Recently, I made a career shift that took me away from a career that I worked hard to craft. 20 years in the same industry and 15 of those years for one organization, made me very comfortable. However, I was working hard to build my skills. I had worked on on building my public speaking skills and learning the art of powering my voice. I trained to learn and teach leadership and communication skills. Expanded my education to include two masters degrees but I was scared to make the change. It took me to realize that my career was stuck and the revelation came after the human resource department asked me why I remained at the company, that there was not any room for me to grow. Added to that was the second revelation that my voice didn't matter in the company and I was not valued by the pay scale.
The decision was to leave the organization by mid year. I created my exit plan and landed a great opportunity. Accepting the job was the scariest day of my life. Thoughts of failure and thoughts having to go back to a job that was physically and mentally stressful scared me. I gave my resignation letter and let go of everything holding me back. It was liberating but I was left with an lasting impression. The long time employees of the organization commonly commented on my courage to leave. I heard, "I wish I was bold like you" and " I am not strong enough or have the skills". The people that told me those statements were people with strong skills and the one's that were the basis of my success. It made me realize how we let ourselves remain stuck by the unknown and change.
The new job has been full of growth and lots of uncomfortable moments. The learning curve is steep and I discovered there are skills that I did not have under my belt. There have been days that I questioned myself and felt defeated. However, I keep returning knowing that the feeling of uncomfortable is the perfect place to grow. Change is not easy but if taken with the right mindset is can be done. Planning for the change, like learning a new skill such as public speaking, will help. However, you cannot let the fear of change stop you from achieving your dreams.