I Made a Career Change and It Was the Best Decision for My Career

woman happy at work

Canva / Fairygodboss Staff

Profile Picture
VIP
Megan Leasher917
talent strategist + bourbon lover
May 24, 2024 at 5:5PM UTC

The past two years have forced upon us a reevaluation of so many aspects of life, like “What do I want to be when I grow up?”, “How often do I need to wash my hair?”, and “Will anyone really know if I don’t wear pants today?” These reevaluations — admittedly, moreso the career-related ones — have led so many people I know to change jobs in the past year or so. “The Great Resignation,” so I hear. 

I am one of those statistics. I took a new job in August of 2020. I wasn’t planning on it; I wasn’t seeking it. I was actually really happy in my then-current job; I was helping a healthcare system navigate the pandemic-onset chaos. Preparing for a better tomorrow was incredibly fulfilling. 

But I was presented with a surprise opportunity, a blessing free of disguise, if you will. It was with a company that I had both familiarity with and a passion for their mission. It was a company kickstarting its second generation of family-owned leadership, with an eagerness to continue its premier legacy while simultaneously carving out the next chapter. It was a senior-executive opportunity to help shape a collective and inspiring future.

Yet in the short-term, there would be sacrifices that came with this career change. Virtual onboarding was required and there was no light at the end of the tunnel for when I’d be able to meet my coworkers for the first time (eventual answer: EIGHT months). I’d also start out as an individual contributor, which meant temporarily giving up leading a team, something I loved and cherished.

All things taken into consideration, I made the plunge and took the new role. Reflecting back, there were five driving forces that led me to make this career change — which was the best career decision for my career. Here’s why I did it.

1. I wanted to be scared.

I had already faced unexpected fear having been furloughed early in the pandemic. Presented with this new opportunity, there was something about choosing to be scared that energized me in a way that I entertained a cross-roof-skyscraper leap like they do in action movies.

2. I wanted to run towards something.

How often in life do we have the luxury of change due to running towards something, as opposed to running away? I realized I was truly having this moment and landing on that second skyscraper roof was absolutely going to happen.

3. I wanted to do something big.

I wanted to blaze a trail. A new trail. I wanted to have that super-cool story when someone asked me what I did for a living.

4. I wanted to know I could do something big.

I had both the foresight and determination to seek a positive hindsight. 

5. I wanted to dust off some of my talents. 

When we get to do what we are good at we are happy, fulfilled, and feel like we can conquer the world (or at least leap across skyscraper roofs). Yet not every job enables us the opportunity to use every talent in our toolbox. Taking on this new role empowered me to pull some lesser-tapped talents out of my toolbox, like conceptualizing things, building strategy and the like.

That’s my story. Five driving forces, five personal truths that fired me up and sprung me into action. Still happy, still proud of myself, and still the best decision I’ve made for my career.

--

This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Megan Leasher is the Chief Solutions Strategist for Talent Plus, a global HR-solutions firm whose mission is to leverage science to help people and organizations discover and develop talent, creating a world where people do what they are good at and enjoy.  A member of the Forbes HR Council, Megan has been named as one of HR’s Rising Stars by Human Resource Executive Magazine and The 10 Most Influential Leaders in HR by Insights Success Magazine.  Megan lives in northern Kentucky, where she loves coffee, bourbon, and Converse Chuck Taylors. Click here to follow Megan on LinkedIn. 

When did you make your best career change and why? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

Why women love us:

  • Daily articles on career topics
  • Jobs at companies dedicated to hiring more women
  • Advice and support from an authentic community
  • Events that help you level up in your career
  • Free membership, always