If Not Now Then When

Does your professional life reflect who you truly are ? If you did not HAVE to work in your current position, what would you be doing?

Many people believe that once a decision has been made on their career path, then they are committed to follow that path come what may. But that is not necessarily so.

Many people are now reinventing their careers and following their passion. One of these was Andy Tuck, a former pianist-philosopher, is now a founding partner of arc (Applied Research and Consulting ), which uses social research to help high-profile people make decisions. “You need to know that you do have a choice in the matter of your career,” he says. “But no one is going to force you to take a risk. You have to make that choice yourself. And sitting in one place and continuing to do something that doesn’t make you happy is a choice too.”

An article from Fast Company in 1999 explains that unfortunately, too many people choose to stay put and stay unhappy. “It’s a variation on the golden-handcuffs phenomenon,” explains Marti Smye, 49, a career consultant based in Toronto and author of “Is It Too Late to Run Away and Join the Circus? A Guide for Your Second Life” ( Macmillan, 1998 ). “When you’re so damn good at what you do, it’s difficult to convince yourself to give it up — even when it’s not making you happy”.

Of those that daydream of making a radical career change, and following their values and their dream, only about 10% actually do it. With fast-growing companies are starved for talent, there has never been a better time than now to make a radical career change. Millions of people are choosing to become free agents and are helping others make that same choice. I made that same choice in moving from a traditional role in the corporate to the role of my dreams as a professional coach.

It is surprising that most career experts report that you shouldn’t worry too much about your skills when considering when and whether to make a radical change. Smart, ambitious people generally find a way to adapt and grow in new environments.

“When you’re trying to reinvent your career, you’re not reinventing your personality,” notes career consultant Marti Smye. “So it’s more important to match your belief systems with your new organization than to make sure your skills are compatible. ”

So when is the best time to re-invent yourself and start following your dreams. If not now, then when ?

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