Chasing Happiness Instead of Promotions: Inspiring Stories From People Who Took the Leap
Recently, Linkedin conducted a poll asking users how inspiring their career was. The average answer came out as 70, but it got me thinking, what are some of the most inspiring career choices people have made? Here I have compiled the most inspiring stories of people who have chosen a new role in life, and led an exciting new career path.
Changing your Career for Happiness
If you find yourself thinking ‘my career doesn’t make me happy’, you can most likely relate to the following people prior to changing their lives for the better by making drastic changes and became real-life inspirations.
Roz Savage– Choosing Fulfilment Over Work
From 2008-2010, Roz Savage embarked on a solo journey to row across the Pacific ocean. She faced “pain, frustration and 20-foot waves”. So what encouraged her to make such a drastic career change?
Her answer was happiness and freedom.
“My job was not taking me the way that I wanted to go. It was, in fact, taking me in the opposite direction, toward a life of tedium and obligation rather than one of freedom and fulfilment”
So she quit her job, left home, and set out to conquer the world. It might seem like a tough choice, but with a third of our lives spent working, surely it gets to the point where we need to decide what’s really important to us.
Since then, Roz Savage has
Stacy Lastoe– Money and Success Aren’t Worth Life Experience
Lacy Lastoe, at a young age, quit her job to travel the great wide world.
Hard-working, ladder-climbing, 25-year-olds didn’t inspire me; nomadic backpackers with dirty hair and fingernails who slept on buses and spent their money on cheap beer did.
She lived out what many of us wish to do once in our lives, and recounts tales of a lonely Thanksgiving, and falling in love. She traveled all around Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia, with a ‘fly by the seat of my pants itinerary’. Most of us strive to get into jobs that pay well– but keep us so busy we don’t have time for a holiday. The beauty of life experience is this: if you decide to go on adventure and pause your career, it doesn’t need to mean you won’t be able to get a job when you return home again. For many recruiters, taking time for yourself and ‘getting it out of your system’ is a sign you’re refreshed, experienced and ready to start working hard again.
What we can take away from Stacy’s story:
The good experiences outweigh the bad in the long run
Whilst recounting experiences such as narrowly escaping sexual assault, Stacy never makes light of how different the experience of traveling made her, and how many new skills she learned. She “changed in countless ways that can’t be enunciated”, so if you are thinking of taking a sabbatical but are worried of experiencing a traumatic experience, you just have to know to take the good with the bad, and in the end, it will be the good that you remember.
You will learn to be savvy
Backpacking is hard. But one of the hardest aspects would be having to live from what most of us would consider mere pocket money. It teaches you to truly conserve money wherever you can, Stacy saying “I’d just as soon walk two miles to get where I was staying than pay for a $5 taxi”. Living on sometimes less than a dollar a day will really teach you to make a few cuts to your life to get rid of unreasonable expenses.
It teaches you that money and success aren't everything
Though the experience was great, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows when Sarah came back from her trip. She recounts going into job interviews and having to explain a year gap to her interviewers. However, it was worthwhile. Sarah states in her ‘muse’ article, “I could probably be making more money and have a more prestigious title if I’d stuck on the career path I started out on… But would I be happier with a title and salary more in line with a classic career trajectory? I can’t say for certain because I didn’t opt for that route, but I do know that in spite of feeling frustrated on occasion with my situation, I wouldn’t trade my experience for the answer to the question.”
Bootstrapping: Stories of the underdog
I know personally, nothing makes me more inspired than the success stories of young people who have put in hours of hard work in order to pull themselves up from the bottom and land their dream job. The following are true stories about underdogs making a name for themselves from nothing and leading inspiring careers and lives
Who is now a household name, was once a recent divorcee and on government aid, a life which was just enough to support her baby. As well as this, the first Harry Potter book “The Philosophers Stone”, was being constantly rejected by every publisher she brought it to. However, Rowling did not give up. She kept trying until Bloomsbury, a small publisher in London accepted it after the CEO’s daughter fell in love with it.
Before being renowned as one of the best writers, writers of the century, Stephen King lived in a trailer with his wife. They lived a life in which a telephone was too expensive to keep, and both had to work multiple jobs to stay afloat.
“By the time I was 14…the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and kept on writing.”
His now best selling book ‘Carrie’ received dozens of rejections at first before made a deal with Doubleday Publishing, where it sold only 13,000 copies. Soon after, Signet books brought the rights for ‘Carrie’ for 400,000 grand, 200,000 of which went to Stephen.
Jim Carrey came from a difficult childhood. At the age of 10, every day after school, Carrey had to work an 8 hour per day factory job to help his family make ends meet. At 15, as an inspired child, had his first comedy gig at a bar in a suit crafted by his mum, a night which turned out to be a failure. He was undeterred, however. He left school at 16 to focus on comedy full time. Every night he would park his car on Mulholland drive, and visualize himself succeeding.
He wrote himself a 10,000,000 check for “Acting Services Rendered”, dated for Thanksgiving 1995. Just before then, he made it big time, landing a role in the hit movie ‘Dumb and Dumber’. When his father passed, he put the old check in his casket.