Giving Notice Starts with Believing You Can Choose

There is nothing more dis-empowering than believing you don’t have choices.

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you live in a country where you are free to choose how you live your life. You get to choose where you reside, the friends and acquaintances you socialize with, and how you earn your living. While it is true that you do get to choose, it often feels like you don’t; it feels like your situation is preordained and out of your control. Why is that?

Many choices are difficult to undo. For example, when I talk to people in the middle of February and they discover I live near Palm Beach, they often say, “Must be nice.” Of course it’s nice—it’s 78 degrees and sunny down here while you’re freezing your kneecaps off somewhere in the northern climes. That’s why I chose to live here. I don’t like cold. If you don’t like cold, then why do you live in Portland Maine, or Minneapolis, or Omaha? No one is forcing you.

That’s when the reasons start flowing, which often, are just excuses:

  • My whole family lives here
  • The kids are in a good school and have lots of friends
  • Our roots are here
  • My  job is here
  • It’s too expensive to live in Florida
  • We love our home, our town, our lives, etc.

The above answers to my question, “…then why do you live where you live,” can be summed up in one statement: “Because I choose to live where I live.” That’s the truth, isn’t it? No one is forcing you to live where you live.

It’s the same with your job, not just in terms of who you work for but also the type of work that you do. You choose to do it.

Don’t think I don’t understand why people choose to do a job they don’t love, maybe one they even abhor. They do it because they need to make a living and there is a high likelihood that whatever you’re doing pays the best for the skills sets you have. The reason you developed those skills sets is because of choices you made at some point in the past. In many ways, those decisions served you well. You have a career that supports a nice lifestyle for you and your family. You probably even enjoyed the work for a while.

Now, for whatever reason, each day at the job feels like a challenge that you don’t enjoy. You feel stressed. You feel like you’re spending the majority of your time doing something you wish you didn’t have to do. Worse yet, you feel trapped because you feel like you have no choice.

Stop believing the lies you’re telling yourself. You have choices.

The first choice you have is the freedom to explore the opportunities available to you that mesh with the skills and desires you have. And if you’ve landed on this website and this blog, you’ve found a place that will help you to do that. Rest assured, it’s possible to begin a new career, and to do it at any age when you strategically plan and prepare for the transition after deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life.

After spending most of my life working in healthcare, I recall many stories talking to doctors and nurses about the things that people lament as they’re lying on their deathbeds. Rest assured—spending more time at work, doing a job they disliked was not one of them.

Giving notice begins with recognizing that you get to choose what you do and who you do it for. It might seem selfish to focus on your needs in this area when you’re financially responsible for others in your life. Ultimately though, your life and the relationships you have with others will be impacted by your own happiness.