Steps to make a career change
Entering a new year often generates a sense of renewed energy that motivates us to achieve goals, check off that “to do” list, and reach new heights professionally and personally. My recent interactions with clients have reminded me that while reflecting on the past decade may be natural, looking ahead to a new one can be both inspiring and exciting. Of course, when we contemplate the long-term, thoughts and considerations about careers often come up as we try to determine whether or not we’re doing something we truly love (something that makes us happy) or if it’s time for a change.
In the spirit of a new decade, I wanted to share my story about how I took the leap and left behind a ten-year career in corporate communications to become a full-time Pilates and movement teacher.
I started doing Pilates when I was a teenager (before the days of YouTube, when Windsor Pilates had just released a box set of VHS workouts!) and always loved the way it made me feel. A year later and after having my first daughter, I truly began to understand the profound benefits of Pilates. I had never felt weaker in those post-partum days, and Pilates helped me rebuild my body and strength. While I was falling more and more in love with Pilates, I toyed with the idea of a possible career change, but left it at that as it wasn’t the right time.
Fast-forward a couple of years and another daughter, and I was having the same conversation with myself, but this time I took my contemplation deeper. I loved my career and was very good at it, but something was missing. I took pen to paper and started writing out what I loved and what I didn’t, and before I knew it, common themes started appearing before me: I wanted to help people and make a difference, I needed more flexibility in my daily life so I could be there for my daughters, and I also wanted to move (sitting at a desk just wasn’t for me anymore!).
I did a lot of research into Pilates training programs around the city and landed on Body Harmonics because of their science-driven approach to movement education, opportunities for continuing education and specializations, and industry expertise. I was reaching the last half of my maternity leave, and conveniently there was a Level 1: Mat training program beginning in four weeks, so my plan was to do the course, go back to my regular job and teach Mat Pilates on evenings and weekends.
My first weekend of Level 1 training ignited a fascination with the human body and movement that I didn’t even know I had. I came home and told my husband that I could really see myself working in the Pilates and movement field full-time, but I wasn’t quite ready to commit. It didn’t take long though; halfway through the program, I made the decision to leave my long-term career and embark on a new one.
Beyond making this decision, there was one more thing I had to do: say the words out loud (which can be harder than you think!). That sentence, “I’m changing careers,” was terrifying for me, as it sounded very final, and I couldn’t help but think, “what if it doesn’t work out?” After much internal debate, I realized that telling friends and family I was pursuing a new career was exactly the motivation I needed. Uttering those words out loud meant I HAD to make it happen—success was the only option.
I completed my Body Harmonics Pilates Comprehensive program and am now working towards a Specialist diploma in Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics. Not only do I love my new career, but I’m excited to go to work every day with an opportunity to help people and make a difference. I also have more time with my girls, which means the world to me. While a new career can seem terrifying, there can also be great happiness and gratification on the other side. So, if you’re considering a career change, or just want to learn a more about the body, Body Harmonics’ 2020 Continuing Education calendar is a great place to start.
Here’s to 2020, getting a little bit outside of your comfort zone, and taking that leap!
Find out what’s missing
Take pen to paper. Write what you love about your job and what’s missing. Seeing the words right in front of you can ignite that “ah-ha” moment you’ve been looking for.
Do some research
If you’re serious about making a change, let research guide elements of your decision. Reach out to Pilates teachers and ask them to go for a coffee to get insight into the industry. People who love what they do love talking about what they do and how they got there!
Surround yourself with the best
Learning from the best will heighten your chances of a successful career (in any field). When you work with smart people who never stop learning, you never stop learning and evolving.