It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if you’re really good at something, you should specialise in it and turn it into your career. And then, stick to it for the rest of your life.
But what if the mere thought of it bores you to death?
What if the passion has faded away, and now when you think about your future, all you see is just an endless Monday, trapped at your desk filling in the same dreaded paperwork, surrounded by a stream of grey, blurry faces?
Should you stick it out just because you’re good at it?
This is the dilemma I was facing last year when I realised that my passion for my skin coaching business was rapidly fading away.
But my skills hadn’t. I know to how to decipher those unpronounceable labels, how to mix and match actives, and how to create a skincare plan that gets rid of acne, lightens dark spots, and slows down premature aging.
My clients knew it, too. I was more in demand than ever. Was it really wise to rock the boat now?
And yet, after 11 years in the skincare industry, I had started to feel stifled. What was once new and exciting had now become routine. There were no challenges, anymore.
At the same time, I felt the pull to become a life purpose coach. I wanted to help women figure out their calling and turn it into a soul-aligned business.
It’s a pull I had felt for years. When I wasn’t busy with this skincare thing, I was helping my friends identify what they were passionate about and make a living from it, just like I had done. The time had now come to do it full-time.
And yet, I agonized for months over the decision. Everyone told me I should stick to what I was good at, what everyone already knew me for.
It’s horrible advice. Here’s why:
Skills Without Passion Won’t Take You Far
Skills last forever. Passion is fickle.
Once you know how to ride a bike, decipher skincare labels, or speak a foreign language, you never really lose it. Sure, you can become a bit rusty over time if you stop using the skill, but when you’re ready to go back, it’s not that hard to pick up where you left off.
Passion burns bright and then slowly fickles away. It makes you lose all track of time, consumes your soul, and then one day, just leaves the building.
Logic tells you to ignore passion and stick to what you’re good at. But it’s a false choice. You need both.
Talent can open doors for you, but if you don’t feel any passion for that talent, you won’t even want to knock on that door.
It’s passion that prompted to learn about skincare ingredients. It’s passion that kept me working in the wee hours of the night to build my business. It’s passion that filled a 15-hour work day with pleasure and meaning.
And when the passion faded away, I started turning down opportunities to appear on podcasts, host workshops, or collaborate with brands. All things I would have given an arm and a leg for only a couple of years before.
Focusing On Your Skills Won’t Help You Evolve
Times are a-changing, but still too many of us think that a career change makes us a failure. Why couldn’t you figure out what you were meant to do with your life on the first try?
I’d argue that changing careers isn’t a failure. Staying too long in a job that doesn’t challenge you anymore is.
Human beings aren’t machines programmed to do the same tasks over and over again. We’re living beings who are constantly growing and evolving.
You’re not the same person today you were 10 years ago. And you won’t be the same person in 10 years’ time, either. As you change, it’s only normal that your passions change with you. Embrace it.
It made total sense for 25 year old Giorgia to work in skincare. Back then, I was coming out of a deep depression. A flawless complexion and a swipe of lipstick gave me a little confidence boost that helped me face the world again. I wanted to help other women do the same.
As I rebuilt my confidence and my life in the following years, my focus started shifting from outer beauty to inner fulfillment. I became obsessed with psychology, personal development and all that jazz. Doing work I loved changed my life and I was finally ready to spend the next phase coaching other women ready to embark on the same journey.
Skills Are Transferable
When I first realised it was time to switch careers, the thing that hold me back the most was all the years I had invested in skincare. Would they just go to waste?
No. Here’s the thing most people don’t realise about skills: they’re transferable.
Sure, I probably wouldn’t have the chance to talk about acne treatments with my new clients. But when you develop a skill, you usually also learn many other microskills associated with it.
Building my skincare business taught me how to deal with difficult clients, create a juicy offer the right people can’t refuse, and get found on Google (to name just a few!) – all skills that would turn out to be useful in my new venture.
Truth bomb: nothing is ever wasted. There’s a reason your journey unfolded in the way it has.
At every stop along the way, you were supposed to learn the skills you needed to move forward.
So, move forward.
Over to you, now. Did being good at something ever stopped you from making a career change? Share your experience in the comments below.
Giorgia Guazzarotti is a certified life purpose and business coach and the founder of The Treasures Within. She’s on a mission to help spiritual women figure out what to do with their life and turn that into a soul-aligned business, so they can make a bigger impact and more money doing what they love. She trained at the Transformation Academy and has since written for top publications, including Foundr.
Image courtesy of SHTTEFAN.