There you sit, at the pinnacle of your profession. Successful, well-respected, making good money. It took lots of hard work, a little bit of luck and many personal sacrifices. Still, it was worth it.
Unfortunately, many people in this exact position are saying “no.” They’re not doing something they like, they’re not happy, they’re not able to say they like what they’ve done with their life.
But those who are miserable and successful often feel the most trapped by their jobs. The money is depended on by families and they are bound with cement glue to the picture-perfect life they have created. They suffer silently, often only showing the signs of their inner turmoil by being less patient with their children, more authoritarian and autocratic at work and suffering from various stress-induced health problems.
People going through this often think about quitting their jobs, chucking it all because they just can't stand being so unhappy. Still, that may not be the best solution since finding happiness may mean simply making some adjustments to a current position. Either way, it’s important that if you are successful, but unhappy, you sit down with a piece of paper and take a hard look at your job.
1. Listing everything that bugs you about your job. From the fax machine that never works to the overtime to the abrasive boss. Don’t leave anything out, no matter how small or trivial. Now consider what you can change or eliminate from that list, and determine what is part of your job and what is part of the work environment.
Now, ask yourself this question: Is this the life you want? Is it what you dreamed of as a child?
2. Looking at time and money. When you determine that a change must be made, this is the time to bring in the family. Explain that you will be happier doing something else, but you will need their support because financial sacrifices may be needed.
Then, set up a timeline of what you are going to do, and when. If you have no real idea of what you want to do, limit yourself to exploring three new fields at a time. If you try to do more than that, you may become paralyzed by such a huge task.
3. Doing your research. Get on the Internet, network with other people, get interviews at companies that interest you. Find out what is needed for you to work in your chosen field by talking to everyone you can think of -- and then asking them for more people to talk to. If you're 50 years old, chances are you can't become a ballerina as you once dreamed, but you can look at jobs that involve the arts, graceful movements and creativity.
4. Going for it. When you’re spending as much time on making your dream a reality as on your regular job, it’s time to take the leap of faith and put all your time into the job you love.