We all work so hard to get ahead. Climbing the ladder, sacrificing here, working overtime there, all in the name of advancement. Then one day you feel a tug on your heart. You feel a shift in your spirit as the passion for your current position begins to wane. You do everything you know to keep yourself together as you tend to your family and home life. But you can’t quit thinking that it’s time to make a major change. You pray and ask if you’re really supposed to make a move from a successful career to an uncertain area you know little about.
This was my own personal dilemma a while back. After nearly twenty years as a broadcast journalist working for major networks all around the world, I sensed God leading me away from the camera and toward full-time ministry. I had a university degree in communications and years of experience in journalism. It had always felt like that’s what I was created to do. And now I was being pull in a different direction.
As an on-air reporter, you quickly learn to look for the camera’s red light, signaling, “You’re live! Go!” But this new red light caused a million emotions to collide inside my heart. After much prayer and conversation with trusted family and friends, I knew I had to make a leap to something very different in my life – a true calling. My next steps would be critical in helping me transition from one career to the next. After all, they had been the keys to my current success. So let me share them with you in hopes that you will respond to your own red-light moments knowing the green lights are ahead.
First, make sure it is not career burnout when a career red light initially goes off. When making a life-altering decision, we must know it’s a divine move toward something and not our own human desire to get away from our current job. It’s easy to get burned out and want something—anything—new, and we’ve all been there, but hang on! Before you go turning in your resignation make sure you have evaluated all options and rely on your inner faith and spirituality to guide you.
Next, expect to second-guess yourself as you experience a myriad of emotions. I certainly did! Remember, transition is never easy. No one is exempt from this. In the midst of the stormy emotions passing through, it helps to remember they will pass. Knowing ahead of time that family, friends, and cohorts may respond adversely will help you keep a cool head as you maneuver through this new and exciting, yet scary, season of your life. A new and uncertain future might frighten you, and that’s okay. New is not wrong—it’s just new!
Third, remember to pray daily—many times, if possible. You want to stay connected to the One who holds the blueprints of your life. Staying plugged-in to your spirituality provides peace and assurance during this tumultuous season. Prayer is the key, and it doesn’t have to be pretty. You may not have time to sit in a comfy chair, listen to music, light a candle and spend hours talking to your God. So, talk to him on the go! Driving to work, picking up the kids, in between meetings, at lunch, whenever you have a moment to yourself to catch your breath and share your heart with him.
Finally, remain present in the momentso you don’t miss all of the incredible things that lie ahead. Set aside time daily to reflect on what you’re experiencing. Write down your thoughts, feelings, and reflections no matter how jumbled or random they seem. Later, at the end of this season, you may be surprised at how you see all the dots connect.
Transition in life in any area can be challenging. In our careers, we often bring our talents, abilities, and dreams to bear on the purpose we want to fulfill. When we change course from one lane to another, we need to slow down as we shift gears and set our sights on new horizons. Whatever transition you may be facing, I wish you Godspeed on the incredible journey ahead!