“I Want To Change Career, So Why Am I Not Doing Anything About It?”

The last thing Chelsea wants is to spend her life wondering "What if?". She's motivated, she's switched on and she's made her decision: it's time for something new. So why isn't she making it happen?

What's your career history and current job?

I'm a business intelligence manager for a major art auction house.

I started out as an Art History major in college at home in the US. I then worked my way from gallery to gallery until I was put forward by my then manager for a job in an auction house in London. I loved the buzz and energy and the luxury of the environment, and worked my way up from there.

I've now been in this company for eight years, and in the art world for fifteen.

How do you feel about your work?

It's fine. That's about all I've said about my work for years now: it's not bad.

I was really excited about it when I first started, and now it's settled into something that pays my bills.

I've consistently moved up in the business in a way that I'm happy with and I feel appreciated. My colleagues are nice enough, and I certainly don't feel sick on my way into the office every day like some people do.

So I'm not totally miserable. But I do wonder if this is all I'm worth.

There's so much out there these days about following your passions, and living in an exciting way, and doing what you love, and I remember thinking that way when I first started out in my career. Over the years though, I think I've slipped into apathy (or laziness), and I don't want to wake up one morning toward the end of my life, wondering "What if?".

I miss that energy and excitement around my work. I miss feeling proud of what I do. It all sounds a bit hazy, I know.

But I do know I want to change career. I have to do something different, at least for a while. Because then at least I'll know.

What would you like to be doing instead?

All I'm unshakable on is that I'd still like to do something that involves people, first and foremost.

My work at the moment has a lot to do with big data, but at the heart of it I always maintain it's about customer relationships. I love being around people. I'm always drawn to work that's to do with creating teams that work together beautifully, getting big jobs done, and leadership and management and training.

I've wondered if that might lead me toward staffing major events or something like that, but if I'm honest I haven't got clear about the answer to this question. I quite like the idea of running team-building days, too, but I don't think that would quite pay the bills!

What's the biggest obstacle in your way?

I just don't seem to be very self-motivated at all, which is bizarre, because at work I'm a productivity powerhouse.

I always have the best of intentions when I come home from work: to get on with career change research, or get out and do something, but it just never happens.

I'm tired, or I have to run errands after work.

Or, more commonly, I decide that today's the day I'm going to do something productive, but I can't think of what to do, so I sit down to read another article online and before you know it, it's 10 p.m. and I'm in some shady backwater of the internet reading about a make-money-fast scheme.

Or, more likely, I've drifted right off-topic and I'm finding out about how sharks swim so fast.

At the weekends I usually have to take my son somewhere, or I have arrangements with friends and they just wouldn't understand if I started turning them down to focus on a career change. They'd think I was crazy for considering leaving where I am.

I've read a lot of advice that says to make new friends who support your career change, but I really wouldn't know where to start with that, especially since I don't know what I want to change career to.

I read and read and read, all about career change, but that's all I seem to be able to get myself to do.

What if I'm just not a very motivated person, outside of the workplace? Or is this a sign that actually, I don't want to change career all that much?

Can you help Chelsea?

  • Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
  • How could she start getting into action?
  • Do you know anyone she could talk to?

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