For as long as I can remember I’ve been of the opinion that professional success can only be measured in monetary value, fancy job titles, owning assets and seniority. I don’t remember as a child ever being advised that I should also focus on the importance of enjoying what you do. Retirement age is approaching 70 (in the UK) for people of my age, with the majority of people starting employment at 16/17, meaning over 50 years of our lives will be spent in employment. That’s a statement I’m sure sounds more soothing if you enjoy what you do for a living. We work to live, we don’t live to work but the truth is that we spend far more of our lives at work than doing the living. So although on paper, a person with a high paying job, nice car and own home looks like the perfect ideal, if they are spending 40+ hours a week in a job that makes them miserable, are we still passing this off as success?
I’m not suggesting everybody unhappy in their job should run off and quit immediately. Life isn’t as simple as that, people have responsibilities which means they have to keep showing up. However, there is no reason that we can’t start making steps to change our future, whether that is taking a huge life changing step straight away or taking baby steps one day at a time. I don’t think there is ever a situation in which a person should feel unable to take steps to increase their happiness, no matter how little. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
So you want to make a change – what now?
- Identify your “big” goal. Once you have found your desired end state ie. job, business, investment, it is easier to work out your smaller steps. Very rarely did anybody get to where they wanted to be in a day. Goals take time to achieve and come from a series of small steps to get there.
- Plan, plan, plan. This is where you need to step up your organisational game. Impulsive decisions often lead to the wrong roads so make sure you know where you’re going.
- Learn. Be humble. Just because you know your goal, doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know about reaching it. Do you need qualifications? Look into courses, books, expert information. You are never too old to start from the beginning, no matter how long ago you left school.
- Get a support system in place. If you are choosing to make a change in your life, chances are you may need some help. That may range from a lot of help to just having a friendly face to talk to along the way.
- Money, Money, Money. Make sure you’re being sensible with your financial situation. Often making decisions when it comes to earnings need serious thought and can be why change takes a long time. Save if you can, when you can and go easy on the purchases or investments. Be smart!
The last thing, but the most important thing I’ll say is this: Take a second before you make any life altering decisions. Breathe. Sometimes “the grass is always greener” is an accurate statement. Are you doing this for the right reasons? Is it worth it? If the answer to those two questions is yes, give it all you’ve got!
Life really is short but the days are long and happiness should still be priority no matter your life situation. Not every person in the world is in the position to change their life over night or even in a year. If you are – what is really holding you back?
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- Why we need to stop being afraid to fail
- I’m trying new things in 2021- and you should too
- The best time is now
Let me know what you think in the comments!
Thanks for reading