Ditching My Own Boring Job

How To Create Your Dream Job and Get It

October is a bittersweet month for me… it’s the month I celebrate and mourn my last round in Corporate America.

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The Beginning

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I had been “in the system” since 2002.

After all those endless nights studying Heat Transfer and completing my Senior Project in college, I had finally landed my very first job!  I felt so grown up and accomplished.

It wasn’t the job I had dreamed of and it definitely wasn’t as glamorous as I had imagined it would be – I think I had been watching way too many Sandra Bullock movies at that point – But I had a job! Here! In the USA! Getting my own paycheck!

Sandra Bullock - Two Week Notice

My very first assignment was to go buy steel-toed boots (can you imagine me in those? I didn’t even know where to buy them!) and head over to this mini-jungle existing in the southern part of Westchester County, NY where I proceeded to work with one of the smelliest Field Engineers I have ever encountered.  I still remember running to the woods to pee because I couldn’t bear the thought of using the porter potty! Yeah, those were the classy days.

But I was pumped! I had finally gotten to the finish line! I had earned a degree (in a very difficult major, may I add) and therefore I now had proof that I was smart, capable and accomplished! Little brown Latina me was not going to grow up to be a cleaning lady in this country (even though that was one of my gigs at one point. More of that on a different post). Ahh, my first taste of the American Dream!

Eventually I did graduate to the pumps and the Starbucks Caramel Macchiatto (which happens to still be my fancy coffee weakness).

The reason I tell you all this is because I want to take you through my journey.  From Engineer to Entrepreneur. Because I always knew that there was more out there for me, and I know many of you out there feel the same way! Because graduating from college and heading on that first path doesn’t have to be the end.

[blockQuote position=”center”]I have always known in the core of my being that I was meant for more than sizing pumps and arguing with the City Engineer over how many drawings we needed to have in the Mechanical Section. But I had to let go of my own ego, my own fears and doubts and really step into my own power in order to take the leap.[/blockQuote]

So, if you take anything away from this post is that you need to learn to:

Get over your own ego and finally conquer your purpose in life. @theguavaproject

(Click To Tweet)

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The Point of No Return

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I had been bouncing from job to job for a few years (average of 3 to 4 years in each). Absolutely loved the people I worked with (for the most part) – Totally hated the work (for the most part).

You’ve probably heard me say this before.  It’s not that I think engineering is an awful career and nobody should go into it.

Not at all!

I think engineering can be a rewarding and beautiful career for somebody who is really passionate about it.  In fact, that was one of my many signs. I kept trying to get into it and pump myself up for the next project. And then once I got into the project and I would be suffocating in the work.

And then, I would turn around to the cubicle next to me and my buddy would be all excited and chatty about such and such pump station and all this techie stuff that I really didn’t connect with. I knew something was wrong.

But I had to make it work, right? I mean, I had just spent tens of thousands of dollars in my college education, not to mention the few gray hairs I collected and probably lost a (combined) couple of years of sleep. So, this had to work!

Besides, my family was so proud of me! They’d all pitched in, one way or another, to make this happen. I had so much (amazing) support throughout my journey.  I was almost feeling like I would be letting them down.

And, how about my image? What would people think? Would they think I was a failure?

But no matter how hard I tried to fall in love with engineering and pour all my passion into my work… it just wasn’t happening.  Instead, I was getting major Sunday Night Blues. I dreaded my alarm going off in the morning. It felt like another day in, another day out. Wait for the paycheck. Rinse and Repeat.

No satisfaction or fulfillment.

Then it happened.

I was sitting in a meeting with my team.  We were discussing a project. And I looked around and all my teammates where pouring themselves into this discussion.  I mean, they REALLY cared about this design! And I sat back and thought to myself: I really could care less where we locate this pump!

That was a big moment of realization for me.  It wasn’t right for me to stay in that path.  I wasn’t going to suddenly love being an engineer.  And furthermore, it wasn’t fair to my team either.  They deserved to work with someone who was as psyched as they were about that pump station!

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The Realization

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I was progressively “climbing up the ladder” (awesome Corporate American term by the way – like you’re a monkey or something, and your aim should be to go all the way to the top so you can look down on the rest). I was learning more and more. I was getting promotions and raises.

I actually really liked the people I worked with.  That was my strength! The people part.

I was one of those rare breeds of engineers who was good at math AND could hold a normal conversation with another human being without stuttering or being abrasive.

But realizing that I needed to start honoring my calling was almost like a punch in the stomach.  Now what? I’ve been in this field for ten years! I don’t even know what else I could possibly do.  “So, I’m good with people. So what?” – I thought to myself.

This is where my own personal transformation started.

I called friends and family to (modestly) ask for their input: “So, what do you think I’d be good at?”

I started a list of things I liked about my job, things I hated about my job, things I loved doing and could get lost for hours in. I started doing some research. I started reading some awesome books.  Looking into different Master Degree programs and certification programs.

I prayed.

And I did everything in my power to stay true to myself.  Because I knew that I didn’t want to wake up one day and look back and sadly realize that too much time had gone by and I lived an unfulfilled life.  I was determined to live my purpose in this world. So, the second I would choose a possible career path and it didn’t sit well with me, I tossed it! I’ll tell you, I have the best husband ever! He was there to support me through the whole process without ever questioning me.

And I am a much better person today for really allowing myself to go through this journey.

It hasn’t been easy and there is still a lot to accomplish.

But I can honestly say that I absolutely love what I do. I know I’m making a difference in the way I am meant to. I have no problems with Sunday nights any more and my poor snooze button is happy for the break as well.

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So, why am I telling you all this?

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Because I want you to know that it is completely OK to change your mind about your career path even years after you’ve been in it.  The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can start chasing your dream.

Just because “it” works for some people, it doesn’t mean that it’s what you should be doing.  Everyone’s definition of success and happiness is very different. Be honest with yourself.

You can totally be happy doing what you love and making money from it. Your job doesn’t have to be torturous.

And realize, that this is it amiga! You will never get yesterday back.  Every day at that sucky job is another day of your life wasted doing something that doesn’t excite you and keeping you away from sharing your awesome true gifts!

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Want my help?

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I can support you through your amazing journey! I did it and I can show you how! It’s what I love to do (:

You can find out more about my upcoming program: Ditch Your Boring Job HERE



Abrazos,

Jennifer

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Jennifer Kent is an award-winning entrepreneur who helps you define your dream career and ditch your boring job.

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About The Author

Jennifer Kent

Jennifer Kent is an award-winning entrepreneur who helps you define your dream career and ditch your boring job.