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SHEARIOUS Question: I’ve been in the industry for 17 years now. Ever since I graduated high school. I have taught cosmetology for 3.5 years all while still doing hair on my off days and out of the 3.5yrs, 1 year as a school director. Now I'm back only doing hair part time .... I am burnt out. If you would asked me a few years ago will I always do hair? My response would have been "absolutely I will do hair until I die!" BUT now something changed I don't know if it's the inconsistency with clients or the fact that they think I do plastic surgery and not hair! But my dilemma is that for the past 1.5 years I've been applying for jobs outside of the industry and absolutely nothing has transpired. I don't know if maybe potential employers feel like I might not stay in the new field. Or maybe I'll miss doing hair and want to return? I've never been asked that at an interview, only why do I want a change careers, but that's all I can think of.... What should I do?
SITUATION Review: Dear anonymous, I feel your pain. I too have struggled on and off in my later years (mid 40’s) with the question of ‘what’ should I do. I liken our career path to a mountain climb. You see, in our youth it was about building, growing and experiencing, (climbing that mountain) and in our later years it’s about ok, I’ve climbed up here, now what? Because we’ve reached the top and looking out toward the next highest mountain seems so unattainable or too big to tackle, we sit and wonder ‘what should I do?’
SOLUTION: I don’t have all the answers but I can share what has helped me. First, speak your truth! Find a great friend and confidant to just walk through what you are experiencing…preferably someone who has walked this path before and come out on a ‘new mountain.’ Second, honestly ask yourself if you are willing to change. Willing to do the work to step out of what is known and to step into the unknown. Perhaps that means you’ll need to gain some additional skill sets that are more marketable. Or perhaps you simply need to accept that on the climb to success there will be obstacles that will challenge you. Perhaps you are simply being challenged to take your current skills to another level. Become a coach, change salons, join a growing team…or stay put. Working with a career coach may prove to be helpful. Lastly, be patient and tender with yourself. Change is hard and scary and exciting all mixed into one big emotion. It’s okay to be questioning just realize the answer may take time.
GROWTH OPPORTUNITY: When we’ve reached a new season in life, whether starting a family, moving to a new city, graduating college, or deciding on a career change, it offers the perfect opportunity to reflect and determine how we would like our new season to look. Take the time to write, illustrate, mind map, etc. what would make your next season feel wonderful. What would need to happen, what do you want and need to be doing, and who do you need to be sharing the experience with? Good luck, anonymous, you are not alone, enjoy the journey.
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