Career Change Ahead? Harness the Power of Relationships
Making the decision to leave a job you don’t enjoy to follow your true passions is both exciting and incredibly scary. My move from corporate project management to writing and teaching yoga has definitely been both. I was relieved and inspired as I let go of a work environment that didn’t fit my values; at the same time, I was anxious about not knowing how my new career adventure would turn out. Even though corporate jobs aren’t as secure as they used to be, taking the entrepreneurial path still has the risk of (literally) losing a lot to manifest a dream. I had planned, networked, and prayed over my decision to leave my desk job, but none of that compared to living in the reality of being who I wanted to be. Though I consider myself only in the beginning of my yogic and writing journey, there’s plenty I’ve learned thus far. The most important lesson yet: the power of people and relationships.
There is nothing more important in a meaningful life than relationships, particularly relationships that are loving and supportive. Yet sometimes, support for a job transition doesn’t came as easy as you hoped it might. When I decided to leave my corporate job, not everyone was pleased with my decision; most of those who doubted me were close friends and family. Largely, their disagreement came out of the fear I would fail and not be able to financially support myself, which was a realistic possibility. Sometimes I would let that perspective impact me so much that I thought about abandoning the new life I was building and finding a job they’d approve of, but I knew I’d be living my life for someone else if I did so. I realized that I’d have to go outside my comfort circle of people for support.
Relationships and networking can develop in unlikely places. Taking up a hobby or interest where people communicate in person or online can offer opportunities for career growth and new friendships. It can still be hard to reach out to new people, but the discomfort is worth it; such support can be the difference in quitting what we love to do and continuing to do it. It definitely turned out that way for me. As an introvert, talking to people I didn’t know very well was far from easy. But I began reaching out for guidance and opportunities, one person at a time, and it was absolutely worth it. Since I was a yoga teacher, I decided to share my career move at my yoga studio with other teachers and practitioners. I didn’t force a conversation about looking for work, but opportunities presented themselves anyway: to my surprise, I started receiving more support and work recommendations from people I had seen only a few times in my classes. I landed jobs as a result, which was amazing, but just having the support of others was a great source of inspiration that kept me determined to keep writing and teaching.
No matter what job we have or purpose we live, the people around us matter. It’s important to remember that some people will always doubt the risks we take; it’s often not because don’t love us, but because they don’t want us to get hurt. That doesn’t mean they won’t support what we do eventually. In the meantime, though, we can accept their opinion and still love them without actually validating it. And, while we’re at it, we have to seek out community that affirms our convictions and goals. When we think, act, and connect in a way that supports the career or life path we choose, it’s easier to see the results we want manifest in our daily lives. Money and time are important, but relationships are paramount; they lead us to new business opportunities, friendships, and inspiration to keep taking chances and remaining true to ourselves.