Just because your profession is something you chose in your early 20s and have been pursuing successfully since that time, it doesn't mean you have to keep doing it. If you're going to be spending that time away from your family, you should really love what you do. And if you don't? It might be time to make a change.
Do you find yourself listless and restless at work? Can you do it in your sleep? Is your job too comfortable? Perhaps you do your job well, but at this point it's rote. You're bored -- the spark is gone. Sure it's a paycheck, and that's a pretty wonderful thing to hold onto in uncertain economic times, but c'mon, you've got to enjoy what you do.
It might be time for new challenges. As we grow -- and yes, we continue to grow well into adulthood -- what brings us fulfillment changes. Kids and family life may be a primary path to fulfillment in your life, but your work should bring you some of that, too….and the kids aren't going to be around forever. Will your current career -- the one that's "fine" for now -- bring you fulfillment when your nest is empty?
If nothing else, it might be time to start doing some research. What new interests have developed in the recent years? What long hidden dream can you allow to percolate to the surface? What are your passions? If the time to make a career change is immediate, near, or a distant light at the end of a long tunnel, you first need to research what to do next. And that part is a whole lot of fun and very exciting.
If your current career path isn't giving you the satisfaction you hoped for, allow yourself to daydream about a new career -- then develop a timeline to figure out if you can make it happen. It can be a years-long timeline! But set a goal to make the daydreams a reality.
It takes guts to make a change. Staying in the comfortable job is the safe and easy thing to do. But is it the right thing to do? You only have one life to live so you might as well make it as happy as possible. Balancing work life and home life is hard enough when you love what you do for work. And if you don't, you're likely to be unhappy no matter how "perfect" the work circumstance. If it's time to make a career change, there's no time like the present.
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