Career: Taking a Step Back to Move Forward

Sep 3, 2013, Written by Sue Miley

Is taking a step back in your career keeping you from moving forward?  I knew early on that I needed to do something different career wise.  I had worked 60 plus hour weeks for almost 12 years in one company.  Then for another two years, commuted a little over an hour each way, adding at least ten hours per week to my more reasonable business schedule.

Leaving the executive positions I held in the business world would create a huge financial impact to our household income.  But the pace of work was passing by my life.

Young children were calling me home and God was calling me to His plans.  I was stubborn.  It took me three years and soul wearying burnout to hear his call.

What Hold’s You Back

What was holding me back?

What is holding you back from doing a career that you love, that you were born for?

For many it may be position, power, or plain old money.  The kids still have to eat after all.

That wasn’t it for me.  I wanted:

  • to do God’s work as a career
  • flexibility to better care for my kids
  • challenging work to participate in and learn

but, the thing I wanted most, that I could not identify for sure in advance was…..passion.

I wanted to be fully alive, on fire, and in love with my work.

There are never any promises though.  We want assurance and insurance that we are going to love our career if we make a huge change.

Taking Risk To Get a High Return

I know that re-inventing my career was the best thing that could have ever happened to my family, career, and my life.  But, I know that I had a bit of a rock climb to get here.

As the saying goes, NO PAIN, NO GAIN.

There is always risk to gain a high return.  Sometimes we have to step out bigger than other times.

I stepped out and left the high paying business jobs to go back to school and get my Masters in Community Counseling.  I had to absolutely trust God that this was His call for me, but I also had to do my part.  It took me two years to make the leap.

Things To Consider As You Consider Change

Here are some things you may need to consider for your own leap:

  1. Timing – timing messes up many people’s decisions and actions.  When we decide to do something huge…to take that jump….we want to go fast before we chicken out, get discouraged, or change our mind.  God’s timing isn’t always ours.  In my case, I started working on the change but it took two full years to transition to school and homemaking.
  2. Doing Our Part – just because God doesn’t drop something in your lap doesn’t mean it isn’t His plan for your life.  I had to investigate, analyze, reflect, pray, wrestle and every other verb, to decide on the direction.  Then I had to start taking steps.  As I investigated and moved forward, I felt God was opening doors along the way.
  3. Overcome Obstacles – even with God opening doors I still had obstacles.  I had to help my boss sell her business before I left.  We had to sell our home and downsize to afford me not working.  I had to get into grad school.  But, as I encountered each barrier, God gave me peace.  I just kept working through each one.
  4. Other Opinions – many of us have people in our lives who will tell us we are crazy.  But it really isn’t that many people.  More people were excited for my change, even a little envious. I think you will be surprised.
  5. Enjoy the Journey – lastly, the call is more than a destination.  It really is the journey too.  If the change in your life is God pleasing, He will use the journey as part of the call.

Even though I stepped way back in my career to transition, I never felt that way.

It just felt like a new path; not an inferior path.  I never once felt worse about myself being a student and Mom than a corporate VP.  I didn’t think I was less in my family or marriage because I wasn’t bringing in big bucks.

God has a plan for us.  His plan is what Satan is pulling us away from.  Giving us fear to make that leap to a new career.

But faith is making the leap, even if we can’t see the outcome.

Is taking a step back keeping you from moving forward?


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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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