Wrapping My Head Around A Career Change

March is slipping away like I can’t believe.  I’m looking ahead to this crazy week filled with appointments, errands, writing deadlines, NO SCHOOL, a playdate, a visit, a grant application deadline, NO SCHOOL, a trip to pack for and arrangements to be made and I think this week is definitely not slowing down.  Did I mention there’s  NO SCHOOL right now which just throws my schedule off, just a wee bit.

This month has been significant for me since I made a decision in the fall.  I will be not be renewing my license in speech-language pathology on March 31.  I have been a practicing speech-language pathologist since 2005 (part time since the babies started coming) and have been working with children with special needs since 1998.

Ever since I started babysitting as a tween and volunteering in the Scouting movement with Beavers, I figured I would always work with children.  It was easy.  They were cute.  Sometime in my first year of college I came across some information on speech-language pathology and thought, hey, this combines some things I like – language and helping people.  Oh, and speech therapists work mostly with kids – this will be easy.  So I closed my eyes and went for it and ignored the subtle messages I received over the next 7 years of schooling that this really wasn’t it for me.  This wasn’t making me want to jump out of bed in the morning.

At the end of last summer, when I really started wrestling with this completely crazy idea that was just begging to burst out of me (the messages were not so subtle any more) I went for a long walk by myself.  It was my first SOLO hour-long walk in eons and it was awesome.  On that walk, I realized that one of the reasons I was having a hard time letting go of speech-language pathology was that in my mind there was such a huge disconnect between speech pathology and writing.  It seemed like there was career A and career B and they didn’t converge and I had to make this huge leap from one to the other – and if I should slip or land incorrectly, I’d fall into a great abyss.

So, my mind was thinking this way but my body through its one foot in front of the other motion started showing me something else.  Suddenly, it dawned on me that there’s a reason why the term “career path” exists.  It really is a journey.  There’s nothing disconnected about flowing from one line of work to another – it’s in fact, a much smoother stroll when you’re aligning your professional, spiritual and personal lives.

And on April 1, 2012, what’s really going to be different about me other than the fact that I won’t be working as a speech-language pathologist?  I still care about language and helping people.  I’m just expressing it in a way that goes with my grain.  The friends I have been blessed with over the past several years that started out as clients or classmates have evolved into a strong support network for me – all of me, not just the speech therapist.  So, really, in essence, I’m still walking my path – the view is just a little different!

Everyone’s journey and transition is different – if you have thoughts to share, please leave a comment below!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

7 thoughts on “Wrapping My Head Around A Career Change

  1. How exciting..I can’t wait to read and share in your “new” career path..how wonderful that you are stepping up and out. Keep us informed and I wish you every blessing and mindful action as you continue walking your path. Stay well.

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and well wishes! I look forward to having you on this journey as well 🙂 I like how you put “new” in quotes like that; that’s exactly it…it’s new and yet simultaneously it’s as old as time. Have a beautiful day!

  2. Taslim, this post resonates with my own experience. I spent ten years in a career ignoring all the signs that it was not nourishing me. On a deeper level I think I was terrified of being fully exposed to the world–potentially failing at the thing I loved most was harder than surviving at a thing that I wasn’t emotionally attached to. After 3 years of work my first novel is finally being born…and it is still scary, but I’m also in love with my work.

    1. Hi Tina! First of all, congratulations on your debut novel! Second of all, congratulations on following your love of writing and growing it, despite how scary it can be. The potential for failure holds a lot of us back from our dreams. You’re absolutely right; the fall is much greater when it’s something you really love. Then again, so is the sense of fulfillment. Thanks again for your comment!

  3. I know much time has passed since you wrote this article. I’m an SLP currently and thinking about changing careers. But I really don’t know where to start. I have been an SLP for the past 11 years. How did you make the transition?

  4. Hi Taslim,

    Thanks so much for sharing about your journey. I definitely resonate with a lot of your experiences in changing careers and can honestly say that your post inspired me to pursue my own joy and to start writing again. I find your website so inspiring and helpful in charting a new path outside of speech pathology.

    1. Hi Joyce – thank you so much for your comment! I’m thrilled you are pursuing joy in whichever way it is meant for you. Keep me posted!

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