Looking to change careers but is the grass really greener over there?

Decision-making

March 30, 2024

Tell me if one of these is, or has been, you….

🛥️ You’re in comfortable cruise control mode in your job and you should be grateful there’s no stress…..,but you find yourself wanting to sack it all and do something risky, adventurous and challenging 🪂

😁 You’re earning a really good wage doing work that you’re so good at, and yet….. you find yourself lusting after the glamour and travel of the production team ✈️ or the creativity-laden days of the marketing team 🎨


I could go on and paint you pictures with any scenario – relationships, family, lifestyle, wealth….

It’s a classic case of “the grass is greener on the other side” and it can happen to anyone, in any position and at any stage.

When does it go?

It doesn’t necessarily disappear if you’ve got the money or the freedom you first craved. 

New pastures with even greener grass seem to spring up next to you all the time. 

So what can we do about it?

I’ll tell you.

But first…

What is the grass is always greener syndrome and how does it relate to careers?

In the vast and ever-evolving landscape of career choices, many of us have experienced that nagging feeling: “The grass is always greener on the other side.” 

It’s a sentiment that whispers in the minds of those contemplating a career change, often leaving them with a sense of restlessness, uncertainty, and the persistent question, “Is there something better out there for me?”

‘The Grass Is Always Greener’ syndrome is the belief that somewhere, in a different role, industry, or even location, lies the ideal career that will bring fulfilment, happiness, and success.

So how do we know if we really need a change or if we’re falling into the syndrome category?

Dreams vs Daydreams

I believe that some dreams are an expression of our deepest desires and some have come to us to act as a roadmap so we can find our way to our form of true happiness.

A dream to work for yourself, or do something more purposeful, for example, is an expression of your desire for more freedom and fulfilment in life.

However, other dreams, the ones that fall into the ‘grass is greener’ category, are reactionary, and they don’t reflect what we truly want.

These dreams tend to arise after a particularly stressful day at work and they’ll have you wanting to screw it all and go work in a bar in Thailand. 

They also come to you when you’re scrolling through Instagram and you see someone post a pic from their private jet plane with a comment about how they’re making £30k a week selling real estate and you should buy their course that will teach you how to do the same.

On a good day, you’d scroll straight past, but on a vulnerable day, you may just hit that ‘More Info’ button.

So how do we know which category our daydreams fall into?

Let’s get the most obvious thing out the way – are you tired?

If the daydream has come to you when you’re tired at the end of the, then that daydream is not what you actually want.

You know how you’re more likely to reach for sugary treats if you’re tired or hungover? That’s your body sending you signals for a condensed energy hit because it’s struggling to keep you awake on the little sleep you had.

It does the same thing with your daydreams, it gives you a nice image to lust over so you can get through the day. 

A mirage if you will.

The solution here is…

Get some deep rest and then do some self-inquiry about your current situation.

Here are the 3 steps you need to take:

1) Decide which route to take

We first need to see if you’re truly dissatisfied with all of it or if some tweaks in boundaries and communication can fix the problem.

I had a client who stopped her job search after we worked out how she could say no to her boss without feeling like she was being confrontational. The domino effect from that one simple change was profound.

If you think that those tweaks won’t help, then we need to do some investigation into your daydreams.

Is becoming a teacher or doctor truly the salvation you’re picturing it to be?

I had a client earlier this year who was thinking about giving up her career in the music industry to retrain as a doctor. We spoke about what she was picturing her days to look like and then she went to talk to some doctors to see if her version matched reality.

It didn’t.

So she closed the door on the doctor dream and we instead looked at what was behind that dream.

For her, it was meaning. She wanted to do something meaningful and hands on. So we set to work seeing how this could be done in her current job.

2) Find the real cause of dissatisfaction

Next we need to dive deeper into our self-inquiry and find out the true causes of the restlessness and pull out your true desires.

This is harder than it sounds.

I won’t go into too much detail here, I’ll leave it for another edition, but there are multiple reasons we find it hard to know what we want. Here are some of them:

  • We don’t know ourselves (because of many reasons but one of them is the next point)
  • We’re too focused on what others are doing and what others will think of us to get to know what we think and what we want
  • We been taught to minimise our desires or turn them into something more ‘realistic’
  • We haven’t learnt how to feel the feeling of disappointment and not be overwhelmed by it, so we avoid any situations where we may get let down.
  • A homogenous group of school friends and lack of role models who have pursued unconventional or alternative paths to the norms of our social group, can make it harder to envision alternative life choices
  • Developing a procrastination habit where you’re putting off decision-making, and therefore self-reflection, can perpetuate a sense of confusion and indecision

3) Work with someone on the action

Once you’ve found the real cause, you have your solution.

This is where you will need to work with a coach because enacting those solutions isn’t a ‘one and done’ thing. You’ve had those habits of thinking or doing for a life time, so it will take some time to unlearn those.

You’ll also be working on changing your self-concept. That takes time, accountability and someone else to spot your blind spots.

Once you crack those, you’re on your way to creating wonderfully lush and verdant pastures under your feet.

If you need help with any of those, then my self-study Career Clarity Course is a good place to start as it guides you through the most important aspects of getting to know what you want.

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