It can happen to the best of us. You’ve put in many years in your chosen profession or career. You’ve earned your stripes, worked hard, and accomplished a lot. But, something has changed. You don’t have the passion that you used to have and you no longer find fulfillment in your job or at work. It feels like you’ve lost your luster and with it, the love.
Have you fallen out of love with your career?
This happened to me. After wandering through the corporate existence as a Administrative Assistant, then Executive Assistant, and then Office Manager, I began walking on another path to Human Resources. I loved working with people and helping others, and the transition from Office Manager to HR was easy, since many of the duties were in tandem. Supporting people while helping them achieve their goals was something that I enjoyed doing. I went to school, began as an HR Generalist, and worked my way up there. In a few years, I was a full-fledged HR Manager, in charge of 100+ employees.
I was doing well and advancing towards my career goals. I thought I was living the dream. But after several years of hiring and firing and changed business practices and difficult employees, it started to take a toll on me.
I was stressed out, burned out, and had nothing left to give my family at the end of the day.
I knew something had to give. Eventually, that would be my career in HR.
I went on after HR to become a Property Manager, but there were many HR duties that I still completed as a PM due to the small nature of the company. I was again in charge of two staffs at two different properties, and along with that, their personnel files, write-ups, et al.
When I was laid off during the winter of 2009, I thought my world had ended. But it was a blessing in disguise because it opened me up again to transition into what I am doing now.
So, if you’ve fallen out of love with your career, I say this—it is okay. You will live. Find your passion again and start over if you have to and if your situation warrants it.
Don’t stay in a career where you are unhappy and unfulfilled. That is not living.
Here are some tips if you’ve fallen out of love with your career:
Leave of Absence
If you are not 100% sure you want to leave your career or place of employ, you can perhaps take a leave of absence or sabbatical to explore your options. Depending on the time you’ve put in with your company, you can do this without pay, but not lose your job or your rank. During this time, you can give some real thought to changing paths, and even dabble your feet in your new field by volunteering or bartering your services to build your portfolio or clientele.
And if you are suffering from career burnout, this could be just the break you need to regroup and refocus so that you can come back renewed. Perhaps you’ve fallen out of love with your current career, but a good break away can make you fall in love again.
Do the Work
If you are feeling like it’s time to shift gears and change lanes, then you have to be ready to do the work. Do your due diligence with your current employer as to leave on a good note. Give at least a two weeks notice (or longer) if needed. Put in a letter of resignation. Offer to train your replacement. Dot your I’s and cross your T’s. Make this a positive transition for yourself, and the company you work for. Also, obtain a letter of recommendation for future opportunities.
When changing careers or job fields, additional education may be required. Be honest with yourself. Are you ready to do this? Can you afford to do this? Have you discussed it with your family and close friends? Are you ready to start at the bottom again and work your way up? These are questions that you will need to ask yourself and be honest about them.
Create a plan for transition. How will you go from one field to another? Perhaps you can work with a career coach to help you navigate these waters. Research and find out what companies are the go-to places for this new career you may want to transition to.
It is not uncommon to fall out of love with your career. Whether it’s a short term thing, or something that sets you up for the next new career chapter in your life, remember that you only have one life to live. Make sure you are living your life to its fullest by loving what you do, and doing what you love.