How To Create Career Happiness FAQ

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"The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life." -Jessica Hische

Aside from delicious vegan food, there isn’t a topic I enjoy discussing more than career happiness. It’s something I’m deeply passionate about and thrilled when I can throw ideas around with other people.

I could talk about it until I’m blue in the face. But, I guess that is pretty evident below.

Keep in mind, I really have no idea what I’m doing most days and I’m not here to give you advice on your unique academic or career situation. I can offer insight from my own experiences and lessons learned along the way. My goal for this post is to create a place for discussion so everyone can join in and offer their input, stories, and insight. That’s when the magic happens!

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My story in short:

I graduated in October 2006 with a BAH degree in Psychology and minor in Family and Child Studies. In October 2008, I graduated with a Master’s Degree w/ Honours in Social Psychology. Prior to graduating, I interviewed for a full-time research position during Spring 2008. It was offered to me and I took it even though my gut told me that the timing wasn’t right. I was already a full-time grad student and part-time teaching assistant which kept me very busy.

But I took the job anyways even though every instinct I had was saying DON’T DO IT.

Lesson #1: Listen to your gut.

Eric and I were also planning our wedding to be held on Aug. 31, 2008. Stress was at an all-time high as I juggled courses, my thesis, a new demanding job, and wedding planning. My eating disorder got bad during this time and I often starved myself or over-exercised to deal with my emotions.

In October 2008, I was happy to be graduating, but I still wasn’t enjoying my career as a researcher like I thought I should be. While the money flowed, it didn’t matter.

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On October 31, 2008 I started Oh She Glows as a hobby in an effort to add some joy back into my life.

Oh, and joy it brought!

This blog was in essence, ‘the work I did while I procrastinated’, as the opening quote mentions above. I blogged at breakfast, during my lunch break, and after dinner, for months. It was a lot of work, but looking back, it was the best positive escape I could’ve had to get me through that time.

This blog gave me the courage to pursue my passions full-time so I planned my actual escape and in early 2009, I quit.

It was the scariest, yet best thing I could have done.

Below are some of your career change questions that you posed on facebook last week.

How did you find your passion?

1. Get rid of life toxins

Until I was about 24-25 years old, my hobbies were calorie counting, the scale, and exercising. I didn’t have any real hobbies aside from playing sports throughout school and if you asked me what my passions were I would have stared at you blankly. To find my passions, I had to get rid of life toxins that weighed me down. Once I entered recovery for my eating disorder, I was able to add positivity back into my life such as finding new hobbies and activities. We need to get rid of things weighing us down to make room for inspiration, creativity, and authenticity.

2. Give yourself Me Time

It’s easy to say ‘I don’t have time right now’, but this is when it’s especially important to take time out for yourself. I gave myself permission to do things I enjoyed whether it be hanging out with friends, baking, reading, or spending time with Eric. Even if it was only 30 minutes a day, it was my time to do what I wanted and slowly discover activities that I enjoyed. ‘Me time’ allows us to figure out what it is that makes us happy.

3. Allow creativity to flow

Shortly after graduating, I started my blog which turned out to be the real gateway to discovering my passions. What better creative outlet than having a blank slate each day to write whatever inspires me? As a creative person, I consider my blog a virtual vision board.  I can write about whatever I want which was a stark contrast to my role as a researcher. Overtime, I discovered that I had tapped into a huge passion in my life. (Another creative outlet I love is Pinterest). If there’s a voice inside you that suggests you try something out, give it a shot because it could be your hidden passion!

4. Look to your childhood

Look back to your childhood and ask yourself what activities you enjoyed. The passions we have as children are clues to what we might enjoy as adults.

As a child I loved:

  • Playing house and school with all kinds of characters, names, and story-telling
  • Playing with Barbie’s & Lego and creating stories about the ‘people’
  • Polaroid, disposable, and film cameras !!!
  • Writing Fiction stories
  • Drawing, painting, crafting
  • Baking & easy-bake ovens
  • Playing with friends and animals
  • The outdoors, playing outside for hours, skipping, building snow forts
  • Track & Field, softball

 

My passions today seem to have the same underlying characteristics, albeit through different forms and expressions!

How did you know that your career was the right choice long-term?

Nothing in life is a sure bet, but my instincts told me I was on the right path. Sometimes hope, a good feeling, and a positive outlook are the only things we have. If I told myself I couldn’t do it, I would probably still be at my old job. Oh She Glows started out as a hobby while I did my ‘real work’. It turned out that I not only enjoyed blogging, but I fell in love with it. The blog and bakery brought together my passions like inspirational writing, healthy food, cooking/baking, fitness, and helping others.

When I couldn’t imagine myself not doing it, I knew I had found something special. It’s sort of like knowing you’ve met the person you want to spend your life with. I knew Eric was the one for me because I couldn’t imagine us apart. I felt the same way with my new career.

How did you deal with a severe pay cut?

Not getting a regular pay check in the bank every two weeks was difficult to deal with. I struggled with an identity-crisis (who was I now that I didn’t have a full-time job and steady income?) and insecurity (what would others think of me?). I had to make financial cutbacks in every aspect of my life. I only spent money on essentials like food and bills. I didn’t spend money on entertainment, eating out, clothing, or anything that I didn’t think was a necessity at the time. I got used to the cutbacks after a couple months and many of my money-saving habits stuck with me.

Do you think you would have taken that leap if it was just you taking care of you? I admire what you do and would give a kidney to be in your shoes, but just don’t feel that it’s possible for me. I’m not pessimistic–I am proud and satisfied with what I’ve done–but I’m realistic.

I would’ve left my research position eventually, but probably not as quickly had I been single. I saved consistently for almost a year before I left my research position so I could cover my share of the bills for the first while, but if I was single I probably would’ve stayed in the field for another 2-3 years so I could save up enough to feel stable financially. I knew in my heart that I wasn’t meant to be a researcher so I would’ve done what was necessary to change my career path even if it wasn’t as soon as I wanted. I’m a firm believer that planning and preparation is crucial if you are serious about making a career change. If you think it will never happen, you are probably right.

How did you take the leap with a career change?

Quitting my job was not an impulsive decision even though it may seem that way. It was a calculated decision that I planned for months before actually quitting. I flip flopped back and forth all the time, but ultimately, I knew in my heart that I had to go through with it. The day that I quit was not planned though. It just happened to be a really bad day that fueled my fire. :)

How do I know what my strengths are?

Growing up, I never really considered myself good at much. In my late teens, when I was trying to figure out what career I would enjoy, I asked Eric what I was good at because I had no clue. If you are lost about your own strengths, ask your family members or your partner. Most people can identify strengths in other people much easier than they can in themselves. Also, think about things that you do well. Are you an expert Sudoku player? Maybe you have a strength in problem solving. Are you great at knitting? Maybe you have a strong attention to detail and lots of patience. Do you love making lists and hosting parties? Maybe you have strengths in event planning. Do you love to bake? Maybe you have a sweet tooth like me. heheh…

Oddly enough, I went to see a Career Counselor during my first year of university because I was having doubts about my career path. After answering a battery of tests, I was told that I was suited for a creative field, such as teaching, writing, culinary arts, fashion design, or photography. A test could detect my strengths when I couldn’t detect them in myself. I highly recommend seeing a Career Counselor if you can.

I want to change careers, but my fear of other family members judging me is paralyzing. How did you get over worrying about what others thought?

This was my biggest hurdle of all. I think most of us care deeply about what our loved ones think, whether we like to admit it or not. I had so much anxiety to tell my friends and family that I quit. It almost kept me from quitting at all.

Ultimately, I realized that I couldn’t live my life for other people. We lost a friend suddenly to cancer in 2008 and it really made me change the way I live my life. I stopped beating myself up and worrying about what others thought. I don’t know how long my life will be, but I do know that I’m now living it authentically rather than putting off happiness for another day.

I would love to hear how it felt to walk away from a career you had invested so much time and money in!

The day I quit was a mix of negative and positive emotions. I felt shame, guilt, relief, anxiety, happiness, worry…you name it (see my I Quit post).

Do I regret the 7 years I spent in university? Not a chance. I now know what will make me happy in a career and what won’t. I may have figured it out the hard way, but I’m happy I did at all. An education is invaluable, even if not used in the traditional way that its intended (is it ever these days?). I still feel like I’m fulfilling my goal of helping other people (which is what drew me to psychology), but perhaps not in the way I initially imagined. The twists and turns of life are often the greatest.

How do you deal with isolation when making the change even though you know it’s an unhealthy career for you?

Losing contact with my coworkers was very isolating, especially during the first few months when I was feeling a gamut of negative emotions and questioning my path in life. In the workplace, coworkers are great for venting about problems, forming friendships, and leaning on when you need some support or advice. When I quit my job, I was on my own during workday hours. No one could figure it out but me and that was really scary.

Whether you are having a baby, moving, or taking on another big adjustment, surrounding yourself with supportive people helps so much. I talked to Eric, close family, friends, and on the blog. My mom always tells me that there is no greater joy than knowing your child is happy. If you can wake up each day and feel happy about where you’re going, you’re already a success.

“It isn’t necessary to know exactly how your ideal life will look; you only have to know what feels better and what feels worse…Begin making choices based on what makes you feel freer and happier, rather than on how you think an ideal life should look. It’s the process of feeling our way toward happiness, not the realization of the Platonic ideal, that creates our best lives.” ~Martha Beck

What she said. :)

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For a recap of how I changed careers and my full story, check out my ‘A Year Can Change A Lot’ Series:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, and Part 10 (1 year later)

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{ 192 comments… read them below or add one }

Cait's Plate August 25, 2011

I LOVED this post and it could not have been more timely. I’m still trying to work this out for myself…but reading this gives me hope!

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Amy August 25, 2011

Beautiful post, as always.

xo

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Lindsey August 25, 2011

Thank you so much for this post. I love how you wrote that no longer have a check to skip to the bank with lead to an identity crisis… I could never put into words haw i felt about no longer having a job, but that is totally it. A year ago we relocated and i left my job that I absolutely loved (I was a blaster….hehehe…FUN!) so that my husband could take a position as a nurse at a very prestigious hospital. I don’t regret the move but feel very lost as i no longer have family around nor do i bring in any income, which leads to feeling like I’m not contributing to our financial situation….which leads to another set of problems… It’s so easy to get into a downward spiral and not be able to pull one self out again. After reading the quote above, i realized all the things that I do “while procrastinating” that i could look into….. Thank you so much…While your recipes are amazing…this post could be a life changer.

I feel better now : )

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 25, 2011

Thanks for sharing your story! Good luck with everything.

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Tiff August 25, 2011

Lindsey,

The same sort of thing happened for me. We moved across the country for my husband’s dream job 3 years ago. I am finishing up my graduate studies but not contributing financially. I know how you feel. Good luck to you!

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Brittany @ Runwithbritt August 25, 2011

Beautiful post. As a college student, I know sometimes my friends and I struggle with career path that we are pursuing. I can’t wait to share this with my sister and my best friends. I feel like there is so much societal pressure for women to have more analytical and scientific jobs to compete with men. It’s really refreshing to read your story and know that sometimes taking a leap of faith is scary, but can lead to a better outcome. Thank you!

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Kelsey @ My Search of Summer August 25, 2011

I really struggled once I graduated in May. I started my blog as an outlet and as something to do. After a month or so of searching for a job and coming up short, I really didn’t want to do anything that went along with my degree! Luckily, I found a great job that gives me a creative outlet there, as well as gives me time to keep up my own writing!

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Aine @ Something to Chew Over August 25, 2011

What a great post, thank you for sharing Angela.

I definitely agree with looking to your childhood passions – that’s how I chose my current career, which I love. It took me a while to get there but it’s all part of the journey.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 25, 2011

Ange, this is yet another one of my favourite posts! Like you, I could talk about careers for ages (probably close to as long as I could talk about food!)
“This blog was in essence, ‘the work I did while I procrastinated’” – this is me ENTIRELY! Even though I have a full time job, my blog is the work that I do when I’m not technically ‘working’. Yes, maintaining it is work, but it’s work I love to do. I loved your answers to these questions, and even though we’ve discussed this before, I still continue to learn tons from you. Thanks! :)

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Dawn @ Blonde on a Mission August 25, 2011

Beautiful post.
I’m a freelance writer right now while I’m in university and I honestly love it and want to pursue it further when I graduate, but I know that writers don’t make a huge income. I just want to do something that I’m passionate about or I won’t do it at all.
Your story is inspiring and it’s amazing that you didn’t settle for a career that didn’t make you feel happy & accomplished. I hope to be the same way!

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Abby August 25, 2011

Thank you for addressing my question!
I have a hard time accepting that what I’m doing is what I’ll be doing years from now, but it’s just what you said–finding that passion and preparing to make a change. Because I’m not entirely sure what avenues are available to me–or what paths I can blaze myself–it’s best to simply keep at what I’m doing until I have a concrete plan.
And while I still don’t know if it’s possible for me (and would still give a kidney to be baking in your shoes,) your story is a great place for me to go when those moments of doubt creep back in.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 25, 2011

Good luck with everything. I know you’ll figure it out. :)

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Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) August 25, 2011

I LOVE this post!! I am in the process of deciding what I should do career-wise and I’m finding it hard!! Do I go with my passions or what is the ‘sensible’ thing to do?! I think this has given me the answer though :)

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The Teenage Taste August 25, 2011

Great, great, GREAT post! I definitely think happiness is one of the most important things in life and I’m glad your job brings you happiness now! I’d LOVE to be a “professional food blogger.” :-D

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Natalie August 25, 2011

Darn, I really thought this was going to end with “and my big news is…”.

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Jodi August 25, 2011

LOVED the opening quote, if only I could find the courage to change careers. Scared to death!

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Heather @ Side of Sneakers August 25, 2011

I love this post and completely identify with it. I too made the decision to leave a job that was draining me and making me unhappy for a job I love, even though it means that now I struggle with money and work 100 times harder than before. Your job is such a big part of your life- it’s what you spend the most hours in a week doing, so it HAS to make you happy. Finding what makes you happy is hard, sticking with it through the challenges is harder. But knowing you did what your heart wants makes it all worth it.

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Faith @ For the Health of It August 25, 2011

I love your opening quote – that’s definitely how I feel about my blog, which is (indirectly) tired to my real job – writing is what I love to do whenever I get the chance, so I feel like I’m definitely in the right field! It’s such a relief to know that I’m doing what I want to be doing for the rest of my life…even if it took me five months of misery in a preschool slaving myself to death just to make ends meet! I’m so glad I took the risks to switch fields, and I can’t wait to see where writing takes me in the future :)

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes August 25, 2011

I’m really enjoying this series of posts.

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Andrea B. @ Vegvacious August 25, 2011

This is a wonderful post Angela! I’ve been going through the pains of trying to figure out my passion. You’ve given me lots of food for thought with this post!!! Too many people just ‘go through the motions’ everyday, but I want to LOVE getting up every morning to do something I am truly passionate about!

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thehealthyapron August 25, 2011

This is wonderful. I seriously awnt to quit my job and move. My husband is job hunting but I really wnt to start my own business. I have gotten supportive and unsupportive remarks from friends/family but I know I have to do what is best for me. I’m not happy working for other eople! I want to do what I want to do and I believe I can be successful at it (someday). Thanks for the inspiration this morning! Love the end quote…going on my FB status today :)

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Emily @ Comfortable Home Life August 25, 2011

Girl, you are so inspirational. For real! I love this post. I am lucky enough to say I work in a career that I absolutely love, despite the fact that it’s stressful and demanding.

I wish I could knock this sense into my sister, who is going to a school she hates because it is cheaper than the one she previously attended (and loved!). It’s hard to see her sacrifice her happiness for monetary gain, because I know that’s not the way life should be lived. Despite all my and my mom’s coaxing, she is hard headed and apparently this is a lesson she has to learn herself.

I am so happy you made a long, hard decision that led to your life’s happiness! You rock!

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Stormy @Maoomba August 25, 2011

Hi Angela, Thank you for sharing your path. I quit my job as a health care quality and IT professional last year to run a business that eventually died a good death. When it did, both my husband and I were jobless and trying to figure out the “what next”. We are in the process of pursuing our passions for food, travel, and social good, but I’ve got to say, it’s been a rough road with a lot of questioning, hope, frustration, excitement, and sheer will power. But, we’ve reached the point where the idea of going back to “what was” is more frightening than the challenge of pursuing what could be. Here’s to passion and perseverance!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 25, 2011

‘what’s next’ really resonates with me. Instead of seeing something as not working out, it was an experience, and you are ready for your next one. and then another after that. I think that is really what life is all about! I love your spirit. :)

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet August 25, 2011

Thank you so much for posting this, I’ll be saving it to read again! This is something I have recently started working on and you are truly an inspiration! All of the emotions you mentioned are the ones that I feel just thinking about pursuing something I love instead of the career I went to school for/makes money.

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Eileen August 25, 2011

I love this post. I can really relate to your concerns about your research career. 3 years ago, after much back and forth, I decided not to continue with my PhD in biomedical engineering. I just didn’t see myself being happy going down the post-doc/professor research lab path. The problem was that I didn’t know what I wanted to do instead! I took a “fall back” job in 2 labs, doing more of the writing/management instead of research, while I continued searching and applying for jobs. I finally found a position at a small company that is still somewhat research based but with much more practical applications, and without the rigid academic hierarchy.

I still wonder sometimes if this is what I *really* want to do for the rest of my life, but I think that will just be a lifelong process! Right now my husband is trying to figure out his future career path, and you have some great advice here that I will pass along to him!

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Jena August 25, 2011

Thanks for these great words of wisdom. Your blog has really been making me think about what makes me happy, what kind of career I would find fulfilling (even though I have what I thought was my ‘dream’ job)… These thoughts are often in the back of my mind, and after 6+ months, I think I’m finally starting to have an idea of what makes me happy. Crazy that I didn’t know earlier though.

I’d love to hear an update on your posts from earlier this summer about experiencing anxiety, and how you were dealing with it. I love your food posts, and I love that you add in these more personal touches that are real ‘food for thought’.

PS- You’re “crazy” if you think you’re not using your psychology degree ;)

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MindyG August 25, 2011

I’m on the cusp of making that leap myself right now. You hit on a BUNCH of my questions, my issues, the things that had held me back…. Other things I had been kicking around but didn’t even want to say out loud.
I have a few friends that lately have been reminding me to take the leap and have faith my preparation will help me through, and that sometimes I have to make myself uncomfortable to achieve the end result.
Seeing someone who will just put it out there (the reality of changing your career), and has gone through it is invaluable… thank you.

I particularly like the part about disppointing those close to you. One of the biggest reasons I ended up in my current ill-fated career path is my mother steered me towards something “reliable” and “dependable”… even though it’s never fueled any of my soul.

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit August 25, 2011

Thanks for this post, I read each and every word twice over. You’re SO inspirational.
“it was the best positive escape I could’ve had to get me through that time” – I can really relate to this. I started my blog (on Oct 31 too!) to try and create a positive venue in my life. I started with a couple of posts a week but within month I was up to a post a day, I couldn’t get enough. My negative thoughts started turning positive and I could express myself in ways I hadn’t in years.

“If there’s a voice inside you that suggests you try something out, give it a shot because it could be your hidden passion!” SO true! It’s scary to listen to that voice at times; as you said, but it’s so valuable. A couple weeks ago that ‘voice’ told me to go to an ashram in BC. I’ve never been to an ashram, I don’t necessarily enjoy leaving home by myself, but I trusted it… and I’m leaving in an hour for a whole week.

“When I quit my job, I was on my own during workday hours. No one could figure it out but me and that was really scary” this has been the scariest for me. Not having anyone. I can deal with everything else that accompanies quitting your job to follow your passion, but having to deal with stuff on my own is the biggest hurdle, but it’ll be great when I accomplish it!

Thanks again for this :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 25, 2011

Thanks for sharing Leanne and good luck on your trip!!

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Amy @ The Whole Sweet Scoop August 25, 2011

I love this post. It makes me feel a little less alone and a little less insane. I started my blog very recently in hopes of using it as a tool to eventually change the path of my life to the direction I want to go. It is very hard – especially coming from a family of successful 9-5ers, it can feel very isolating to attempt to change your life path so drastically. Luckily, my new husband is very supportive and always pushes me to blaze my own trail and be happy. Reading things like this makes me realize that I am not crazy and I am not alone. Thank you!

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katie@ KatieDid August 25, 2011

I have always loved these posts of yours Angela. As I go into my senior year in college, all of this is finally feeling real to me and scary somedays too. Ever since starting a blog though, I can sense myself making daily choices that make me feel more free and happy. My passions are coming through more clearly, and so many inspiring bloggers make me believe that following these passions can be a reality.

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Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove August 25, 2011

What a wonderful post! It’s so nice seeing people doing what will make them happy. I’ll be getting married in October so started my blog so I could write all of my ideas down in one place (Pinterest helps, too!). I’ve had so much fun with it that I want to continue it for as long as possible, just shifting the focus onto other aspects of my life. It’s a nice little escape.

I’m hoping that I can be as brave as you were!

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Lynne August 25, 2011

Thank you so much for this post, Angela. I am definitely going to go back and read it again. While I have gone through a bit of an identity crisis since leaving my job a couple of months ago, I am now feeling so much more positive about the future. :)

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Nikki T August 25, 2011

Great post!! Very helpful and inspiring.

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Kim August 25, 2011

Wow, this couldn’t have come at a better time!! I just put in my months notice at my steady job as a trainer to pursue my own nutritional consulting business!! I feel the exact way, Angela! It is very scary stepping into a new career field, but oh so worth the risk!
Thank you for sharing your story!

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Holly @ The Runny Egg August 25, 2011

I love this post Angela — I’m so happy that you were able to get out of that unhappy situation and turn your life around. I’m still in the middle of “well what should/could I do if I were to leave my job?” — I enjoy my job but it doesn’t bring me enjoyment like I wish it would. And sometimes I think I am just not ever content — and I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing!

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Kim August 25, 2011

I completely understand and agree with you on this post. I gave up my Masters in Occupational Therapy because I knew the work just caused me too much sadness, but it was also the comfort of knowing that my fiance would stand by my decision that it gave me the courage to do it instead of waiting until after I graduated to switch careers.

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Bethany August 25, 2011

Thank you so much for your thougthful insight. Your post couldn’t have come at a more important time for me as I ponder my own “I quit.” I’m dealing with a lot of the initial planning and angst that you describe, but I too know in my gut that I need to pursue what makes me happy, even if I am unsure of every last detail. Thankfully I have a year to save up even though I too am planning my wedding. I think it’s monumentally important, though, that you and others share these stories (and hopefully I can too when I’ve found my new path!). Without this kind of positive support, so many people will continue to listen to society’s unjust belief that life is tough and that we all don’t have the luxury of loving our jobs. I truly believe we each have the potential to do what we dream and love. We simply must find it in ourselves to unlock this, trust in it, and follow it through despite all the opinions outside and within us.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 25, 2011

Beautiful words :)

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Natalcho August 25, 2011

Angela – thank you thank you for this post! I love the whole series! I wish I could be brave like you and just do what makes me happy but unfortunately I am too stuck in this corporate career of mine and I know that I will not get out for a while. However, I don’t feel hopeless anymore. I feel empowered since starting my own blog. I am back in touch with my creativity and I am loving it. And for now this part time hobby of mine is enough. But I can already feel it is becoming a bigger part of my life than I ever thought it will. And I do hope that one day I will have the guts to quit, move to a sunny country, open a vegan organic cafe and write. One step at a time … but I am very happy with my place in this journey now because I can feel I am going somewhere. I no longer feel stuck in my full time job. My life is full!

P.S. Can I get Glo Bars delivered in London or Zurich? I have been reading your blog for a while and I am dying to try them:))

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Shanna, Like Banana August 25, 2011

Fabulous insight as always Angela — thank you!

Taking the leap is oh very hard..I am a bit in transition mode and even finding it hard to perhaps change my title from Engineer to Business Analyst…why am I so strung up on the title? Not so sure yet…

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Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) August 25, 2011

I absolutely love this post Ang!

I plan on going part-time in a year and a half at my job (or finding a part-time job seperate from where I work now) because I really am not the kind of person who wants to climb the corporate ladder and make tons of money; it’s just not important to me. Luckily, my hubby completely supports this (I’ve told him this since we were dating) and we are just waiting until we are finacially secure enough for me to do this.

I don’t know exactly what I want to do… but I know I want more time at home. :)

I’m off to brainstorm about what “life toxins” I can get rid of. I’m thinking facebook for sure…. ;)

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Caitlyn August 25, 2011

This is a very motivating and inspiring post. As an undergrad, I was very uncertain what I wanted to do and ended up choosing a major I don’t enjoying, although I didn’t know it until it was too late to change majors. It doesn’t let me utilize my creativity or allow me to do the things that make me happy. A few months ago I decided to go back to school to get my Master’s in a field completely unrelated to my bachelors, but in something that makes me really happy (a Master’s in Nutrition!). Reading your “A Year of Change” series made me more confident with the decision I’m making. Thanks for sharing your story, Angela! You have given me a boost of confidence!

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Jesica August 25, 2011

I just finished reading this post and it corresponded in such lovely ways with a passage I *just* put on a notecard on my desk: “You can only ever be yourself. The more you try to be like someone else, the more you find yourself standing in the way.” (Salman to Lin, in David Gregory Roberts’s Shantaram, p. 834).

The characters in the book are less than savory (mafia bosses, hired assassins, etc.), but so much about it rings honest and true, particularly the part about US standing in our own way when we’re trying to prevent ourselves from being what we ought to be.

Thanks for your post. :)

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Amanda M August 25, 2011

This post is great and I absolutely love the quote at the end. I’m currently gearing up to leave my full-time position to pursue my interests in health and nutrition and start my own blog (it’s been a long time coming!). Like you, I studied Psychology in college, but I now know that it was more out of a desire to help people than do research. I ended up taking a job in search engine marketing out of college – which is totally unrelated, but I needed a paycheck. I actually really enjoyed it for the first couple of years (my co-workers were amazing), but then I accepted an offer with another agency and I’ve spent the last 2 years feeling completely stagnant and unhappy career-wise. It’s been really tough because I felt like I was losing my identity. I’ve always been extremely hard-working and ambitious, and this job is not at all challenging, has little room for growth, and I have very little in common with my co-workers. I knew in my gut when I was interviewing that this wasn’t the place for me, but it was a very good salary and I told myself I would find a way to make it work. I won’t make that mistake again.

On the plus side, I now understand how important it is for me to take the leap and pursue my passions. I have no idea where life will take me, and that’s scary because I’m such a planner, but I know for sure that I will seriously regret not taking a chance to put myself out there and try something new. I’m 27 right now and I don’t want to let another year go by and think “What if?”.

Thank you so much for writing these posts and sharing your story.

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