So many thoughts raced through my mind. What would I do next? Im certainly not going to be making the money I do now. Do I really want to start at the bottom again? What is my family going to think? Will I find work in this economy?
Ultimately, I made the leap of faith. I wasnt working in a field that I was particularly passionate about and I figured that if I didnt see myself there in ten years, why stay another ten months? Or even ten days? I eventually went back to school for my postgraduate degree in merchandise marketing (a world away from by Bachelors in psychology) and am now in the infancy of career #2.
While never easy, here is what helped me make the tough decision to leave my job:
If I dont do it now, when will I?
I hated the idea of working my way from the bottom again, but I was in the prime position to do so. I didnt have a husband, children, a mortgage, or any other major life responsibilities. The longer I waited to change careers, the harder it would be.
You can always make more money, but you can never make more time.
I sincerely thought my mother was going to try to talk me out of it, but this is what she said to me when I confessed my desire to leave my lucrative career. She reminded me that money is earned and spent, but once a second of time passes, you never get that second back. Life is so short, and you simply must fill your time with people, activities, and work that you love. And I firmly believe that if you do what you love, you cannot help but be successful, and the money will eventually come.
Which would I regret more?
In 20 or 30 years when I look back on my life, which would I regret more? The fact that I gave up my comfortable occupation, or that I never took a chance at trying something different? The question was almost too easy to answer.
My life is quite different now. After graduation, I moved to New York to pursue my dreams of working in fashion. Instead of driving my company car, I ride the subway. Instead of Laker games from a luxury box, I watch them on television. And while I now assist someone else instead of having my own assistant, there hasnt been a day that Ive regretted my decision to start over.