All too often we talk about getting a better job, climbing the corporate ladder, chasing that big promotion, bringing in the megabucks – all the standard indications that our career is heading in the right direction.
Onwards and upwards, as they say!
Sometimes we forget that not everyone is trying to climb the career ladder. Some people are downsizing their careers.
I’m not talking about people going into retirement. I’m talking about people consciously choosing to downsize their work responsibilities or the amount of time they spend working.
I know in these tough economic times with people losing their jobs or having problems finding employment, downsizing comes with a highly negative connotation. And quite rightly so, in cases where downsizing and redundancy are thrust upon us against our will.
For the purpose of this article, I’m talking about the positive aspect of choosing to downsize your career.
Reasons for downsizing can be deeply personal, such as recovering from cancer, having a major health scare or accident that leads you to re-examine your life. I’ve seen several friends over the years change their lives for health-related reasons.
As a result, they are now healthier and happier.
Other reasons could be wanting to spend more time with family and young children or to simply step back from the rat race and take some time out for yourself to relax and unwind. Downsizing may involve a sea change or a move out of the city to enjoy a more tranquil life.
The reasons for a lifestyle makeover are as varied and unique as each individual.
If downsizing your career sounds appealing, here are some thoughts to take into consideration.
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Making the decision
If you have a partner, talk your ideas through with them.
Make sure you get their input and discuss the situation openly and honestly before making a major decision that will affect everyone.
Related content on simplifying your life –
- 7 Ways to Simplify Your Life
- 7 More Ways to Simplify Your Life
- 5 Websites to Help Simplify Your Life
An excellent book that can help you decide what is truly essential in your life is Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
Expect some resistance
You may get some resistance from the people around you.
Some of your family and friends may not understand your decision. In a culture where people are often measured by their level of career success and accomplishment, you may get grief from those around you, for deciding to take time out.
Discuss your plans with the people close to you calmly and rationally. If they fail to understand or support you after you have shared your plan, you may have to accept it is their issue to come to terms with.
Related posts –
- Making a Big Change in Life – Be Prepared for Resistance
- 20 Ways to Stop Caring What People Think of You
- Stop Being a People Pleaser – 6 Books That Can Help
If downsizing your career means bringing in less cash, you will need to ditch the ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ mantra.
Personally, I hate this wasteful and stupid concept of competing, so regardless of what your career holds, it is a good mindset to be free of.
Comparing and competing with other people will generally see you drowning in credit card debt, not to mention surrounded by expensive stuff you don’t need or use.
Related post – Don’t Compare Yourself to People on Social Media
Work out your finances
If you are planning to downsize, you will need to take money into consideration.
I’m not for a moment saying you can’t downsize without having a lot of money tucked away.
As patients who have recovered from a life-threatening illness will tell you, there are more important things than cold hard cash. Yet you have to be realistic. You’ll need to be able to pay the bills on time and have some money for leisure activities and having fun.
The key is in the word ‘some’. How much money you decide you need to change and maintain your lifestyle will be completely up to you. You might be pleasantly surprised by just how little money you need to live on to be happy.
If downsizing your career is what you want – go for it. Blaze your own trail and design your own future.
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