Time for Change . . . The Next Chapter

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Are you unhappy with your career? Do you go home each day, feeling drained and like your life has become a broken record? Is something just not clicking with your job or your professional goals?

Maybe it’s time to make a change.

I have made many changes to my personal and professional life over the last several years and I’ve just made another big change. But first, let me give you some background.

Looking back…

Over a year ago, I started a business in Germany. It wasn’t something that I absolutely had to do, but the business was in my field of expertise and seemed like an exciting opportunity. Climbing yet another challenging mountain and proving to myself that I could take my career in Recruiting to the next level, I jumped in full force and rolled with the punches—tackling all the challenges that come with a startup business and an international business.

A Startup Brings Many Challenges…

As with any startup business, there are the challenges of building something from scratch with no prior brand recognition or company support. It’s all on you and your business partners to fund and support the new business. There is no company backing, established brand or funds, or even a staff to rely on. You often go for quite some time without enough incoming cash to support employees, business expenses, or even a salary for yourself. Actually, in the early days you are lucky if you break even!

Winning clients is an even bigger rock to climb. When no one knows you and your business has no recognized brand, you are literally starting from the bottom of the barrell and trying to climb your way out, without steps or handrails most times. Having to prove the value of your business model and services is pretty difficult when you’ve had no customers before and you’re basically an unknown company within your industry.

These are the challenges of a startup business no matter where you are and they are all exciting! However…it doesn’t even begin to cover the challenges of a startup business in another country.

A Foreign Way of Business…

Learning a new culture and way of doing business, HR laws, legal requirements, and many more challenges faced my business partner and me. We plowed through, determined not to give up, learning as much as we could, pitching our services, attending as many sales meetings as possible, and reaching out to as many prospects and candidates as we could find.

Looking back, I feel a sense of pride in the strides we made with what often seemed like an impossible goal. While we did not achieve the goals we would have liked to achieve over the last year, we still achieved some success. The successes we’ve had in the business have not been many, but we have learned and accomplished much with the roadblocks we were faced with.

It’s very likely that we could see even more success in the next year, if we decided to stick to it and carry on.

But we have decided that it’s time for a change.

What am I trying to prove?

Quitting is not something that I take very lightly, but sometimes you have to quit in order to do what is best for yourself.

You have to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this and what am I trying to prove?” If you can’t answer those questions, that’s when you know it’s time for change.

Anytime that you have given something the time to grow and become a part of your life, if it doesn’t feel right or if it’s just not clicking, it’s time to relook at what you’re doing and determine what you can do differently.

Without Passion, It Means Nothing…

Do I regret starting the business? In some ways, yes. But in the overall scheme of things, no.

Starting a business in Germany was a tremendous learning experience for myself. It helped me to realize that what I once saw as success and passion was really just what other people saw as success and passion.

I’m a successful recruiter. I could continue on next year, nose to the grindstone, and be very successful in Germany—just as I was in the U.S. But my heart isn’t in it—I don’t feel successful or happy in recruiting. While working with companies and hiring managers to find the best talent for their needs is very rewarding, it just isn’t something that feels right anymore.

It isn’t clicking.

On the other hand, helping others to craft the professional and personal life they really want for themselves, and having the ability to travel by sail are the things that I am passionate about. Learning and honing my skills and expertise in these areas bring me joy and gives me the feeling of success. Building a business that fully encompasses and supports my passions and what I feel strongly about is something that I am much more eager to focus my time on.

Time to Turn the Page…

So, after much thought and consideration, it’s time to turn a new page and write yet another chapter in my book of life.

This year will be very involved, moving forward and completing the closing of the business, and pushing on toward new adventures. I’m most excited about the fact that I will have more time for Prepare to Tack, the freelancing projects that I enjoy, and sailing.

It’s a new year, a new outlook, and I’m excited to see what this next chapter has in store for me!

Are you in a similar situation and longing for a change?

Write to me at julia.weeks@preparetotack.com to discuss your situation, where you want to be, and how you can make the right changes to get there.