Sam Mednick is a professional Life and Executive Coach based in Barcelona (www.blueprintcoaching.ca). A Canadian native, she’s been living in the city for eight years working with companies as well as individuals focusing on transitions, communication, leadership training, time management and productivity as well as emotional intelligence development. For more coaching tips, tune into her Podcast.
THIS MONTH: TAKING THE LEAP
Yesterday, I called in ‘sick’ and cancelled on my 12-year old English student, because I couldn’t bear the thought of having to teach for another hour. I felt awful but it made me realise that I really don’t want to be doing this anymore. When I first arrived, I started teaching English to pay the bills. It was going well and so I stuck with it. Now teaching’s become really comfortable, yet the longer I do it, the harder it is to transition into something else and I’m so tired of it. I’m burnt out, not feeling stimulated anymore and I desperately need a change, I just don’t know how to ‘get out’. Any advice?
When you’re playing ‘hooky’ from a self-employed job and lying to 12-year-olds about your health, I’d agree, it’s time for a change. You hit the nail on the head when you said that the more comfortable you become the harder it is to transition out. The longer you ‘stick’ with something, the tougher it is to take that leap. When it comes to switching jobs or careers, whether you’re teaching English as a freelancer, working 9-5, running your own company or otherwise, the hardest part is making the decision to go through with it.
I remember how agonising it was for me to leave my job in order to start my coaching business. I deliberated for months, yet once the decision was made it was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Even though I had no idea what would transpire next, knowing that I was 100 percent on board with my choice was an incredible relief and helped propel me into the next chapter. You don’t need to have it all figured out before you decide that you want a change. It comes down to trusting your gut, listening to yourself and believing that things will work out (cheesy as that sounds).
If you’re unable to commit to the change then ask yourself: What’s standing in your way? What are you afraid of? Something that holds a lot of people back from ‘getting out’ of a stable job, is fear; fear of not having financial stability, not being able to find another job (especially in Barcelona) or fear of regretting your decision. There are no guarantees when you make a change like this, yet if you think about it there are no guarantees that your English teaching will continue to be successful either. So commit to being 100 percent on board with your decision and then here are a few practical things you can do in order to start pursuing something else:
Set an ‘end date’: Even if you don’t adhere to it (although definitely try to), having a projected end date for when you want to stop teaching (or doing what you’re doing) gives you a deadline to work towards and can be incredibly motivating.
Tell people you’re ‘getting out’: When you say it out loud, you make it real. The more people you tell, the more likely you stick to your decision.
Let yourself get excited about new opportunities: When we’re so focused on what’s in front of us we don’t always let our minds wander and entertain new options. Start asking yourself what gets you excited, what are you passionate about and what’s something you’ve always wanted to try doing but haven’t had the time or the guts to pursue it.
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