.
You may think that with faith alone things don’t change but it is also said that faith can move mountains.
I still remember the day when I reached the end of the tether at my job. I knew I had to do something about it. No, I did not resign that day. Instead, I decided to give myself a chance. At that time, in my family letting go of a stable job was unheard of, especially to do what your ‘heart’ wanted. Despite that, I had a strong conviction and the faith that all will be well. I did go through my share of ups and downs, however, after 7 years of being self-employed, I can easily say that I am a much happier person, in tune with myself and others around me.
If you are thinking of getting off the corporate ladder but are not sure what to do, here’s how you can find your way to a heartful career.
Find a vocation that makes your heart sing
It’s wonderful if you already know what you plan to do. Make sure that you enjoy it.
In case, you are not sure as yet, It could be something that you have always been passionate about or It could be one of the hobbies that you have forgotten to pursue. What could it be that will bring you satisfaction and joy? Explore all possibilities. For eg., teaching the underprivileged in schools, starting your own business and becoming an entrepreneur, writing a blog and sharing your travel experiences, becoming an executive or a leadership coach, artist, potter, farming or gardening etc.
I have realized that there is so much more life has to offer. One CAN make a successful career out of that one thing that you truly love, especially if it is oriented towards ‘service to others’.
Upgrade your skills
Whatever you decide to do, ensure that you become proficient in it. Join a class or a professional course to build your confidence and credentials. Learning never stops. At some point, you will know when you are confident about the subject and ready to offer it to others.
After getting professionally trained in UK, I had decided to become a seminar leader and a coach in the philosophy of Louise Hay. My intention was to offer the Heal your Life workshops across the country and make a difference in the lives of others. I felt confident.
And now, after the 3-year break, I am starting another chapter of my career with this blog. I wasn’t confident about writing but was lucky to find great teachers.
Sunita Biddu, my blogging coach taught me the nuances of the digital world with patience and motivation. She is a social media expert and offers a nurturing space to her clients.
Suma Varughese’s Zen of Good Writing program instilled the confidence to write authentically.
I am not an expert as yet, but I am not apprehensive about expressing myself. I am open to learning new ways of thinking & writing and enjoying the digital medium.
Shalini – Storyteller
Plan your Finances
When I was working for an MNC in Mumbai, my ex-boss, who is a good friend had advised me, not only must I pursue my passion seriously, but also should be practical about it. He had suggested that I should calculate an estimate of my monthly expenses, and save funds that will be enough to last for at least 6 months. This made a lot of sense. When I decided to get off the corporate ladder, I remembered his words and had saved enough. I felt safe.
Consulting a good Chartered Accountant is very helpful. You will realize that most of the accounting work that we take for granted while being in a job, needs to be done by self now. I felt clueless initially but my CA educated me and now I feel confident.
Be ready for an emotional roller coaster till you find your bearings
In the first few months, the newfound freedom and time feel very liberating and exhilarating. Enjoy this time.
One of my close friends had resigned from her job one year before I had. For the first few weeks, she completely relaxed; slept, ate, read, watched her favorite movies and went on a short solo holiday. However, she was honest to admit that she had felt the pinch when at the beginning of the next month, her bank notification did not show the usual increase in the amount. Fear, Guilt, and Regret are other dangerous traps that one can fall into.
On this new journey, it’s important to let go of the preconceived ideas about relationships, career, money etc. It’s an ongoing process.
Doing positive affirmations and taking appropriate actions towards the fulfillment of my goal helped me tide over the emotional roller coaster safely. After about a month of pampering myself, I had announced a 4 city tour of my workshops thereby enjoying traveling to new places and supplementing my income. I felt happy.
Build a supportive Ecosystem around you
It’s essential to stay connected to a few trustworthy friends and family members who believe in you.
You can find a suitable coach to help you enhance your life state and to stay connected to your vision. A Mentor from the industry (of your new vocation) can give insights and fresh perspective to open the mind to new possibilities.
I ensure that I stay in constant communication with 3 of my close friends and my mentors. They are my sounding boards. I can bounce my ideas and get feedback. I feel heard and validated.
One of the ways I remain focused is by making a vision board and by writing my favorite affirmation on sticky notes. When you place them in spaces where you can see them often, its equivalent to doing short visualization exercises throughout the day and energising your goal with positive thoughts.
To make yours, you can make a list of your goals and aspirations. and select pictures or images that represent them. On a chart paper, paste the pictures creatively and include appropriate affirmations. Have fun while making it. This is your blueprint and must have the best ingredients. Position them at the frequently visited corners of your house and office. Eg on your bathroom mirror, the inside shelf of your cupboard, on the fridge in the kitchen, on your desk etc.
I love reading such affirmations wherever I go in my home and in my studio. I feel positive and motivated throughout the day.
Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures
However small or big they may be, rejoice all your achievements with friends, family, and your loved ones. This happiness becomes the driving force to excel further and succeed. I remember feeling so excited about simply creating the facebook page of Loving yourself foundation. It was a small step but for me, it was an important milestone at that time. Sharing it with my friends and receiving their good wishes propelled me to make it successful.
There will be failures too. Dust them, get up, learn your lessons and move ahead. There is no point in hanging on to your mistakes with regret and fear.
I strongly believe that if you have got the inspiration to follow your heart, there must a purpose. In due course of time, it starts becoming apparent and one begins to connect the dots. It’s subjective how you define success but I can vouch for a journey which will be phenomenally adventurous and life-changing, making it worth taking the leap of faith.
Please do share your experience in the comments below. Feel free to add to this list. I am sure that each one’s journey is unique and special. The more we share, more we can inspire others to follow their heart and do something more meaningful and honest with their lives.