November 10, 2021

How to Leave a Soul-Sucking Job—& Pursue our Childhood Dreams.


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Remember when we were kids, and we’d get asked what we wanted to be when we grew up?

Odds are, the dream we had then, isn’t the job we’re in now.

All I wanted when I was a kid was to be an author. I loved books. Like, I really loved books. A hardcore nerd, y’all. It didn’t matter what it was—fiction, non-fiction, long, short, from any and every period. I loved them all.

I remember reading Treasure Island in third grade and being transported to a whole different world. And I got hooked.

I could not get enough. 

Some of my greatest adventures were from reading books. And all I could imagine myself doing was creating new worlds to take other people on their own wild adventures.

But then life happens, right? Somewhere along the way, we get “practical.” Or maybe we get swept along. And somehow, we end up in a job completely different from what we imagined as a kid when we had permission to dream freely and dream big.

We may look around and think, “I have no idea how I ended up here.” On the other hand, we may be burned out or bored (out of our minds). Either way, we know there has to be more to life than this.

And we are right in thinking this.

There is more to life than this.

Ninety thousand hours of our lives are spent working, and we are worthy of spending our time in a way that makes us feel alive and brings us the same joy, excitement, and anticipation we experienced as kids. The dream about who we would be when we grew up.

We’re also not alone. Fifty percent of us are dissatisfied with our jobs. It’s a career discontentment epidemic out there.

But it’s also time to do something about it. If anyone needed a sign, this is it. The time is now. 

Here’s what we need to know to finally make the change and find a career that brings us the childlike wonder we deserve. The one that makes us say, “Wow, I can’t believe I get paid to do this!”

Here are three tips for leaving our soul-sucking job to pursue our childhood dreams:

1. We need to start by getting to know ourselves again. 

It’s time to remeet or remind ourselves of who we truly are. Either way, we need to get to know what it is we’re passionate about, what we’re good at, what we enjoy, what makes us come alive, what we value and desire. One way is to get curious about these things is by trying something new and seeing how they make us feel. And when we get that feeling (the one where we completely lose track of time and get lost in what we’re doing)—pay attention.

2. Explore what roles and companies align with your discoveries.

This is the fun part and can translate into something we can get paid for. For me, I realized I loved meaningful conversations, implementing strategy, writing (hello again, childhood Katelyn!), and helping people align their passions with their careers.

This pointed me directly to career coaching and operating out of my sweet spot where I get to write content, utilize intentional conversations, and strategize to help people overcome obstacles to land jobs where they can thrive.

3. Get your *ish* together and do it already. 

This is the hardest part—getting started. We miss every single shot we never take. And if we don’t get our act together and make big moves, we’re sure as heck never going to make big waves. So do one thing (yup, just one thing) today to move the needle forward.

Maybe it’s simply telling someone we’re going to quit our job and find something new (once we say it aloud, it becomes more real). Maybe it’s getting on LinkedIn and updating and optimizing our profile. Perhaps it’s simply taking a career assessment to explore some new options. Whatever that next step is, don’t wait another day. 

This is a sign and permission slip to honor your inner kid.


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Katelyn Richards  |  Contribution: 165

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