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There comes a time in one’s life when change cannot be postponed anymore. A moment to end what seems like a lifetime of something and get a fresh start, building something else. That time is now for me, and I am as excited and frightened as I can be.

At the end of this month I will stop working for the company I worked for the past ten years and I will move forward with a drastic change of careers. I will leave behind not just this job, but the entire work experience – that is, the “official” work that I did until now.

The other days I was refreshing my résumé on LinkedIn, in order to reflect my new situation; I’ve always dreaded updating my CV, but this time proved different. What started as a mandatory annoying task ended as an unexpectedly joyous occasion, because I felt a relief that was long due. Not because I marked that my previous job is ending, but because I got to change the résumé according to the new direction that I’m taking. It felt like coming out of the closet. I felt liberated and happy to tell the world who I actually am and who I want to be. I almost felt like singing hallelujah and do a little dance.

Tunnel vision

You see, I’ve spent the past years working a full-time job in a field where I ended up by chance and which got stuck with me because I was good at it. In parallel, I was running my blogs and photography projects, a thing I wanted to do, but no one was paying me for — in the beginning. Only I (and the people who helped me along the way) know how much effort and time I put into my creative projects, although it might not seem much as seen from outside. Editing photos, writing articles and emails till late in the night and weekends became a normal thing for me.

I arrived at a point where I felt like I had two jobs.

Only that the daily job was not resonating with me at all, while the secondary one was taking over me, up to the point where I realised that that was my new identity: Dana, the creative person. But since the creative life wasn’t the one bringing the main income, and because of a serious case of impostor syndrome, when someone would ask me what I do for a living, I would still mention my full-time job. I felt I was undercover; the creative me, hiding in the closet, peering out shyly from time to time, having to explain the world about the “real”, “serious” me who was working a “smart” job in data quality and market research. When I would meet people for my creative projects, I would avoid telling them about my job. I was now living two lives, but none of them fulfilling.

I was stuck in both directions, because of lack of interest in one and lack of time for the other. Losing interest in my job, I let it go on and did no more efforts to improve at it, to learn new things – apart from what I was forced to learn so I could do my tasks. So I ended up feeling an impostor in this world as well.

I couldn’t say why I didn’t make the change earlier; I felt stuck, and I saw no good way to get out of it, not without being left without money and sleeping under a bridge.

For sure many of you felt like that at some point, when everyone around you sees an obvious solution, only you don’t. But now it’s done: no more safe job keeping me warm and stuck, so I have to move forward. I don’t know what the future will bring, but for sure it will bring something that is more in concordance with the person I am right now, with the person who I was all along but not allowing myself to be.

Starting February, I will be a student again: Content Creation at Condé Nast, digital marketing and photography. I am already studying life coaching, and even if I won’t probably make a career out of this one, it will help me become a better person. Plus, it’s something I toyed with for some time and I had to try. Life is too short to keep asking yourself “what if?” and even a control freak like me has to learn, eventually, to let go and stop sabotaging herself. From now on, only Dana the creative remains and she will finally feel free. She will go on with her writing, with her photography projects, maybe she will even have time to do some documentaries she dreamt of or the magazines she produced in her head over and over again.

Coming back to LinkedIn, which brought me the big epiphany of the year, I am happy to announce that I have an answer (that is not a lie) for the question that haunted me every time I would think about job interviews: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”. I don’t dread revising my résumé anymore, I don’t feel like hiding behind meaningless words when I talk about my career. And I am determined to not let circumstances decide my professional life anymore. It was about time.

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2 Comments

  1. Interesting that I also have purposeful major life shifts this year. It indeed is terrifying but impossible to deny and for me?…not worth it to live a life without taking chances. It is all about closing the eyes, no? And loving your efforts? Centering and finding that path you cannot deny? Much love and success – see you one day with a smile, cheers

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