Most People Change Careers At Some Point
I remember being told in college that statistically speaking, I would probably change career paths at least once in my life, if not more. I thought that was a ludicrous idea. After all, I was committing 4 years of rigorous study to my degree, and then I went on to 2 years of graduate school, at Harvard of all places, so I was pretty darn committed to what I was doing.
If you would have told me the day I earned my master’s degree in theological studies that 9 years later I would be working from home as a blogger and brand ambassador, as well as staying at home with my 2 little girls, I would have been very confused, indeed.
You see, back when I was 23 and knew EVERYTHING, I thought staying at home with kids was not at all for me. And I’ll admit that at that time in my life, I even thought it was a backwards thing to do. It is painful to acknowledge that, because I’m so embarrassed that I ever felt that way, but it is the honest truth.
Re-Imagining My Career Path
MSN, in honor of their new site redesign, has asked me to talk about a time when I’ve re-imagined part of my own life. The timing for this post is perfect, as I’m smack-dab in the middle of such a personal and professional re-design. For a few years I have been “doing the blogging thing” to provide a little bit of supplemental income and to provide fun things to my family that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford on one salary. Until fairly recently, I didn’t even allow myself to imagine that blogging could become something more than a daily writing exercise and a source of community for me that could help us get by, financially, until I could return to the full-time work force. After all, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with what I earned my degrees in, and surely I want to keep working in a related field, right?
But if I’m being honest with myself, I’m having a whole lot of fun learning entirely new things like social media, marketing, branding and the world of freelance work. It was recently time for me to return from maternity leave and go back to teaching world religions at University of Phoenix. I simply couldn’t bring myself to do it. Tim even actually said to me, “I want you to think REALLY hard before you go back to that job. You work REALLY hard for U of P for not very much pay, and honestly, you don’t seem to enjoy it at all.” He was absolutely right. But I was too afraid to admit it. I mean, after you have spent $30,000 on an advanced degree, you’d better put it to near-constant use, right? If I knew then, what I know now, I likely wouldn’t have pursued the degree at all. But that’s water under the bridge, as they say, and I can either let my decision be an anchor onto which I tie myself and sink, or I can remember fondly what I learned, feel proud of what I accomplished, and then cut the emotional cord to it and free myself to pursue what interests me. I’ve done hard things before. I can do them again.
My Current Career Didn’t Really Exist 9 Years Ago
And I can’t beat myself up for not knowing then what I know now, either. While blogs existed back in 2004, I didn’t yet even know what they were. There was no way for me to know that I would one day be interested in professionally pursuing blogging. And 10 years from now, blogs as we now know them won’t even exist anymore, either. It will be something else. Will I be stubbornly holding on to my old-school blog at that point, or will I be willing to take a leap once again and try something new and different? I hope I will be brave, and willing to follow my bliss, rather than simply following the path that my younger self chose for me.
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