Don't Be Afraid To Change Course!

When What You Wanted Turns Out to be Not What You Want.

Ever reach a goal, milestone, or position that you really wanted, but discovered at some point that you no longer wanted it? That can happen to any one of us. It’s happened to me several times. Let me tell you about the most notable time it happened to me.

I had started working part ime for a large telecommunications company through a temporary agency, conducting surveys by phone. My hope was that I would eventually become an official employee of this company, and move up through the ranks, enjoying the benefits of working for a large organization. After 3 years, I was finally made an offical full time employee of the company. At first, I enjoyed all aspects of my job. And actually, throughout my tenure there, I never really had any truly disagreeable work there, nor any truly disagreeable co-workers or bosses. But, as the years rolled by, I found myself not really wanting to be there. My most enjoyable parts of the job was when I had to go outdoors to run errands for the company, or go to other company buildings for meetings or other functions.

To add to this, I’d taken several vacations, and realized that I wanted to leave Southern California as well.

After 13 years with the company as an official employee, I took a separation package that had been offered to all the workers. When news of this package first came out, I decided immediately to take it. I’d decided that it was time for me to make a change in my life and the package would allow me to do it. Now, what surprised me, was how fast I’d made my decision, especially when I’d been of the mindset that said you stay in a good job until you either retire or are laid off if times get bad. The job was good, and the people I worked with were good, also. But I realized I wanted a ‘change in scenery’ and I knew that, if I didn’t take this chance when it was offerred, I might never do it.

So, I left the company, and moved up to Gresham, Oregon. I liked it for the cooler climate, the change of seasons, and the beautiful surroundings.

At first, I tried to find a job similar to the one I had, working in an office. I interviewed at quite a few places, and eventually found a part time job in downtown Portland, doing market research surveys. WHile I did good work, and the company was good, I needed more money, and I felt the urge to be outside of the building. I always looked out the window during my breaks.

Then, I found a better paying part time job closer to me, setting appointments for salespeople by phone. I worked in a windowless office. I did ok here, too, but hated not being able to look out a window, and not having independence on the job.

So, I found another job, delivering flyers door to door to homes. At first, I did this part time while retaining the appointment setting job in the evenings.

I loved the flyer job, which I still have. After the first month, I left the appointment setting job to do the flyer job full time. I love being outdoors, and they allow me a great deal of freedom on the job. I can adjust the amount of hours I work per day, I can take my lunch or breaks when I want to, they allow me to report my work on a weekly basis, so I rarely have to go into the office. But being outdoors, and seeing the sky, clouds, and trees, especially the seasonal changes, is really great! I realized that a job that keeps me in an office was never really for me. I didn’t realize it at first, when I took the separation package offerred by the telecommunications company, but found out later on after I’d made my move to Gresham.

For me, taking the package and making the move were big changes I’d made in my life. Surprising to me was that I wasn’t nearly as afraid to make these big changes as I thought I’d be just a few years earlier. I also, to this day, don’t regret making these changes in the slightest, as I realized that the goals I originally aimed for were not the goals that I truly wanted. And that ‘s fine.

So don’t worry or feel bad if you decide to make a course change. Don’t even worry about what your relatives and friends might say, or bow to the idea that you must not leave a job. It’s your life and if you’re not happy, you need to make a change. Lots of people have great paying jobs or live where ‘everyone wants to live’ but yet are not happy, but are too needlessly afraid or even embarrassed to make changes and too preoccupied living as others expect them to.

I surprised a lot of people with my course change, but they support me greatly and have learned to see me more as a person, and to accept the idea that I’m the ‘captain’ of my life. And best of all, I’m happy.

Alan S