Friday was my last day at the job I’ve held for the past six years. Its been a great first chapter in my career where I’ve grown personally and professionally, worked with smart people and done things I’d never thought I’d do. This was my first and only job since graduating Syracuse, so the decision-making and transition processes were truly first time learning experiences for me.
For anyone facing or thinking about a career change, whatever your circumstances, here are three things I’d recommend:
1. Trust your gut. None of us know where or who we will be 10 or 15 years from now. But we know ourselves and who we are today. Only you can make the decision to challenge yourself in a new direction, and if that direction takes a step toward your dream, than there should be no reason to limit yourself from reaching for it.
2. Make a move to try new things and take risks, even when the naysayers are giving you reasons not to. Life is short and is what you make of it so get out of your comfort zone – that’s when growth happens.
3. Be grateful for your former experiences and the people who you worked with. Everyone can learn lessons from the past and from those people who helped you succeed. Even the negative experiences should be lessons for your future.
The late Steve Jobs captured this all in one quote. He said, “your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown our your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”