I’ve been noticing lately that there seems to be a lot of musings going ‘round about transforming your life by getting out of your field of work and trying something else.

When you’re feeling trapped and unfulfilled by the consequences of your previous professional and work choices, thinking about making a change is probably a go-to default.

The numbness in you that grows as your joy-switch keeps tripping off starts reaching epic proportions.  You become one of the multitudes of the Disengaged.

“chain” by Andy Maguire via Flickr [CC BY-2.0]
Jumping off the conventional well-beaten path and running off down some other forest trail or hitching a ride on a boxcar going someplace else starts sounding mighty good.  This durned road you’re on is not taking you where you want to be and it sucks.


This career-changing thing is not the same thing as changing jobs – i.e., doing the same thing you have gotten good at doing and moving (or being moved by circumstance or desire) to another company or a different division or some other project.

For that one, you’re just doing the same dance, only in a different place.

The traditional job market has all kinds of practical solutions for making changes if you’re wanting to do more of the same.

“kitchen help” by Andrew Huff via Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]
If you’re are an experienced knowledge-worker and a leader of some sort in corporate-world, there are “recruitment consultants” — intrepid headhunters looking for new trophies for their bag – as well as the CV/resume dance and the professional networking thing.

If you’re in the helping or service or sales professions, there are many online jobsites and job alert services and all sorts of folks in your own network that can help you find other places to do the work you’re already doing.

Creative sorts have similar resources in their own worlds as well.

Making a job change can take a tremendous lot of hustle and is likely to rearrange your life in many ways.

However, it is a truism:

Doing the same thing you’ve always done is

likely to get you the same results you’ve always gotten.

That is not a problem if you like the results you’ve been getting.  It does become a problem if you don’t like those results.


The people to whom the career-change advice is aimed are the ones who may have accomplished some good stuff already.

After working in a field for a while and getting some accomplishments under their belts, they are feeling like their heart has gone missing somehow.  The drag starts getting heavy on them and the “good life” they may have built is just not satisfactory.

The thing that used to excite these folks has gotten stale.  Maybe they are feeling ready to get growing in some other direction, having already explored one slice of the world as thoroughly as they feel they want to.

The following 2020 YouTube video, “How to know if it’s time to change careers,” is part of a new original TED series called “The Way We Work” that present short, powerhouse snippets of practical advice from people who’ve done it.

The presenter in this video is entrepreneur Chieh Huang, who takes you through the process of deciding that, yes, you really do need to make a career change, as well as how to start making the moves towards the change you want and what to do once you’re walking down the road to your new career.

Have a look….


Are you one of those who are looking to do different?

There are career-change books, articles, and online videos and podcasts by assorted gurus and mavens and academic sorts which are loaded with information about the how of it all if you’re inclined to get into it.

There are numerous profiling tests and lots of systems to help you figure it out as well as lots of people who are willing to help you in your search for the new work-you.

A fairly new profession – career coach – has bloomed in the business jungle within the last couple of decades.  You can buy the services of a native guide to lead you through the tangled, messy landscape of Change and hack your way through all that confusion.

“the excursion dress code” by Linda de Volder via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
There’s a fascinating collection of success stories put together by Careershifters, probably the largest more-than-profit online organization dedicated to helping people who are ready to reach for their own transformation.

This London-based group grew from a brain-seed planted by social entrepreneur Richard Alderson, who is a career-shifter his own self.

Click on this button to access the stories:


The button also takes you to the Careershifters website that introduces you to a bunch of resources and practical tools that can help you start your own life-meaning revision work.


There are, evidently, many ways to reach for transformation and make your own changes happen.  (There sure are a lot of studies and lists and exercises and practices and all of that out there.)

Among all of this information, you’re sure to find moves that will resonate with you as you think and talk and do your way through the process of getting to your transition point.

The only one who can stop you from starting at this point is you.

So…what?  No?  Go?

“Directions” by Russ Allison Loar via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
As a person who is always looking for new wonderments to try, my own suggestion is that you have some fun and play around with various ideas until you find something that hits a major chord in you.

Maybe you’ll be lucky and there will several.  Cool!

You may also want to take another look at all of the fun things or the things you do very, very well in that work you’ve been complaining about.

You can try mashing up all of these bits into something that’s unique to you.

Go forth and play, you!

My other suggestion is that you deliberately do all of this shimmying around as a replacement for that groaning, moaning and whining you’ve been doing.

Whining and acting helpless and hopeless is a habit, you know.  All the smarty-pants guys in lab coats tell us that if you replace one habit with another habit, you’re likely to lose that first habit.

If you replace that old poor-thing-me habit with this career-shift project, you’ll be way too busy trying to make the puzzle pieces fit and then working out (and trying) ways to make them work for you that you’ll have no time left over for beating yourself up or feeling frustrated or put-upon.

Your energy level will probably go up because you’re interested in SOMETHING again and that interest just naturally will call up more energy you can use for more playing.

Once you get started doing this stuff, plans and projects and other moves – big and small — will become evident.  As you work on those, they may even evolve into other things that are particularly intriguing.

You may start to notice opportunities to try out some of those wild and crazy ideas you’ve been growing.  You may even try to do them.

Who knows?  Something wondrous could come of it.


I found one particularly interesting list in my Google-wanderings on a website, Project Management Hacks, that is put together by career advisor Bruce Harpham.

This list takes a look at the five mistakes people make when they are trying to do a career-shift.  According to Harpham, these moves are most likely to lead to staying in the suck.

DO NOTHING.  Dreaming and fuming in frustration does not get you out of there.

COMPLAIN.  Self-expression and self-pity parties are helpful for pinpointing the problem, but it doesn’t do anything else (and probably turns off a lot of other people or brings them down).

RESIGN IMMEDIATELY.  Taking off for parts unknown without a basic plan or any knowledge of your next steps is a pretty sure recipe for failure.

UNDERESTIMATE THE CHALLENGE.  It’s hard enough trying to find a new place to do the same thing you’ve always done.   Trying to break into another field is a heck of a lot more complicated.

For one thing, there are all of those other guys who have been doing what you want to do quite well, thank you.  What does a wanna-be like you have to offer?  (HINT:  That’s where finding a something that is uniquely you will come in handy.)

THE DO-IT-YOURSELF TRAP.  Why re-invent the wheel when it’s already been done for you?

Go talk to the people who have succeeded in doing what you want to do.  Pick other brains and pay attention to what they say.  Fit the lessons you find into that puzzle you’re building.

There are a heck of a lot of excellent people out there and some of their thoughts can be pretty amazing.  Maybe one of their brainstorms might work for you or spark a good one of your own.


Philosopher and writer Alain de Botton who founded another interesting online enterprise, “The School of Life,” points out, “When work is not going well, it’s useful to remember that our identities stretch beyond what is on the business card, that we were people long before we became workers – and will continue to be human once we have put down our tools forever.

“Kenor” by Dr. Case via Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]
That’s a good thing to keep in mind, I am thinking.

Oh…and I do have one other suggestion:  When you’re looking to do something different, don’t forget to pay attention to the crabby voice inside you that’s been snarking and side-swiping at you as you’ve been busy sinking into the suck.

It is probably the most important voice of all.

Sit your Inner Self down and let it give your Inner Dummy a good talking-to or three.  Listen.  Let the complaints wind down and look for what’s hidden in there underneath all that vinegar and vitriol.

Pay attention.  You may be amazed at what it has to say.

Here’s a poem:


Let them have their pie charts and their checklists.

Let them have their numbers two by two.

Let them have their second-guesses and procedures.

Keep the secret thing that makes you you.


Let them have their gurus and assistants.

Give them their assistants’ assistants too.

Let them have their politics and issues.

Don’t give up the drive inside of you.


Let them have their offices and meetings,

Their naysayers, their oracles, their orators.

All their mavens and spin-meisters too.

Keep your vision and your passion and your promise.

Listen to the heartsong inside of you.

by Netta Kanoho

Header photo credit:  “Transformation II by glassghost via Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]



(Click on each of the post titles below and see where it takes you…)


Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you would drop a note or comment below and tell me your thoughts


  1. Replacing habits — yes, that’s the key.  If you can replace an old habit with something more positive, you are far better off.  If you want to change a habit, you need to “practice” the change 21 times, and it will finally become habitual.  It is not hard, but we need to pay attention to make it work.  Thanks for the good suggestions!

    1. Thanks for the visit, Fran, and for sharing your thoughts.  I do appreciate it.  

      Please do come again….

  2. Well here I go again, not knowing or should I say fearing on what I write. In saying that, what I mean is what if you or someone who reads this might just be thinking, I don’t know what I am talking about!   

    Actually the words that you write have so much feeling in them, you just can’t stop reading them. I certainly can relate with your site,  

    I guess what I am trying to say is I just love the way you write. Your word’s are extremely wonderful and to the topic!? The way you explain Reach for transformation, go for what you want is right to the point. Don’t be afraid to try something different or new! Well done in my eyes. Thanks for letting me comment.

    1. Donna, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I do thank you for taking the time and making the effort.  Cool!

      Please do come again!

  3. Hello, I really appreciate your time and effort on writing about reaching for transformation which is something that I am thinking about constantly right now seeing as I left a job I’ve had for over 10 years.

    The way you laid it out is perfect and informative. There are many things that I’m passionate about doing that I would like to turn into a business and I see leaving my job as an opportunity as opposed to something lost. I’m thinking of starting an online business around them and see how it works for me. Thanks for the inspiring quotes and ideas!

    1. Son, thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I’m glad you found the post helpful.

      Please do come again.

  4. For me transformation is a daily exercise. I always set my goal and then ask myself what can I do today to work towards it. 

    I am currently trying to change the path have been on and I always look for daily and often small changes to go the direction I want to go. I think changing my profession at this point and time and becomes more so the older I get. 

    But my focus is on the bigger picture. What can I do today to reach for the dreams and goals that are actually beyond my profession? I am interested in looking further into Careershifters, thank you for sharing that.

    1. Lee, thanks for the visit and for sharing your story.  I’m glad the post was helpful to you.

      Please do come again.

  5. I have been reaching for transformation many times in my life..   I lived in New York for thirty years, was sick of it

    One day I just up and moved with my wife and four children, left my job and moved to Ozarks Missouri

    It felt GREAT to get out of the big city.  Got a great airport Job!

    Then two years ago did it again, moved to Florida for 14 months.  Drove for UBER

    Now I am thinking of selling my house and buying an RV and go all around the U.S.  

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your story, Phil.  Wow!  It’s been quite an adventure, with more to come, huh?

      Please do come again….

  6. Love the poem, and the suggestions. I did the the change, don’t-quite-have-a-plan-thing a couple of decades ago. And like you said, failure to plan leads to failure. 

    But, that doesn’t mean that we should stop pursuing our dreams. Why not work on a beloved project on the side, and once that’s developed, then you can transition into your dream job.


    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your story, JR.  I do agree with you:  transitioning into your dream job is a heck of a lot less stressful than diving off the high board without checking the water level in the pool!

      Please do come again.

  7. Well, we should not be afraid of making transformations in our lives. Sometimes you can just wake up and decide that you need to make an adjustment in your life. And just like you said we can play around and try new ideas until it dawns on us the one to go for.

    It is true of what Ricci said that our life is always in a draft mode. We don’t see ourselves as perfect. There would be a time when we need to adjust, revise and revise until we feel right.

    This is really a nice post.

    1. Kell, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I do appreciate it.

      Please do come again.

  8. Juan Saladin says:

    It seems to be counterintuitive, if you’re good in a field… Why would you change to another?

    The pursuit of self fulfillment it’s the key! 

    The key element to consider is not the result, but the cost of it in your daily life. I’ve shifted career once in before, from Project Management to High Ticket Service Based products to final consumers. At the beginning, my wife was the first in criticize the decision. I got a single answer for all the logical and well founded reasons shot to me by my Wife:

    ✓ If I keep doing this, even though is very fulfilling economically speaking; I’ll keep dying rather than living every day.

    I then “Decided by Doing.”  Time has proven to me I was right. My bank account hasn’t changed a lot but I feel it cost me less than 10% of the effort I used to need.

    Thanks for being conservative, nevertheless, the only way to know if it will work is giving it a try.

    I can see myself in your post. Thanks for sharing the path, I’d have saved 5 years of struggles if I were read you 15 years ago.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your story, Juan.  It is a truth.  You can be very good at something and successful at it, and hate it entirely.  

      “Deciding by doing” is, indeed, a grand strategy…and sometimes the only way you’ll know whether your new direction will work well for you.

      Please do come again.

  9. Mojisola Kupolati (Debbie) says:

    I totally agree with you that one often comes to a period that one seems tired of doing the same thing; for an example job description. It often leads to boredom and frustration especially when job satisfaction is out of it. The situation becomes aggravated if the income does not justify the hard work and efforts. 

    The solution you shared in this piece is priceless; the need to listen to what the inner being is saying. Then comes the part to summon the courage of taking the bold step.

    1. Debbie, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I am so pleased the post resonated with you.

      You are right, you know.  Courage and bold steps are a major part of the deal.

      Please do come again.

  10. akaline0127 says:

    I totally agree with this article. Yes, the desire to earn better income and live the fullness of one’s life is very strong. Not only making a better income, people feel trapped because of many factors: not being well treated as an employee, broken relationship with colleagues. 

    Yes, but it is not just switching one’s job, but getting a better and fitting job. I agree that one must be well informed before switching career. Seeking for counseling, reading and researching can really be of good help.

    But I also suggest vying for a career where one is passionate of . This will help him or her to develop more interest in the career. Sometimes we make the mistake of jumping off the bus out of impatience. 

    Thanks so much for the presentation. It is really helpful and provides warning for someone looking to career change.

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, akaline0127.  I do agree that competition and the gaming aspects of building a career can add a lot of spice to things, especially when you’re already passionate about what you are doing.  

      As you say, “Sometimes we make the mistake of jumping off the bus out of impatience.”  

      Every pursuit will have challenges.  Every pursuit has boring bits.  Every pursuit, no matter how beloved, can make you want to tear your hair out!  Just ’cause you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you won’t get frustrated and angry and wild.  

      (In fact, sometimes it’s all that over-amping emotion that makes you want to throw up your hands and stomp off somewhere.)

      It is a good thing to be aware of what you’ve already got and appreciate what is good about it as you try to make your life fit you better.

      Please do come again.

  11. I have tried to visit your website a few times now however every time I do it tells me “Bad Gateway”?

    I am assuming it is a website on poetry? 

    Reach for transformation is what got me interested to check out the site so would love it if you can get this into a viewing stage and let me know when this happens so as i can check this out.


    1. Mark, thanks for the heads-up.  I hope the things working again.  

      Come check it out!

  12. I´m happy that I came across this post. It really touches the heart of the decision to stay or leave a job position. I love the way you put it ‘Careershifters’. 

    Many people are unhappy/unsatisfied in their workplace and when they hear reports of how the grass is greener someplace else they want to jump ship.

    This article shows people the importance of taking inventory of what you have in your present job and concentrating on the positives (your strengths) before you leave and get into something worse or unexpected.

    My take is that, if you feed your interest naturally, you´ll have more energy to continue working.

    1. Dana, I agree with your conclusion.  Feeding your interest “naturally” and learning to get congruent with your own nature does tap into a heck of a lot of energy to keep on going.  

      Please do come again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *