How do you know when it’s time to make a change in your professional life?
There is no simple answer for everyone, but I really appreciate this quote from Steve Jobs:
I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?
And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
I’ve seen so many people spend years lamenting their professional situation – knowing they need to do something – but not taking the actions that would likely make an enormous difference. They are traveling the road to hell.
For me, it was July, 2007.
By worldly standards, I had it all. Running a successful business that was making hundreds of millions of dollars, flying around the world on the company’s private jet, and ushering in the new world of open source software.
Except I was miserable.
Every morning I was waking up dreading the day. My energy was close to zero, and I had little interest in driving in to work. This feeling of ennui had been manifesting for almost two years, and by the summer of 2007 I knew something needed to be done.
I started by seriously considering the intersection of these three elements:
- What did I really enjoy doing?
- In what areas did I have deep skills?
- What were the market pain points?
I had spent so many years working in areas that leveraged those last two (I had the skills and the market was paying very well), but totally neglected the first point – where my passions resided.
Work without love is slavery!
By thinking through all three aspects – particularly what I greatly enjoyed doing – not only did my excitement rise, but I identified many potential opportunities that I had never previously considered.
I made a change in my career and the results were nothing short of spectacular. As I reflect on that transformation, my only regret is this: Why didn’t I do it sooner?
What astounded me even more than my newfound feelings of professional exuberance was how many others were seeking such a similar change. Countless people reached out to me asking for help on:
- Writing a resume that actually leads to an interview
- Acing an interview while being genuine
- Negotiating a salary without burning bridges
- Tapping into the types of gigs that truly align with one’s interests and skills
- Overcoming impostor syndrome while developing the confidence to make such a change
I realized that by consciously focusing on those areas of tangible impact, remarkable results could be achieved.
And as I helped my friends discover, land, and excel in their dream jobs – I wanted to find a way to do that for many others. Especially to help people avoid the same mistakes I made, particularly wasting so much time stuck in a professional rut.
That is what led to the formation of Anthony’s Desk and my mission to challenge everyone to wake up everyday loving what they do.
My personal philosophy is this: Life is too short to be in a job you don’t love – or to be unhappily unemployed.
So ask yourself this question: Do I really love what I’m doing?
If you feel stuck in the pit of professional apathy – or worse – then consider making a resolution to change what you’re doing.
From personal experience and years of helping others, I can tell you that it is not as hard as you may think.
Don’t settle for mediocrity, nor wait to transform your career. Your dream job awaits you.