Should You Be Pursuing a New Career?

In the past 6 months I’ve had multiple career counseling sessions with Cheryl.  Cheryl has a good job.  Her salary is $120,000, she has a solid position, and her job and industry are both secure.  Her commute is 25 minutes, she works reasonable hours, and the boss is fine. However, she doesn’t really like her coworkers and the actual work is fairly dull.

Cheryl is an intelligent, likable woman with a great work ethic. Due to her competence and interpersonal skills, she has done well enough in a career field that she drifted into without ever really enjoying.

Cheryl is turning 42 soon.  This has made her more reflective, and as her second child is on the way she realizes that she’s locking herself into financial responsibilities that will hinder the process of a full career switch. 

Upon our initial meeting, Cheryl’s challenge was that she had no idea what else she could do.  As a young women, her only real enthusiasm was fashion.  She got a marketing job in her field after college and then made a move to her present company when she was 26.  She progressed from sales to different facets of operations.  She only really knows her industry and has spent her free time doing what most people do: enjoying time with family and friends and indulging is her hobbies.

Cheryl never really engaged in what I call “exploratory work” – the type of work required to build her career.  She had come to me to find another occupation.  But, she did not know what she wanted to do.  We began our exploratory work last March.  We would speak every few weeks and she would run some ideas past me of what she could do moving forward.  In July, Cheryl’s idea for a side business seemed legitimate.  She pitched the concept and now just a couple months after she is making money.  She hasn’t quit her job.  But, she now is very excited about running her own business and is noticeably happier.  Take action.  It’s your life.