for the past 2+ years i have been very honest (and vocal) about how burned out i am in my current job. i absolutely loathe working in IT. and i am not alone i'm finding out. i reached my peak about a year and a half ago when something happened at work that really sent me over the edge - i posted about it & retracted it because there was nothing constructive in it...at least i didn't think so then.
i realized much later that it was the push i needed to start finding my way out of my current job. a year later, i was still struggling, but i was trying. it took a while, but i realized i was asking myself the wrong question for the longest time: what is it you really want to do? that just added another layer of frustration because now i was not only unhappy in my job, but i couldn't not answer this question that i thought would make it all better. somewhere along the way, i realized the question really was "what do you like?" never mind the "to do", just what do you like. that changed everything.
2 things happened: i changed my approach to searching for the next job and Cookie was diagnosed with brain cancer. i won't rehash the brain cancer stuff because it's all out there already, but it did really make me sit down & think about how much i like animals, dogs in particular. i started googling "careers working with dogs". aside from joining the circus (which i'm pretty sure i already live in), certain options kept presenting themselves: vet, vet tech, groomer, trainer, dog sitter. so i started researching those.
meanwhile, back at the farm, i began what i like to call my "man on the street career research project". i would ask anyone & everyone about their jobs. the Culligan guy? yep! the girls at my vet? check! the ladies at the nursing home? check! random people in check out lines! really, i did! and if i heard about a job someone did & couldn't ask them? i googled it! my philosophy was that old standby: throw enough darts, you're bound to hit something. i had some weird epiphany last March. sitting in my cube at work, i broke. i said out loud to all my co-workers "i'm done! i will not spend the rest of my life staring at the corner of a cubicle!" and i meant it.
i believe in signs too! always have. weird things happen for a weird reasons. i remember my graduate adviser was soooo disappointed in me when i mentioned this in front of her years ago. "How can you study what you study & believe in signs, fate, etc." my answer: i just do! and this year has been just that. my favorite, our trip to Jackson Hole, WY and my dog sledding tour. our guide Courtney and i had a conversation about how she made the leap, leaving her job in healthcare to be a guide. i was captivated. i so admire people that can take a leap of faith to get out of the normal routine & make their own path. i told her at the end of our tour that this was the year i was going to take that leap of faith. i was going to jump.
and jump i did! i gave notice almost 2 weeks ago. Wed will be my last day working in a corp environment. and what am i leaving for? dog groomer! that's right! i'm gonna go work for the 4-legged variety. and i could not be happier right now. i've worked in a local shop the last 2 Fri & Sat's & have enjoyed it. it will be challenging, but i'm not scared at all. and that people is a very big deal for me. but i get it now. every person i have ever talked to that has done something like this said the same thing: you just reach critical mass. a point where you know if you don't jump off that cliff, you never will. and i could literally feel each of those moments when i took that one step closer & the final one when i jumped. and it felt great!
will i make a lot of money? probably not! will i make any money? i sure hope so! but am i scared? not a bit! i don't know when i've been so excited to embark on something. i have certainly had better, more lucrative offers in the last year+, but none of them felt right in my gut. this did the entire time. so, like a marriage, for better or worse, here goes!