While working as a money broker on the forwards desk in London, my visa expired and as a result, I got an unexpected vacation back to South Africa, not knowing when I’d be able to return to the U.K.
Things were up in the air and there was no guarantee that my work visa back to England would be granted. So off to South Africa I went. I decided to use the forced time off to do some soul searching, create positive habits and really design some clear career goals for myself. My little time off turned into a 13-week long vacation.
At first, I stuck to my intention. I read a few self-help books, did some journaling, scoped out the job market and tried to network a little too. Pretty soon, however, I got caught up in the day to day, travelled, did Pilates and spent quality time with my family. All of which left me very relaxed and rested but not any closer to a clear vision of my bigger life goals.
After 13 weeks, my visa was approved and I headed back to London with the best intentions of at least staying more healthy and being less stressed. It took no more than two months for me to be right back to my stressed out, unhealthy self and still without any clarity around future career goals.
It’s like Nigel Marsh, author, and Ted Speaker says in his TEDtalk “How to make work-life-balance work”(you can watch it below): “I found it quite easy to balance life and work when I didn’t have any work.”
I have also found this to be true for my clients and friends. Quitting your job, taking a gap year, traveling in hopes that being removed from your everyday routine will somehow clear your head and help you find your passion, seldom works. Instead what normally happens is the following: You’ll run out of money and then you’ll make impulse decisions, which will get you right back into the same position of being dissatisfied with your job.
More often, the best way to figure out what your true calling is, or to overcome an obstacle, is to be right there in the mess with it, get curious about your behavior and then tackle all obstacles head on!
We don’t get wiser or grow stronger when things are easy and there are no issues to deal with. Our failures and challenges bring the best opportunities to prosper and conquer!
Now I’d love to hear from you: Have you fallen into the trap of quitting your job to figure out your next career move? How did it work out? Are you wishing you could just quit to try and figure things out? Was this article helpful to you and why? Tell me in the comments below.
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