Which Way to Go?

"Many people find new and meaningful work later when they align their skills and experiences with their values and dreams."

By Lisa Lewis

Walking around a lake I noticed a path to the left leading away from the lake. There was no marker for it yet the path itself was worn. I stopped and looked at both paths. It reminded me of Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

This act of standing and wondering is how I start to make decisions; those weighty ones like changing careers late in life. I try to consider every possible outcome if I made a choice to change. I think I’m being thorough by anticipating things. The problem with this is I’m not omniscient. That character trait belongs to only one, and it’s to him I need to turn when facing big decisions.

Do you find yourself sorting it all out in your head and on paper and then ask God for help with the decision? You’re not alone. Scripture is full of examples for us; reminders of who God is and how much he loves us. Despite all we know, we need daily reminding.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Have you sensed a stirring to make a career change in this season of life? Are you facing a choice between two paths? You’re not alone here either. Many people find new and meaningful work later when they align their skills and experiences with their values and dreams. How do you do that?

Here’s a three-point process to help you get started:

Grow-your awareness of something else out there is the first step. In Psalm 34 we’re told to delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desire of your heart. Sometimes we’re led to believe this means God will give us what we want. That’s not always the case. God will put a desire in your heart. Pay attention to that stirring for something more. Pray. Play with the ideas that come to mind. Address any hesitancy to change that comes up. Pray about that too. Keep taking action.

Equip-what tools do you need to take the next step toward a career change? What more information do you need? What do you already know? Make lists. Use those lists to set S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive)

Thrive- this is a way of working that aligns your talent and experience with your dream of a more fulfilling career life. It is possible for you. Is it scary? Probably. Is it impossible? Not necessarily. One of my favorite passages of scripture to pray back to God is Mark 9:24 I do believe; help me in my unbelief.

Give yourself a moment right now to imagine what you will feel like at the end of the workday when you are doing work that aligns with how God has wired you. Consider these words that end Frost’s poem:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

and that has made all the difference.