Change Your Career Before Life Gets Complicated

I know a couple of guys who got married young, divorced, and happily remarried a few years later. They each have wonderful families and marriages that are 20 years plus.

I also know several men and women who knew very early on that they were ill-suited to each other, but stuck it out for years and then went through terrible divorces, after having lived through lengthy terrible marriages.

The former – those who made what must have been really painful decisions in their late twenties – changed their lives for the remarkably better because they cut their losses early. The latter not only ensured long time unhappiness while married but went through hell (acrimonious divorces) and are now grappling with the inevitable challenges of post-divorce with kids who still live part-time with the terrible ex.

Those who come to Career Counseling Connecticut early enough are very much like those early divorcees. Sure, if they have locked into a profession or career identity, and leaving will be painful. But 5 years from now, they will be doing great. And, over time, they will view the decision to leave an ill-matched career as one of the best they ever made.

I think of Peter, a young business analyst in the health care sector, who came to Career Counseling Connecticut. He never really wanted to go into the business world but he felt he couldn’t do what he really wanted – nursing – because of the gender stereotypes. (Wow – in 10 years a lot has changed, there are plenty of nurses who are male and hopefully people will stop saying “male nurse” soon.) 2 years after Peter made his decision, he wrote a wonderful e-mail about how happy he was and he recently sent a Christmas card expressing how grateful he was for making an appointment at Career Counseling Connecticut.

A few years ago, a 58-year-old attorney came to see me. He knew early on in his legal career that he didn’t want to practice law. 30 plus years of an unhappy career. And, now, it was too complicated to switch into anything else that was too different. We did do work to switch into a happier version of what he is doing now. But… it was complicated.

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