Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Getting cold feet...

...and I don't mean just the type that happens every year when the temperature drops outside!!!  Those, I have practically year 'round, along with cold hands.  Oh, my lucky, future patients!!!  :-)

Regarding this mid-career change, nothing, of course, is yet set in stone.  I am still employed full-time, and I am still waiting for the university to as much as acknowledge receipt of my application.  I am just dreaming about nursing school.  So the current job situation retains its status quo. 

So why the cold feet?  In one simple word: financial security. (OK, that's two words!)

For some reason, I am not at all worried about landing a great nursing job at the end of my studies.  I know I'll be a very competent nurse, I know I'm an outgoing 'people person' and will love finally being back in the medical field (this time as a paid professional, rather than just as a volunteer).  I have a very good 'gut feeling' about the whole career change idea -- and over the years I have learned to 'trust the gut'.  If I had any reservations at all about the actual career change, I would not be considering it any further.

What concerns me, are the few years between quitting my current job, and starting to work after graduating as a nurse.  The financial unknowns during these few years concern me.

As I'd mentioned earlier, my dear husband and soul mate is very supportive of this change.  I would not be considering any career change if we had not talked this through in great detail over the years, and I didn't have his full agreement and support.  He is a professional in his field, and has a great job and career, one in which he is very intelligent and well respected by his colleagues.  He's in a great place -- AND he loves what he does (lucky guy!!!)

In the many years we've been together, he has only gone through one lay-off (and that one came with an amazing severance package, so even through that ordeal, there never were any financial issues).  During those few months that he was off work, it was also reassuring to me to know that I had a full-time job (even though I was on maternity leave at the time). 

This lay-off scenario would be different, if I were a student again.  We know we can comfortably live off one salary - we have proven that.  The difference would be that we would have so many more expenses, with university tuition and books and everything else.  And the guilt that I would feel in that scenario would simply be unimaginable.

I don't know why I have such strong worries for this situation.  Without getting into any personal financial details, we are on a very solid financial footing.  This scenario really should not be a huge concern, particularly given that the odds of my dear husband being laid off in the next few years are relatively slim.  Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but I don't think this should be such a major worry for me.  But it is. 

I have read that being in a position as I currently am (wanting to change careers, but finding it very difficult to leave the current, comfortable situation, even though it is completely the wrong field), is called the "golden handcuff".   Hard to leave, and hard to stay.

I also know that the TRANSITION stage, the flux stage, is the most difficult to deal with, as there is an ending happening (ending of the familiar situation), a new beginning dawning (into the unknown), but neither is complete yet.  This is still the muddled middle ground, when closure is possible, but not yet happened,

The transition stage is the most unsettling, as one knows that change is coming, but one has not yet actually rolled up her sleeves (scrubs!) and gotten to work on the new project. 

It is far too easy to worry about potential, hypothetical situations!

1 comment:

  1. breathe in......
    breathe out......
    you can do this.
    it will all be ok.
    it will all be ok.