It's one thing to know that your friends and family don't take your dreams seriously. But what if the person mocking your career aspirations is you? Brian's not sure he could ever make the leap from his respected profession into something less prestigious, no matter how unhappy he becomes. How can he overcome this mental block?
What's your career history and current job?
I work in senior management for a very well-known private healthcare company in London.
How do you feel about your work?
I feel frustrated, bored, and tired.
Not every day, of course; most days I go into work, get the job done, and get it done well. But there's a blanket feeling of numbness that's covering everything at the moment – I'm sure my staff have noticed it over the past few years.
I want to succeed and progress at work, but I'm just losing the will to care any more.
What would you like to be doing instead?
Since my nephew was born with a learning difficulty six years ago, I've been fascinated by early child development.
At the same time, my job has become much more stressful, and now I'm finding myself daydreaming of taking a step back from busy corporate life and running a local centre for kids and the families of kids with conditions like Tom's.
What's the biggest obstacle in your way?
It sounds horrendous to say this out loud, but I simply cannot make the mental jump that this is a respectable and viable career option.
I don't say that to knock the people out there who do it already; they're an incredibly inspiring bunch and they've made a huge impact on my sister and her family. But I've had 'Monday to Friday, 9–5, briefcase' drummed into my head for so many years now that anything falling outside that world feels frivolous and trivial.
At the moment, when people find out what I do, there's a level of understanding and respect that I immediately receive. I'm taken very seriously as a result of my job. And I'd really, really miss that if I switched. I know that teachers and support workers do great work, but it's just not the same. My family would think I'd lost the plot – I haven't dared tell them yet.
But underneath it all, it's not so much a concern about what other people think. Deep down, it's what I think, too. And I know it's the reason I haven't done anything about my career change all these years.
Sure, I'm uninspired and sick of my current career. But unbearable as it can be, on some level I still believe it's better than losing my credibility.
Or is it?
Can you help Brian?
- Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
- What could he do to get his shift moving?
- Do you know anyone that he could talk to?
Share your support and advice in the comments below!