Knowing when it’s time for change

Old Navy t-shirt, Gucci Disco Bag, Daniel Wellington watch

Happy Friday friends!  I hope all of you have had a wonderful week.  This week certainly flew by for me and I am certainly looking forward to relaxing this weekend.  Sometimes no plans are the best plans right?

Today’s post is about knowing when it’s time for change.  Now, I know what some of you may say, you don’t like change and you like things to just remain the way they are.  To some extent, I totally get it and can relate.   It’s so easy to just coast when you’re comfortable.  However, throughout life, there are bound to be times when you feel that churn in your belly knowing that you’ve got to make changes.  I want to share a couple of my experiences that will hopefully inspire you to take the leap towards change when need be.

Knowing when to depart from a career

I began a twelve-year elementary teaching career back in 1999.  At the time, and for many years to follow, this was my passion.  Countless hours{beyond my requirement} were put in along with my own money for items needed and wanted to provide the best possible experience for my students.  My teaching career carried me from North Carolina, South Carolina, New Mexico, back to South Carolina and a final five-year stretch when we returned to North Carolina.  Those various moves were due to Shay{my husband} serving in the USAF.  Within each move, I taught various grades and honestly loved each and everyone.  Not to mention how much I adored my students.  I was fortunate enough to also work with some other amazing educators.  I served as team lead at various times and adored being involved with students, parents and faculty.  For many years I would anticipate with excitement as a new year began.  I would feel an overwhelming amount of joy when students would grasp the contents being taught.  Additionally, I profoundly found motivation when students and parents would follow back up with me after their child had moved on to another grade level.  They would thank me for the experience and education that I provided for their child which was an accomplishment in my book.

However, during the last year taught, something began to churn inside of me.  While I never entered a teaching career with the expectations for making much money, it wasn’t helping that pay increases had been frozen for years at this point.  Not only that, we were constantly being given the message, “just be glad you have a job.”  When that first began a couple of years prior, I honestly became worried about being moved or losing my job due to the changes I saw happening around me.  Yet, I kept to the same standards and drive that I had always had.  But for me there was a pivotal moment at which I truly didn’t feel supported any longer as an educator, appreciated or valued for my hard work and dedication.  And, to be one hundred percent honest, I literally cried almost every day during that last year.  I knew something had to change.

Taking the step

As the year concluded, I knew as I mentioned, that change had to occur.  But how?  All I had ever done was teach.  I adored my students and the people I worked with.  How on earth do I walk away from a twelve-year career?  Who will hire someone with “just teaching experience.”  For starters, that voice in my head saying, “all you’ve done is teach” was just a bunch of crap{more to come that on how to manage at a later time}.  Yet, leaving this all behind was a HUGE decision and change for my life.  I headed to the beach that summer with my husband and family.  Trying to put this aside for a while, but prayerfully seeking the right direction to take.  Finally, one morning I woke with a peace knowing it was time to resign.  I knew it would be unfair to myself, my husband and any students forthcoming should I continue.  Now, please note, even though I had peace in the decision that doesn’t mean it was easy.  Typing up a resignation letter was beyond nerve-wracking.  But, I truly trusted this was the right decision.  Moreover, the day I actually resigned, the most enormous weight was lifted.  It was an unbelievable feeling that I will never forget.

Next steps

If a career change is something you foresee in your future, I don’t advise doing this abruptly.  Take your time to do some soul-searching to find out if this is what you truly need to do.  This needs to occur before just walking in and resigning.  I do not recommend that, unless you’ve just won the lottery!  Talk with family, friends, those near and dear that will truly support, listen and advise you in your decision.  Additionally, have something lined up.  Whether that be a nest egg that can support you for at least six weeks to find your next job or, simply have the next job lined up.  On average it takes about six weeks to find a job.  You may want to keep in mind that if you are changing careers completely, this may take longer.  My process was over three months for reference.

For me, I was fortunate enough that we had money set aside so that I could take some time off to rejuvenate and begin the search for a new career.  Although one huge change had occurred, another one was on the horizon.  Not to mention the journey to find it.  More on that story in next week’s post!  You most definitely don’t want to miss it.

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