Most people aren’t lucky enough to be doing something that they love, in an environment that they love. At the end of the day, one has to pay the bills.
There is no darker position to be in than dreading getting out of bed in the morning and dragging yourself to that unhealthy sh*t hole that you wish to break out of. It is demotivating, uninspiring and an incredibly SAD existence.
You have your days where you cry and take it out on your loved ones, you also have days where you accept your soul-destroying situation because the money is ok, and you convince yourself that you should be grateful that you even have a job. You may even go through stages where you tell yourself that all you need is a hobby to fulfill you. So you go out and buy painting materials or start some sort of sport or activity that you enjoy. But every morning, you still find yourself seated at the edge of your bed loathing every part of opening your eyes, putting on clothes and making your way to that place that you associate with HELL.
Nothing helps and nothing makes it better. You can’t even appreciate your lifestyle, friends and family because the last fundamental pillar that is supposed to hold up your house of happiness is so unbelievably shattered.
What is the answer then? You can’t just quit! And then what? Be unemployed while you search for another job? And what if you don’t find another job? It’s just not an option, because you need that income.
You have to start somewhere.
1. Make the choice. Consciously DECIDE that you have had enough and that you are now going to actively do something in order to work towards changing your life and ultimately reaching happiness. INVITE the change.
When I was in this position, I read an article that inspired me to write down 5 career options that I would ideally like. This really put things into perspective for me. Writing has always helped me problem-solve. The act of writing helps you to organize and manage your thoughts and it allows you to actually see your mindset on paper, reflect on it and restructure it.
2. Start by writing down your 5 things that you’d like to do. Even if they are ridiculous! Even if one of the options is to be Justin Bieber’s groupie. Just do it.
3. Once you have those options in front of you, try to elaborate on each one and try to figure out what would be the first step of getting there. Establish the HOW factor. Only the first step though, because you cannot predict exactly how you would fully achieve a career direction because along the way, opportunities arise that you can’t possibly foresee.
If one of your options is to become a photographer, you would probably have to start off by enrolling in a photography course and/or saving for a camera. If another option is to become a fashion something, you would probably have to establish yourself through a blog and social media. If you wish you could be a chef, perhaps you should start attending evening cooking classes and taking photos of your creations to start an Instagram account where you can offer yourself as a private chef from time to time, to build up your experience and establish connections. Think about your personal network and the contacts you and your friends may have that might help you.
I came from a marketing and design background, but writing was always my passion. I was DONE with photoshop, PR, signage design and strategy-talk. My single most viable option on my list of 5 career directions was writing. I enrolled in a short, evening journalism course at Wits University. This alone allowed me to shape my career into what I wanted. I was then able to apply for positions that I wanted with an actual portfolio of written work. I landed the perfect job where I get to write blogs and articles, edit and proofread as well as educate myself further while writing academic pieces. I LOVE to learn and I have found myself in a nurturing work environment that I may be in for years, or perhaps it’s just a stepping stone to something even greater, who knows.
4. Your next step is to bring it to life. I started to put my wish into the universe by actually telling my friends and family, without being embarrassed, that this is what I wanted to do. Doing this, made me become more familiar with the idea of becoming a writer and helped me to actually see it as a realistic objective.
Always remember that nothing happens overnight. You need to take that ONE step in the right direction, and trust in “the universe” (or whatever) to guide you and pave the rest of the way.
Remind yourself daily that you are good enough and you deserve better. You are not lying to yourself; it’s the absolute truth that you don’t deserve to be in that position, regardless of the salary figure. Nothing is worth that deep depression and anxiety around something that you do on a daily basis. You are torturing yourself by staying. Get the ball rolling and CHOOSE to take that first step!
You have no idea how far it will take you.