Until recently, I was swimming in a sea of career boredom. So I summoned my courage and made a monster job change, going from a stable job in the construction industry to a start-up in the organic food industry.
My new job brings more fun, more hours, and more flexibility. But the choice to leave was agonizing. My old team was extremely caring and professional. Not only that ... I was damn good at what I did!
Before I made the leap, I asked myself these questions:
1. Does what I do align with who I am?
I felt like I was constantly searching for something, anything to make me care about the outcome at my old job. The problem was that I didn't care. Beyond improving the bottom line, I really felt like there was no greater mission, no greater goal, and not a whole lot of growth for me personally or professionally.
2. Am I willing to make sacrifices to pursue my passion? (And will that make me happy?)
What I didn't realize was that I need a few things to be happy, and they weren't what I thought they were until I switched my job. I thought I just wanted to be the yoga-pant-wearing, fruit hawking, blog-writing, health and wellness professional and speaker. But it turns out what what makes me really happy in my new life is to live with a meaningful purpose by expanding our community's consciousness around food and wellness.
3. How will my current skills translate to my new world?
Even though I switched industries, I didn't leave all of my skills and contacts behind. I've brought them from my former life and am applying them to something I truly believe in. For example, I still have to hustle to open doors, just as I did in my old job. To my surprise, people from my old life have gone out of their way to introduce me to new friends.
4. Do I have a great support system?
I am blessed to have a ridiculously supportive husband and family and a rockstar team at work. I've also built up a network of wellness professionals that I can call if I need help or just someone to relate to. Being in the wellness field can be exhausting (oh the irony), so having those that back you up and keep you focused is crucial.
5. Am I ready to take a long-term view of my goals?
Wellness is a growing field, and depending upon where you live, it's either in its baby-stages or already a major part of the culture. Be patient. Just because you want everyone in the world to make chia seed smoothies, doesn’t mean they will. Sometimes we have to wean people off diet soda first, and then show them how good that feels. Show your clients new ways of doing things. Support them as they change. Repeat.
6. Do you know what my purpose is?
I am clear that my purpose is to grow wellness in America. Selling produce is just one of the vehicles for delivering that purpose. Don’t be rigid that yoga, acupuncture, reiki, Paleo, or any other holistic method as the only way. You are here to serve others, and have a mission. Otherwise, most likely, you wouldn’t be reading this blog.
7. Am I brave enough to do what I love?
Most of us are encouraged to take the logical, safe route, instead of listening to what our hearts and minds are telling us. If you truly believe in what you're doing, take the long-term approach, hustle, and put the work in to fulfilling your purpose. It’s a day in and day out experience. Trust me, not every day is going to be full of rainbows. It may take a little longer for the money to arrive or for the client to bite, but once it starts rolling, it’s totally worth it.
So long story short, I jumped. I was presented with a dream opportunity to join an organic produce buying club, and help them expand membership and launch their Corporate Wellness Programs. We currently work with some of South Florida’s largest companies.
I knew about CSAs, and had always loved the concept and the convenience, but it wasn’t until I joined (first as a member, then as an employee) that I fully understood what a wonderful choice I had made.
I don't know what I was afraid of, other than the unknown. But if I hadn't jumped, I would have never known how that vast ocean of wonderful possibilities might bring me. Looking back, I will always wonder why I didn't do it sooner.