Change Career / Getting Ahead

How To Tell Your Family That You Don't Want A Traditional Job

. 5 min read . Written by Vanshika Goenka
How To Tell Your Family That You Don't Want A Traditional Job

Remember Pankaj Bhadauria? She quit her 16 year-old-job of teaching to follow her passion for cooking, and went on to win India’s Master Chef. Lori Cheek’s bluetooth mobile dating app Cheek’d received harsh criticism and despite that, she is looked up to for inspiration by so many today.  

What do you have in common with these two women? The urge to not take up a traditional desk job, the hunger to follow your dreams and the will to go out and beyond to get what you want! And while you may be ready and raring to go, the same may not be true for your family. In order to move ahead unimpeded, you will need to have them on your side. And in order to do that, you need to have the talk! 

While the thought of having a conversation with your family seems absolutely uncomfortable and scary, it is equally important to do this, because the unfair alternative to it, is not doing what you love. 

Let’s look at this squarely. You are going to tell your family that you would like to pursue something that may or may not work out. You’re also going to  tell them that despite the years of hard work they’ve put in to provide you with exactly what you’ll need to succeed at a conventional job, you now want to choose something else.  It is a tough road to walk. And more often than not, it comes with a stack of guilt.

We have grown up in a society which looks down upon the act of making decisions based solely on individual preferences, so the guilt of choosing ourselves weighs us down. 

Here’s my  first suggestion: treat it like an exam or an office presentation. Your intention should be to anticipate all their questions in advance and have your answers ready.. Instead of looking at it only emotionally, try to see their side of the story as well. . You see, you are trying to convince your family that you are choosing adventure over safety and they will have their concerns and opinions. 

Ready? Okay, here we go! 

Here are a few things you can do to make this conversation easier for yourself, and for your family:

1. Let Your Actions Speak Louder Than Your Words 

Whether you are just starting out or looking to switch, start this conversation after having already put in some effort in your new  direction. Get some internship experience in the field you want to join, attend workshops and get some training, commit to short term projects; and do all this for two important reasons. One, to gain  insight into what your passion field entails and two, to prove to your family that your intention behind embarking on this journey is not merely an escape route from hard work. 

Your actions must reflect that your choice isn’t just a superficial and short-lived hobby.   

2. Have Your Plan B Ready 

Plan Bs are not a preparation for  failure.

Plan B ensures that you have something to fall back on if things don’t work out as planned and you have to reinvent yourself.

Write such a plan on paper and let your family in on it. This will increase their trust in you and prove to them that you are ready to be responsible for your choices. 

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3. Create A Pilot Project 

There is a high probability that when you begin your journey, you will not only be in need of emotional support but also financial support.. To access financial support, create a plan for a pilot project.

Set up actionable and achievable goals for yourself as well as a time limit. 

Tell your family that if at the end of this period you haven’t met your goals, you will reconvene and discuss your future plans. This will give them the surety that you are serious about success and will not waste time – your own and everyone else’s. 

4. Find A Job Or A Part Time Gig That Pays The Bills

Working a job while pursuing your passion project might  mean that your energy will be a little divided. So you will have to prioritise, of course. But for those who do not have a lot of savings, having a job that can pay at least the bills. This will ensure that you are not constantly worrying about finances. This will also give you the freedom to extend the trial period of your pilot project.

If you continue with your job (even if it is part-time), your family will easily give you the space you need in order to make your passion project work. 


5. Take Your Time 

Patience and perseverance are the two virtues which should be your best friends during this time.

You might want to quit overnight but if you can hold off, hold off. A lot of times we feel that doing what we love will be  much easier than the normal 9 to 5. But what we don’t take into account is that even when we love what we do, there is still a lot of hard work and inconvenience  that goes into  turning a passion into a successful project and life plan. So, give yourself time to make the shift, research, get yourself acquainted with all that this journey will entail at least logistically, scout your options, figure out the monetary opportunities. Update your family regularly about these aspects of your not-so-traditional job so that along with you, even they are mentally preparing themselves for the changes which are about to come.  

Yes, you will attract what you focus on and  give your time and energy to.

But closely related to the Law of Attraction  is the Law of Inspired Action, which talks about taking the real, actionable steps to invite what we want into our lives.

Step one towards your dreams is taking your family in confidence. Make sure that they know how passionate and prepared you are when it comes to doing what needs to be done to achieve your goals. 

Step two is to go out there and do it! 

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