A few weeks ago I started off by stating the obvious point that “time waits for no man” and I hope that this encouraged you all to reassess where you are in life and ask yourself whether you are living your life with purpose or are you are just coasting by? One area I want you to consider seriously looking at is your career, for the stay at home mums you are also included. What dreams are you sitting on? What were you trying to become before the babies came along? Motherhood is such a fulfilling job but it can also lead to losing yourself in it. What were you aiming to be before you became Nandis Mum (Nandi is my daughter’s name)? I want to encourage you to continue chasing your dreams, it might be a slow process but start it either way.
There will come a time when the nest will be empty and that time might be too late to start chasing those dreams of yours. I want to encourage everyone to follow their dreams. Bare with me for a minute, I know there are those who are living their best lives ever because they are doing what makes them happy, being mum to their kids and enjoying every aspect of it. For those of us that have to work, I ask you the following questions. Do you like your job or do you dread the thought of Monday? Considering the number of years you will have to work to get to retirement are you willing to continue going to a job that you hate? Are you in your dream job or are you in the job that took you when you graduated college and had to start paying bills? I ask these questions to guide you into reflection. If you hate your job and you dread Mondays then I think it time that you Stopped, took a breath and Reassessed life. It’s scary to question the path you have chosen but it is necessary unless you are okay spending the next 20 to 30 years doing something that you are not passionate about. I encourage you to go back to the drawing board, go back to your dreams and see if you can change your path and do what your heart desires. Don’t get me wrong, I am not asking you to be irresponsible and quit your job without a plan, I want you to have a plan and realize that there may be some sacrifices you might have to make.
The first thing you can do is give yourself permission to ask what your dream job would be, describe it, visualize it, and start researching it. That is assuming you are not in your ideal job. What skills do you require to get into your dream field? Do the work, google is your friend. Another option is to find the joy in your current job, what do you find exciting, what brings you fulfillment, can you do more of that. Make the effort to enjoy your job, you might have to be there for a while, while you figure out what you want to do. Try and reconnect to why you joined the profession in the first place, does it still give you meaning, does it still make sense.
If you do a deep reflection and find you want a career change do the work, acquire the necessary skills and be willing to intern to get the necessary hands-on experience if required, but avoid taking on a student loan at all costs. It all seems impossible until you start asking the right questions. All I am saying is give yourself permission to explore other possibilities. Your happiness should count for something, don’t be miserable in a job you hate. Take the steps to explore what makes you happy.
With Love and Gratitude
Dr Fatsani Dogani