How was your week, friends? As you read this, I’m in Philly, speaking at The Blog Connect conference about defining success for yourself and creating habits that will make that success a looooot easier. (P.S. If you run a conference and you’d like me to speak, drop me a line and let’s chat!)
This post is brought to you by a job you actually like, a decent paycheck, the letter F, and The Forté Foundation.
I knew it was time to change careers when I found a cockroach floating in my coffee cup.
At the time, I was working as an ESL teacher at a non-profit. I worked in a not-particularly-great neighborhood in a crumbling building that, apparently, had a cockroach problem.
Now, I should tell you that I loved the teaching part of being a teacher. I loved sharing insights, leading conversations, finding new ways to communicate an idea.
But there is SO MUCH MORE to being a classroom teacher than, ya know, teaching.
There are curriculum committees and budget issues and test prep. There are concerns about students’ safety and well-being. In my specific situation, there were concerns about cockroaches in the break room (!!!!)
When the cockroach appeared in my coffee cup, I’d been blogging for a few years. I’d been getting a slow but steady trickle of emails asking for help with writing, social media, and marketing.
It was the turning point when I decided that it was time to get serious about changing careers. I knew I needed to learn some new skills and make the leap from education to self-employment.
Many of us have had our own cockroach-in-the-coffee moment.
Maybe yours is working at 2 am on a Sunday or having a boss who belittles you. Maybe it’s 200 travel days a year or discovering you earn 60 percent of what your male counterparts earn.
Whatever it is that’s turning your eyes towards greener career pastures, I want you to know that changing careers is totally, totally possible—but you want to be smart about planning your next move.
4 career change tips I wish someone had told me
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m a farmgirl from Iowa who grew up going to Mass every Sunday. I was particularly inspired by the visiting Maryknoll-style missionaries. They told us about standing up against of US-backed atrocities in Central America. These nuns did the most exciting work of anyone I had ever met. I wanted to follow in their footsteps …. except for the celibacy part.
The other person I had access to – who did exciting work on par with the nuns – was James Baker. And he wore more stylish clothes. So I’ve tried to emulate the nuns, while enjoying sex (married 20 years this month!) and 2nd hand Prada.
I help villages in India free themselves from slavery, through Voices4Freedom.org. I help humanitarian extreme achievers as a Venture Human Capitalist. I’m also the mama of two outrageous daughters, ages 5 and 12.
How was your week, friends? I started it by being snowed in at my friend’s cabin (#notcomplaining), had date night at my favorite plant-based cafe in the Twin Cities, and this weekend we’re going to lay low after six week of non-stop travel, holidays, and parties. I am so looking forward to doing laundry and cleaning out the front closet!
Also! Three little housekeeping updates!
- We’ve rejiggered my sidebar a little to make things easier to find. Click around to find posts in your favorite categories!
- If you missed it when I ran it live, you can now watch my 5 Reasons Your Good Habits Don’t Stick workshop anytime you want.
- Did you know I have a whole secret library filled with awesome workbooks and ebooks? For free? Access it here.
Links for you!
I’m co-working with my best friend on a sunny Tuesday, drinking coffee on her couch, and sifting through my inbox.
She walks behind me on her way to the kitchen and glances at my screen. “You know you can just click on that little arrow to read the next email, right?” she says as she rinses out her mug. “You don’t have to keep going back to your inbox.”
What now? My email-reading life = changed. Productivity = upped. With an afterthought of a comment, my friend significantly improved my work life.
And I’m sure she nearly didn’t tell me because she thought her suggestion was too obvious.
We’re all guilty of this, right? Discounting our knowledge because it has become so ingrained in our everyday life that we assume everybody else knows that thing or has that skill set.