“How Do I Resist Falling Back Into The Soulless Work I Know?”

Chris is tired of doing work he finds meaningless. But while he’s been given an opportunity to explore new ideas, he’s also got a young family to support. When it feels like time, and savings, are running out, how do you stop yourself from drifting back to the same old unsatisfying role?

What's your career history and current job?

I've worked in procurement for the majority of my career, mostly in the corporate finance sector.

I started out as an employee, and I later became a self-employed contractor in the same field.

Due to budget cuts, my most recent contract role ended earlier than expected, which has left me in between jobs.

How do you feel about your work?

I'm good at what I do, and it pays well.

I like most of the people I work with, and I enjoy the deal-making aspects of procurement.

But I'm not a corporate person at heart.

Every day I put on my suit, I feel as though I'm playing a character that isn't really me.

I don't want to keep joining the crowded commute into the City every day, with my face in someone else's armpit. I want to stop feeling as though all I do is work hard just to make more money for faceless corporations.

What would you like to be doing instead?

I dream about being my own boss, doing something interesting and meaningful outside of the corporate world.

I'm just not sure what else I could do.

I love European cinema, and I once volunteered at the Cambridge Film Festival for six weeks. I really enjoyed doing that, but it's hard to see how I could make a career from it.

I've also thought about things like opening a coffee shop, or taking up a franchise opportunity.

What's the biggest obstacle in your way?

I don't know how to avoid going back to the same corporate work I've done for so many years.

Finding myself unexpectedly in between jobs has opened up a real opportunity for me to finally find meaningful work I enjoy.

Unfortunately, it also means I'm not earning anything.

I've got some savings, which are helping to tide me over before I find my next opportunity. But I've got a young family to support, so I can't afford to take careless risks.

I'm not afraid of hard work. I just don't know where to channel it, or how to start planning a realistic career change.

The thought of doing the same meaningless work until the day I retire makes me miserable. But time is running out, and I'm starting to think I've got no other option.

How can I resist the temptation to give up, and go back to the work I know?

Can you help Chris?
  • Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
  • How do you think Chris could move his shift forwards?
  • Do you know anyone he could talk to?

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