4 Things To Keep In Mind Before Making A Career Change

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It's the unexpected events in our lives that truly change us the most. Sure, planning for a big move or a new job is something major, but when life throws you a curveball that forces you to consider those major changes earlier than you anticipated, well... that's where the fun part happens.

It's as if the moment you think you may have a handle on where your life is going, God comes in and totally proves why He's in control. Sometimes you've just gotta sit back and say the only thing that makes sense in that moment...

Jesus, take the wheel.

I've had a wild last few months of leaving a job I loved to finding a new job of my dreams. Though the career jump wasn't exactly planned, I am so grateful for the outcome. However- I'd be lying if I said it was easy...

Changing career paths can be frightening for many reasons, but lacking self confidence in a space that isn't within your comfort zone, taking a potential pay cut, or finding yourself at the bottom of the totem pole... again... are just a few that circulated my mind.

I've had some time to reflect on my recent career move, and needless to say- God knows what He's doing. Throughout all of my uncertainty and self-doubt, here I am in a brand new city- reluctantly living two hours away from my longtime boyfriend while also trying my hardest to make sense of my new 20-minute commute to the office. The struggle. But aside from those things, I'm learning so much about myself, my career motives, and how to find happiness in a job. If you too are looking to make a change, here are the four things I'm taking away from this crazy, life-altering curveball that's led me to this new career:

1. PREPARE TO BE A SPONGE.

I love this metaphor. It always brings my mind to an image of a thick yellow kitchen sponge that's seeping with water and smells of sweet lemony soap submerged in the sink.

Just me who gets that visual? Okay...

Nevertheless, it really is the best way to describe how your brain should be not only on your first day on the new job, but everyday for the rest of your career. Whether you're CEO or coffee girl- learning new things is essential to growth. When starting a new job, it can be overwhelming while learning about all the new processes and procedures, not to mention the actual day to day of the work you'll be doing...especially if you're intending on making a straight up industry change like I did. Talk about a total upheaval of the mind.

Tip #1. Never stop asking questions. I'd rather be known as the girl who asks too many questions than the girl who always makes mistakes due to not knowing what's going on. Plus, asking questions shows initiative and proves that you're genuinely interested in getting better. 

Tip #2: Take notes. Whether it's a training meeting or simple instruction from your boss, always jot down what's being asked of or explained to you. This will eliminate any unnecessary questions later on and again- shows your commitment to learning the ropes properly. 

Tip #3: Make a list of IDK's. When I'm in meetings and higher-ups or colleagues start talking about things I don't know or discussing terms I've never heard before, I make a list in my notebook literally titled: Words I Don't Know. Later, I'll either google them if they're common terms or will casually ask a coworker about the company-specific terms. It might seem awkward at first, asking a girl at the coffee station what exactly a PDU page is, but ultimately if you want to learn new things you're going to have to get uncomfortable. And besides, there's nothing wrong with being the question girl- see Tip #1.

2. A SEASON OF CHANGE GIVES YOU A REASON TO GROW.

Once I realized I was ready for a big career change, it was a crazy feeling of uncertainty that washed over me, followed by a sharp sense of fear. It's one thing to consider leaving a job and moving to a new city to chase a dream while mulling over the pros & cons for a few months, but it's another thing entirely when you're faced with a new opportunity and need to make a decision, STAT.

Change is scary, and leaving a comfortable life of security and contentment is hard but these are the times in our lives when we experience the most growth.

3. YOU CAN BE THE GIRL YOU ALWAYS DREAMT YOU'D BE.

I am considering this season of my life to be the biggest blessing, because I have been given an opportunity of a lifetime: a new start! Though I'm not entirely sure where I exactly want to be in the future, I think I know the woman I want to become and I am embracing this next step towards meeting her.

Wouldn't it be great if we could all just drop everything, and chase those dreams we've had since we were young? What's stopping us?

I've been given this brand new start, and I could sit back and remain content with a life that I've come to know as comfortable, but what's the fun in being comfortable? I'm going to challenge myself to new heights, and to become the woman that the little girl growing up in Slidell, Louisiana dreamed of becoming. I mean- I owe it to myself to go after what I know I'm capable of achieving, right? It's only the cherry on top that I get to do it wearing amazing shoes day in and day out, because that's obviously written in the instruction manual to my dreams penned by a 6 year old me. She was clearly ahead of her time.

4. LET GOD LEAD THE WAY.

I know I say this all the time, but I truly think that these crazy experiences that happen to us unexpectedly are all just fancy displays for God to test our faith, and to show us who's really in the driver's seat. You know that saying, God has a sense of humor? Totally true.

It seems that while I'm doing all this planning for the future and worrying about how things will fall into play, my time and energy spent on trying to control the circumstances that are out of my hands is actually drawing me further away from my closeness to Jesus. When I'm turning to Him for guidance, I don't have to worry about tomorrow or fret about where I'll be because He's got me in the palm of His hands, and He'll never leave me. When we stop doubting the greatness that God has prepared for us, we can actually start to enjoy it.

So, I'm considering this one big journey. I hope one day I'll look back to this exact moment and smile at how much I grew from this experience. I hope I look back and realize that worrying would've been such a waste of time, because this was written out for me before I was even born. I'll get through this season of uncertainty, and I pray that anyone else who is going through a tough time right now can simply trust in God's plan, because it truly is all much more intricate & beautiful than we can even imagine. How amazingly freeing!

The experiences I've been given throughout these past 18 months since graduating college have not only given me tools to enhance who I want to be as a professional, but rather- it built the toolbox that I'll carry around with me for the rest of my career.

Cheers to my first job officially under my belt, and here's to hoping this next gig brings me as much joy as the last one.

On to the next fabulous chapter!