career&entrepreneurship
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What do you want to be when you grow up?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

John Lennon

We are all scared of change – and have been since the dawn of time. It is hard-wired into our brains through evolution….so our first reaction to “change” is to run from it or simply avoid it. It is the classic “fight or flight” reaction to the underlying fear associated with change. Even if you truly want your life to be different, it will be incredibly difficult to take that first leap….and then adapt. If you are someone who is yearning for change, that is, changing for the better, then please read on.

Here’s something to consider when you’re on the verge of taking that first step. Think of this concept as a mental “exercise” to help put your thoughts into perspective:

Now, try to think back to when you were much younger – when you didn’t have any real obligations and no idea what it meant to support and raise a family. What did you enjoy doing back then? What did you dream of?

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

When I was 7 years old I lived in my own little world where animals and trees could talk, naturally. I had quite a few siblings back then and I clearly remember that our tiny kitchen was in fact no ordinary kitchen. It was a magical cafe owned by my uncle Joe, a half elf, half human character that liked to tell me stories when I came in for my usual cup of tea after school. Eventually I became suspicious when I realized that he was not an employee of the cafe. When I asked him about that, he just smiled.

Now I’m 25 and work in Technology. It seemed like a good choice at the time…. and the smart thing to do. Being at ease with computers and technology has  opened a lot of doors for me, but at times I sit down and wonder: where did that little girl go? The one who made illustrated books and wrote poems? The one who wanted adventures and dreamed of travelling the world on scientific expeditions? Where did she go?

readingundertree2

Illustration by http://penelopeillustration.com/

If you can manage to sit back and ponder “where you were, and where you are now,” you can actually visualize “dramatic changes” which already took place. Try it.

Is that what it feels like to grow up?

I refuse to believe it. I refuse to believe that growing up also means giving up on your dreams. On the contrary, it means now you have more experience and knowledge. And with experience and knowledge comes more confidence and less fear.

I meet so many inspiring women through the PyLadies Group that come from various technological fields like science, marketing, finance, teaching and law. And they all are excited to build something people can benefit from. Their ages range from 17 to 40 plus – and when I see them  typing their first lines in the command prompt, I realize:

It is never too late. If they can do it, so can I.

If it’s just making a simple change in your schedule to free up time, or a complete careers change, no need to fear. Actually, use that fear to your advantage and try to avoid thinking too much.

You think it’s too late to start a new career at your age?

Here are a few recent inspirational stories I found to prove you wrong.

  • Marie Milligan

Went from being a professional musician to a career in business coaching and inspirational writing.  Check out the interview we did with her on challenges of finding your purpose and going through a major career change.

  • Joan O’Shaughnessy

Left her secure career as an attorney to become an ecologist and nature conservationist. Read all about it over here.

Changing from investment manager to blogger and photographer. She also managed to go completely debt-free, move into a tiny house and write an extremely inspirational book!

There are so many more stories of career shifters out there, it’s crazy! Check out this list.

careerchoice

You are afraid that you are not good/talented/smart enough to _______(insert your desired skill/career path here).

Well, you know what? Read the Outliers. If you’re still not convinced and inspired, don’t go jumping in the ocean head first. Prioritize your dreams. Take every moment to explore them. Sign up for a short course and meet people who are already successful. Volunteer during your vacation. Do some job shadowing. Take a longer sabbatical from your job and use it to practice your new craft. It never hurts to try and yet it is the hardest step to take, right?

What if I do it and don’t like it? What if I like doing it, but not patient enough to get better?

Well, I don’t have any better solution than to just

SUCK IT UP…. AND DO IT NOW.

You might have to adjust your budget, your time, your job, or your family. It’s all about priorities. What’s most important to you?

Why not look into it today?

Filed under: career&entrepreneurship

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Oxana is the technical co-founder and an occasional author of Life as an Investment magazine. Oxana has two big passions—technology and health, so one way or another, she is always involved in a fusion of web development, data analysis and all things life science such as genetics and biochemistry.

1 Comment

  1. Oxana, this is a wonderful post. You write with clarity, passion, heart and wisdom. Now if this is an example of how you like to write, I’m here ready to read more. The mix of personal story and practical guidance with links is helpful to many who are fearing that change…keep on writing. There’ll be people (like in your feedback) who need what you have to say….x

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