Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Need to make a life changing decision? Who would you ask for advice?

decisions decisions
A couple of months ago I met up with a friend who I used to teach alongside at a college. She was still teaching four days a week in a school but was considering giving up her job and had asked to meet with me to discuss it.
Up until two years ago I worked full time (and then some as I also taught evenings and some weekends on top of that). I gave up my full time work in order to have a more balanced life, teaching part time and working on developing my jewellery practice. My income has declined drastically but my happiness and feeling of wellbeing has increased and more than makes up for it.
So I met with my friend and she explained that she had been thinking about handing in her notice to devote more time to a year long nutrition coaching course she'd enrolled on and then doing some supply work. She asked me what I thought. I said, 
if you're asking me you've already decided what to do. 
I could see the revelation of that fact appearing on her face. She said, you're right. Everyone in my life has a 9 to 5 job and they don't really understand this gut feeling I have to leave without somewhere to go.

I think, deep down somewhere, we always have a feeling about what is the right thing to do. I think it is often masked and pushed away by what is expected of us, what we feel we should do, our pros and cons list - all of those things. When I was considering leaving my job I had the following going through my head in a loop - 'You're crazy. You want to give up the best paid job you've had in your life in a recession to go to a zero hours contract. That's mad'. Which is probably true. It was mad but it felt like exactly the right thing to do and I do not regret it.

So here is a tip, a way of trying to access that gut feeling. When you think about making this decision, who do you want to ask for advice? It could be someone you know, it could be a fictional character, a famous person. Just think for a minute, who would you ask?
The next question is, what would that person say? I didn't give my friend any advice at all, I merely said the fact you're asking me, someone who has already happily made the choice you're thinking of making says it all. 
Now, she could have contradicted me and said, you're wrong. I'm trying to get advice from lots of people not just you. She could have chosen to speak to someone with a more traditional career path and found out what they thought about it. But she didn't. It felt like a weight off her mind. And now she has left that job. And, like with every decision, she feels good and bad about it. Just as she would have done if she'd stayed.

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