Change can be a very scary thing especially when you are getting older. Career change can sometimes become a career suicide. However, it can be avoided if the change is carefully planned and you persevere through difficulties to get to the end goal.
The results can be both rewarding and satisfying as the below stories that I collected from my friends has shown.
Stuck in a loveless marriage and a boring desk job, I was stifled to death. I felt my life was slowly but steadily slipping through my fingers as each day goes by. I have no bad debts, no children, not even parents who will say “I told you so..”
At my 30th birthday, I decided to make a change. I filed for divorce from my good-for-nothing husband and I quit my job. I went back to law school with my savings, and moved across the country to a city that I know nobody.
10 years later, I am an environmental lawyer co-sharing a firm with my best friend that I met during law school and happily engaged with a man I’m crazily in love with.
All these wouldn’t have happened if I procrastinate.
- Delanie, Environmental Lawyer
I’m in a family full of medical doctors and surgeons. I did my duty as a son and completed my medical degree. I was near the end of my internship when I had a major burnout. I collapsed. It was a very scary experience for me.
I realised that I have been putting too much pressure on myself to succeed in a traditional profession that I never questioned if I love being a doctor. I don’t. I hate every minute of it and I just blanked and suppressed the feeling out in my mind every time it surfaced.
I am now pursuing an art degree and I never been happier. My father supported my decision (I think he was frightened by my breakdown). My mom is not speaking to me much. I think I disappointed her. But I am determined to live my own life on my conditions.
- Matthew, Art Student
After 15 years in insurance, I was ready to make a career switch but my wife wasn’t ready for that. We still have our house on mortgage and our boy is still in school. When I chanced upon an opportunity to take over an empty shop space at half the rent, I quickly sign the lease.
To work on building my dream pub, I quit my job without telling my family. Only when the pub was finally ready, I surprised both of them on the launch day. My son was supportive but my wife was furious and almost left me. 3 years later, the pub is still going strong. We have full house every night.
And I am happier than I ever was.
- Gus, Pub Owner
I fell in love with teaching when I was a teenager. Had the opportunity to do summer camp teaching with little kids. However, I did not follow that path. Instead, I followed my father’s wishes to study law. He was a hardworking man who provided me and my sister a roof over our heads and food for our tummies after our mother passed away.
For 20 years, I worked as hard as my father so he can retire and enjoy his life. I became a prosecutor and made him proud. He passed away last year.
One month ago, I resigned from my job and volunteered to teach at an orphanage. I have never been happier. After the pandemic is over, I am definitely doing my teaching degree.
- Joshua, Volunteer
For ten years I has been in retail. In the beginning, it was just a job before I decided which college I want to go. But I fell in love with a coworker from work. Dropped out of school to continue my job full time and so I can be near him. I was actually quite good at retail sales. Promoted twice in ten years.
Four years ago, I made the switch from retail to corporate sales. Made so much more in commission. I found my natural flair in doing sales and networking with strangers. I really love what I do and my growing bank account is my satisfaction.
- Paula, Corporate Sales Manager
I made a daring and risky move. I quit my cushy job of an oil trading assistant and open up my own bakery. I realised I never wanted to work behind computer screen and a desk.
Although it was a huge risk of taking out my entire savings and borrowing from my parents to open a bakery during a pandemic, I never regret my decision to do so.
In fact, it had to take a serious car accident, a broken rib, a fractured leg and a brain concussion for me to finally see that life is too short for me to work for money and not pursue my dreams.
- Jasmine, Baker and Bakery Owner
I left behind a stable job as a teacher to search for my own soul. As much as I am devoted to teaching, I was heading towards a burnout. This wasn’t like any other burnout I had experienced in the past where I can take a week off and have a break. This time, I really felt difficulty in feeling any kind of happiness in my job. I know if I don’t put out my best work, the ones suffering are my students.
So I took a year of sabbatical to find myself. After a year, I didn’t go back to teaching. Instead, I became a writer and backpack around the world.
Guess what? As much as I missed my students, I don’t miss the regular boring life. 3 years later, I’m still traveling and “finding” myself.
- Keane, Traveling Blogger
We were struggling as a family. My husband wasn’t earning enough in his job and I had to take on part time work to make sure we have extra income to buy groceries. At one point, he was retrenched by his company.
So I took on the full brunt of providing for the family and did insurance sales for the next 8 years. My husband went into catering business with his best friend.
Finally, 2 years ago, his own business took off and I could start my part time degree in computer programming while working in insurance sales because we could afford hiring a babysitter for our children. I’m graduating at the end of this year and I already have a programmer job lined up for me.
Never been more proud of myself!
- Gina, Insurance Sales Agent
People said my life is perfectly laid out for me and I shouldn’t be ungrateful. I was in my family business for nearly a decade.
All my siblings are in the family business but in different management departments. Once I am out of grad school, I have a management level job waiting for me to take over. My salary is awesome and benefits is really good. I can’t say it was a total handout because even as a family member, we have to work hard at our jobs and prove our worth. While I can’t say I was miserable, I always felt unfulfilled.
At the age of 37 years old, I finally left the comfort of my family business and did my own business venture with my own money. Every time I met an obstacle, my family will always ask me to go back to “where I belong” meaning they want me to go back to the family business. I always persevere and push on. I borrowed heavily from the banks to make ends meet. I refused to hire any staff at first, prefer to do everything myself.
Today, I am happy to report that I am a proud owner of 3 pet shops and I met my wife during this difficult journey.
- Andy, Pet Shop Owner
I didn’t leave my job willingly. I was a small time clerk at a highly specialised company in a small niche. Can’t elaborate much, everyone knows everyone in the industry. Given my whole youth to the company and at 55 years young, the management asked if I like to retire early.
I took the big fat bonus and flew around the world to visit my children and grandchildren (one in Austria, one in Singapore and one in Canada). I got really bored and I really missed my colleagues.
I decided to work at a deli near my house. Even without knowing anything about bread, I learned very quickly and could manage the shop on my own when the boss goes on leave. After 6 months, the deli owner decided to relocate so I bought over his shop, made changes to his menu and retrain his staff.
Now, I’m happy busy bee with a little deli around the corner.
- Samantha, Deli Owner
There are plenty of stories of people chasing their passions and following their dreams. If you like inspirations to get you through this weekend, check out these:
Inspired By A TEDx Speaker
Times When Workplace Kindness Made You Cry
Hashtag #BestJobEver Inspiration
Hashtag #MadeMyDay Inspiration
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.