Since seeing the photos of central London’s pedestrian rammed streets over the last couple of weeks, I had a sharp reminder of why I decided to change my career and, in fact, my whole life. London’s tube strikes are a stark reminder of everything I wanted to get away from. The humdrum routine of daily life, long winters and short drizzly summers were just a small part of it. External factors definitely played their part in my decision to pack my bags and try pastures new, but the internal factors probably had much more to do with it. I made good money in England and had what most people would consider a comfortable lifestyle. However, I just didn’t feel that I was as content as I should be.
There had to be a way to change careers that would better suit my passions, my love for nature and my desire to invoke passion and ambition in others. The main things holding me back were fear of the unknown and force of habit. Once I made the leap, however, I wished I had done it so much sooner.
Here are 4 signs it might be time for a career change:
- You simply hate your job
If you find yourself dreading work as you make your morning commute, perhaps it’s time to look for something new. If that tight ball of anxiety is brewing as early as Sunday (as it did for me) then something isn’t right.
Life is too short to spend it being unhappy, stressed and unfulfilled and, in fact, stress itself can make life even shorter!
- You have no work/life balance
This is a common problem in today’s fast-paced world. Since the crash in 2008, many employers downsized and the result was smaller teams with a growing workload as the economy struggled to recover.
One of the most common reasons Scuba Futures’ candidates want to become a PADI Pro is that the lifestyle is completely different. Sure, there can be long days and there is a good deal of responsibility placed on dive professionals, but if the work itself is fun and rewarding, the balance between work and leisure is restored.
- You’re only in it for the money
Now, there is nothing wrong with this, if it’s what really drives you. The fact of the matter is, most people are not driven by financial reward alone. There were many times during my career in advertising that the rewards well extended beyond the nice remuneration package, but in the last few years, I knew I was just going through the motions for the paycheck.
The result was a lack of fulfilment and the beginnings of self-loathing. The money was good, but I spent it fast in order to reward myself for getting through another week in a job that my heart just wasn’t in anymore.
- You’ve discovered a new passion
For me, this was the real tipping point! Discovering scuba diving on a holiday in Koh Phangan six years ago started me off in a whole new direction. When I got back to the UK, it was all I could think about. I would daydream about it, bore my non-diving friends with endless lists of marine life I had encountered and started a ‘get me outta here’ spread sheet so I could save up to take the training, move abroad and start a new life.
Sometimes I get told my decision was brave, some people tell me I am ‘lucky’ to live in a paradise island doing a job I love. The truth is that I am not brave. It was scary to leave behind everything I knew and a stable job, but it would have taken even more courage to stay in a situation that couldn’t make me happy anymore. As for luck, yes, there is always an element of that in any situation, but most of it was decisiveness and dogged determination!