Five signs it’s time to move on and find your passion

I’d like to run across these office tables, singing no you won’t have me, no, no you won’t have me – I’ll keep running till I reach the sea. Martha Tilston – Artificial

Isn’t it the worst? You’ve invested months, maybe years of your life in a job or project. Maybe you’ve done an entire degree, poured thousands of pounds, hours, blood sweat and tears into getting to where you want to be. Then you get there and find it’s not where you want to be at all. The dream job you thought you wanted is more nightmare than fabulous fantasy. There can be a whole host of reasons why you’re not happy in your professional life. Perhaps you’re with the wrong company, maybe it’s the right job but the wrong subject matter, or external factors and worries are affecting your ability to focus.

But sometimes there’s that nagging voice in the back of your head that says “get me out of here –  I want to be free of this.”

The problem is that the nagging voice (which, by the way, is probably your gut, who you should always trust unequivocally) is invariably followed by a series of other voices: “but you’ve put so much money / time / effort into this… don’t lose your investment…” or “what else will you do?” perhaps it’s “how will you support yourself?” or worst of all “what will everyone think if I cut my losses?”


Losing sleep over going back to your desk every Sunday night? It may be time for a change!

Five signs you’re ready to move on and find your passion

 You dread work. The thought of it makes your stomach knot. Turning on your computer is an ordeal, sitting at your desk is torture. You find your attention drifting just about every five seconds. Simply put, you just don’t want to be there.

♥ You’re out of ideas or inspiration. OK, so this doesn’t really apply if you’re a pilot or a carpenter, but if your job requires creative thinking or outside-the-box strategy and you’re coming up with a big pile of nothing, it could be a sign that you’ve come as far as you’re able to with the work that you’re doing.

♥ The stress from your job is spreading into other areas of your life. You can’t enjoy your time off, you’re tense and worried and think of your weekends as an all-too-short countdown until you have to be back at your desk.

♥ People are responding to your work with apathy. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that your lack of enthusiasm is palpable and people want to be inspired and have confidence in you. Your heart isn’t in it and they can tell.

♥ You spend more time complaining about work than actually doing it. All of your friends think of you as the one that hates their job.

happy career woman

Can you fix it?

Being dissatisfied with your work doesn’t always have to mean it’s the end for you and that career. Here are some things to consider before calling it quits:

♥ Is it you or them? Perhaps you don’t need a new career path, you need a new company, new colleagues or even *gulp* to set up shop on your own.

♥ Are you getting out enough? Sometimes if you work for yourself or for a small team, finding inspiration and staying motivated can be a chore. Perhaps an inspirational training course, networking event or talk could reignite that fire.

♥ Is there anything else wrong in your life? When my dad was ill I didn’t want to go anywhere near my job – it wasn’t that I didn’t like it, it was more that every second I was at my desk I was missing precious time with my dad. Even after he passed away, I needed time to heal and work out who I was again before I threw myself back into work. Maybe you don’t need to quit entirely, but you may need to take a break and focus on other things that are important.


How to successfully make the career leap

♥ Don’t be too impulsive. It can be easy to think that you can’t spend another minute in the situation that you’re in (I’ve always lived by impulse and most of the time it’s worked out, but I think I’ve been really lucky). Try to work out what it is you want to do before you burn all of your bridges. If you can’t find the space to think about what makes you tick while you’re stuck doing something you hate, then quit but don’t leap straight into something else you may get tired of quickly. Find another way to pay your bills while you work out what it is you love doing.

♥ Feel the fear and do it anyway. Trust in the universe and ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen if you leave the situation you’re in – then remember that you only die once!

♥ Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have it all worked out right away. Your lightbulb moment will come to you when you’re ready for it. Also, don’t beat yourself up for time and money wasted on your previous career – you wouldn’t have got to the stage you are at without it – it was all there to teach you something important that you will undoubtedly use in the next stage of your life.

♥ If you’ve made up your mind about your next step, be really positive about your new venture. Don’t send it any negative or doubting energy, be really sure of yourself. If you feel negative about it, it’s probably not the right change of scene for you.

♥ When you start your new job or venture, start as you mean to go on. Evaluate your old working style or system and create one that works much better for you this time. This could be a process of trial and error but you’ll be thrilled with the results.

13 Comments on Five signs it’s time to move on and find your passion

  1. Sophie
    November 4, 2013 at 9:14 am (5 years ago)

    So inspirational Sara. Really enjoyed reading! Congratulations on DLL! x

  2. vicky trainor
    November 4, 2013 at 9:14 am (5 years ago)

    Love this – My approach to life and the journey I make is either described as avenues or chapters. I love the fact that I allow myself to change direction, close doors, turn a corner to a new path when I start to not enjoy a journey anymore. It took a while to build confidence in accepting that it is absolutely fine to do this – but my word – my working life is far more exciting now I allow myself the freedom to do just that.

    Wishing you lots of success with Darling Lovely Life xxxxxx

    • Sara - Darling Lovely Life editor
      November 4, 2013 at 9:18 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks Vicky :) You are such an inspiration when it comes to career moves, I love the description of it as chapters. We are creatures of habit by nature and change is scary, but as long as we have ourselves to hold on to, we can shape our surroundings any way that suits us xxx

  3. Leah
    November 4, 2013 at 10:28 am (5 years ago)

    I can completely relate to this post! I have just given up making wedding stationery for all of the reasons listed. I have been very unwell for months (or maybe even years, I’m not sure when it started!) now and I’m feeling SO much better than I did just a few short weeks ago. I hadn’t realised just how much it had been affecting me and filtering through into other areas of my life. It took me ages to realise I had to give up weddings and that I didn’t enjoy it anymore, but it was so hard to do so without feeling like I was a quitter or I had failed. But then I realised that if it makes me feel better and improves my life then it ISN’T failing, it’s actually the opposite!

    Loving the new blog and well done for being brave enough to make the change and follow your heart :) xxx

    • Sara - Darling Lovely Life editor
      November 4, 2013 at 10:35 am (5 years ago)

      Oh hun I had no idea that you’d been unwell. Sometimes slogging away at something that you’re not in love with any more really can affect your health too, an existing illness can feel so much worse. True story, when I was working a job I didn’t like, I developed an honest-to-God repetitive strain injury on my wrist. As a writer that isn’t great news, and I spent over a year paying for an expensive physio to try to fix it. I kid you not, the week I quit my job in favour of my blogging career, my wrist was fixed. It was like my body was physically rejecting the work!!!

      I hope you’re feeling a bit happier now, you haven’t failed at all. One of my favourite songs is by Aesop Rock, it’s about a little girl who spends years drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. One day she stops, and is asked after all this if she’s just giving in. She replies: “I’m not giving in, I’m finished” and walks away. I think that’s so true – sometimes in life, you’re just finished. You’ve done it, and as Vicky said in another comment, it’s the end of that chapter! Thanks for the lovely comment and look forward to more of these chats xxx

  4. Sarah
    November 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm (5 years ago)

    Hi Sara, I couldn’t agree more with this. I jacked in my PR office job to re train in something more ‘actively’ creative, namely floristry, last year and haven’t looked back. You are so right that you have to stay positive and not look at the past as a ‘waste’. I’ve had my wobbly moments of worry but as you say, we must face our fears to move on. Thanks for championing the career change! :) Sarah

    • Sara - Darling Lovely Life editor
      November 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm (5 years ago)

      Congrats what a big change! Wobbles are ok without them we wouldn’t be able to reassure ourselves ;) xxx

  5. Karen
    November 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm (5 years ago)

    Marvellous first post and loving the look and feel of the blog. I’ll add my story to the others, legal career = stress, illness to the point of hospital investigations. My own little creative business which I work so so hard on, many more hours than previous job = happy! less stress and more family time. Not always easy and impossible without the support of husband and gorgeous friends and staff, but oh so worth it. Lots of luck with your new passion. X

    • Sara - Darling Lovely Life editor
      November 5, 2013 at 7:54 am (5 years ago)

      Hi Karen, thanks so much for the comment! It’s good to see others who have followed their nose down the right path :) and we’re all so glad you did as it’s brought so much pretty to the wedding world :) hope to see you around here often xx

  6. Claire
    November 8, 2013 at 9:08 am (5 years ago)

    A lovely, uplifting and positive post. Thank you for sharing and best of luck with DLL xxx

    • Sara - Darling Lovely Life editor
      November 13, 2013 at 8:17 am (5 years ago)

      Hi lovely just seen this, I think it managed to escape into spam for some reason! Thank you so much and huge hugs xxx

  7. Annie
    November 14, 2013 at 10:30 am (5 years ago)

    Thank you for this cery insightful post Sara. Have a darling lovely day xx


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