2. If you’re dreading your job but feel like you can’t quit – listen to this

In this episode, I reassure you that pivoting and transitioning careers is normal. I go through my journey with selecting a career path and the pressure I felt.

Are you feeling this?

  • Feeling stuck because you’re not passionate about it OR it wasn’t really your choice OR you just had to pick something?
  • Dreading work each Monday morning? Loving your Friyays?
  • You’re not feeling challenged at work? Maybe you can’t really progress or grow professionally.
  • It doesn’t seem to be that fulfilling, doesn’t feel like you’re helping people the way you’d like.
  • Maybe you feel this way, but you’re staying there out of comfort and fear of the unknown.

My experience

  • Schooling- I had this mentality of wanting to achieve and be successful. Throughout my schooling experience, I studied really hard, focused on my education and getting good grades because I thought that being a good student 👉 good employee 👉 I’ll make good money 👉 have a good life.
  • Year 10- I felt pressured to choose the *right* electives that would provide background knowledge for university (+ my career!). So I flipped through this huge job guide with descriptions of allll these jobs. After re-reading it over and over, I’d narrowed it down to a handful of options and decided to go with Optometry. So I chose Extension Maths, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Year 12- At this time, I didn’t want to pursue Optometry anymore, but was deciding between Primary School Teaching or Health Science. Year 12 was also the final year of High School and the pressure was on to get good results on my exams so that I could open the doors and opportunities to get into university because I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. Luckily, I got a good ATAR and got into my first preference… it was like a weight off my shoulders.
  • Uni- Everything I did was to help my future. I started working as a tutor part time to gain teaching experience so I didn’t really embrace the social opportunities or enjoy the uni freedom.
  • Work- This was where I worked about 60 hours a week to gain teaching experience and be the best teacher that I could. I got to school early, left late, brought work home and worked on the weekends.
  • Network marketing- I got into this because I was questioning the lifestyle of a 9 to 5 full time job (it felt like it!). I was only 25 and couldn’t imagine teaching and working like that for the rest of my life. This was where I first learnt about other ways of earning money and new possibilities of living.
  • Pop Pilates Instructor- I wanted something to take my mind off work and enjoyed the physical aspect of working out, slowing down and connecting with friends. It took me a while to start teaching classes online, but that was when I first put myself out there on social media.
  • New school- I still wasn’t enjoying work, so I decided to look for a new school to work at, thinking that a change of scenery would fix everything. Spoiler: it didn’t.
  • Life coaching- After researching all about it and finding out everything I could, I decided to go for it. I invested over $6000 for a Life Coaching Certification Program (which was half price!).
  • Casual teaching & life coaching- A year later, I now work as a casual teacher and have started building this community of second gen women.

My fears about pivoting careers

  • Guilt for wasting money. My parents helped me pay for my university degree and tutoring, and I didn’t want that to go down the drain.
  • Guilt for wasting time. Everything I did was to fast track into my career. I didn’t want to choose the wrong subjects at school. I wanted to gain experience before starting my career and wanted to get straight into full-time work.
  • Didn’t want my parents to worry about me – about the uncertainty, lack of security/stability, inconsistent paychecks.
  • I was scared of my parents being disappointed – they didn’t want me to get into teaching in the first place because of the salary and I didn’t want to hear that they were right.
  • I felt embarrassed and ashamed of not having my life figured out.

Here is another story that will help to reassure you.

Asian Soup Podcast Episode – Career Change: How and Why We Changed our Careers in Our Late 20s

I hope that from hearing my story, you feel reassured that changing careers is normal. That you’re also not offending anyone by not enjoying your job.

Take babysteps towards what you’d want to do.

Remember, you’re a human BEING, not a human DOING.

Chat to you in the next episode!
Van Anh

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