Should you follow your bliss? You know, start on a new venture that makes your heart sing? This is a question many struggle with, especially those already established in a career. The loss of income and additional education that may be required for a transition can put the brakes on any dream. Before you talk yourself out of doing that thing you’ve always wanted to do, ponder these questions and recommendations to see if you are ready to travel the road to blissdom.

Are You Clear On Your Bliss?

If you are not sure what you are passionate about, then following what you think your bliss is could be a potential mistake. You’d hate to get half way down the road of a new career just to find out you are in the same place you started. If you are certain where your passion lies, you are half way there.

Recommendation: Talk to those who are doing what you think you want to do. Get a complete picture of what their day-to-day existence is like. See if the excitement is still there after you get the reality dose from those in the profession.

Are You Grounded in Realism?

When people are really miserable in what they are doing they may resort to fantasizing about a career that doesn’t exist. I’m not talking about creating a career that doesn’t already exist. That is actually possible! I’m talking about thinking that a career is going to solve all of your problems or will always be a source of pleasure. EVERY career has its ups and downs. Thinking otherwise is just another form of escapism. Following your bliss requires an action plan and a reality check.

Recommendation: Get to the heart of what you are desiring. See the whole picture of what this dream job would entail. Is this a career that can support you how you need to be supported? Look at the positives and negatives, run the numbers and see if it still sticks. 

How Many Years of Employment are Left?

I talk to many people who are in their late 30’s or early 40’s who think it’s too late to make a career change. Well, sadly for those who are miserable at work, most folks these days will be working well into their sixties. Doing the math, career changers in their 40’s still have at least another twenty years of work. Why not do something you enjoy? Making a career move mid-stream may be the answer to get you through until retirement.

Recommendation: Ask yourself if you can keep doing what you are doing until you are in your mid-sixties. Avoid burning out in your 50’s and never getting back to work.  If you think you are too old for a career change, think again.

What is the Cost of Not Following Your Bliss?

Sometimes the cost of not following your bliss is greater than the cost of following it. The cost of not following it can be a life half-lived: Regrets and living daily with indecision and uncertainty can put a damper on your quality of life. Eeking out an existence is different than living fully engaged. If your bliss keeps tugging at you, you’re going to have to pay attention.

Recommendation: As morbid as it may sound, imagine yourself on your death bed after a lifetime of working the job you are in. Will you have regrets if you do not answer this call? What comes up?

Do You Have Back Up?

Following your bliss requires some back up. If you are one of the rare few who have little in the way of obligations, then a new career path is an easier task. However, if you are the sole supporter of a family, or have financial commitments and bills (everyone!) then you are going to have to get creative. It doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but making a career change requires a support system and a financial plan.

Recommendation: List out your responsibilities including financial, time commitments, family obligations and figure how this change will affect those things. Then get creative figuring out how making this change can be done.

Is There a Middle Way?

If you are completely burned out in your current line of work or don’t exactly know what it is you want to do, is there another way? Bliss is a call from the heart, but you can come at this from your head too. Is there a logical way to transfer some of your skills into an area you have more interest? Or to a new organization or environment where you might feel more connected? Sometimes a little tweaking is all we need to feel happy. It doesn’t need to be earth shaking.

Recommendation: Look at the things you enjoy doing and the various interests you have.Then take a look at your skills. See how you can bring those things together in a logical way.

There are lots of different ways to go with a career transition, but only you know what is in your heart what is right for you.

If you have navigated a career change successfully, I would love to hear from you. Please comment below. If you need help making a career transition, talk to us at Careerfulness.

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Written by Pam Farone