Lessons I Learned from Making a Career Shift

Last summer I quit my full-time job in financial services that I had for almost 15 years. I didn’t know exactly what was next for me career-wise, but what I did know is that I wanted to be thoughtful about it. Here are three things I learned.

Don’t be Afraid to Hit the Pause Button
The primary reason I left my job was the need for more flexibility. At the same time, I was afraid of losing not only my income, but also the identity associated with the work I was doing. Hitting the career "pause” button allowed me to better understand what I wanted to be doing in this next phase of my life more broadly. It gave me the space to think about whether or not my goals and priorities were still the same as they were 15 years ago. Were there other things I could be doing with the skills I’ve gained, or, were there other skills I wanted to learn?

Try Something Completely Different
In an effort to answer some of these questions, I decided to try something COMPLETELY different. I learned to play the drums! I took lessons, and banged away for hours in our basement on that drum kit. As you can imagine, I’m pretty sure most of my friends and family thought I’d officially lost my mind :). That being said, it was truly one of the best experiences I’ve had. I realized not only that I can still learn new things in my late 30s (yay!), but also that I didn’t have to let my job (as a mom of three, or as a marketing professional) define me.

Follow Your Own Drum
I have always wanted to play the drums, but I never took lessons for fear that people would think it was weird. What I realized is that the world did not end when I finally gave it a try. In fact, no one cares as much as you think they might! That realization gave me the confidence I needed to pursue other things I’m passionate about, such as starting my own business. I hope my experience inspires those reading this to follow YOUR drum. In a world where we are constantly encouraged to “follow” others, let’s not forget that we’re all writing our own songs here (so deep).

I’m still learning as I go, so if you’re interested in following watching someone try to launch a sustainable fashion brand, you can check out my Instagram account @farrellandco where the journey continues!

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