My story begins with what you could call a “quarter-life crisis” – a point around age 25 where I realized the career path I was on was no longer making me happy, and I wasn’t sure what would. I had to pause and re-evaluate what I was actually going towards. I had many interests, but none of them felt like the one to go after. More so, I didn’t want to choose just one … I wanted to pursue them all, simultaneously. It was my first inkling that most likely the career I was looking for was not going to be found in a help wanted ad, but rather something I would have to create myself.
With this in mind, I began researching women whose careers I admired, in hopes that their stories would spark something within me and point me in the right direction. I was looking at women who had discovered the magic formula I was seeking – that is, they were doing what they loved but also contributing to making the world a better place in some way. I was looking for passion plus purpose – proof that you don’t have to choose one over the other, that your career can encompass both.
As I read their stories, I felt myself becoming inspired but was still having trouble with the how part. “Okay, I’m interested in taking my career in that direction, but how do I get there?”… I wanted to know more about how to become like these women I admired.
I began to share my thoughts with friends, and as I did I saw that I wasn’t alone. Many echoed the same sentiments: they were unhappy in their current careers but unsure of how to change their situation, and not even really sure what would make them happy. I realized that if most people actually took the time to stop, slow down, and evaluate their direction at “quarter-life” stage, many would realize they’re having a crisis too! To know I wasn’t the only one feeling this way reaffirmed the need for me to find an answer, not just for myself but for others too.
So I decided to reach out to the women I admired, ask them how they did it, and share their stories to help other women. When I first began I still thought of it as a way to help me find career direction, but as I became more involved I saw that this could be a career for me in itself – interviewing women and sharing their stories; creating a platform for women to invest in themselves.
It suddenly became clear that this was a way for me to combine all of my seemingly unrelated interests into a centralized focus. Interviewing and sharing the stories of these women would allow me to touch on many different causes at once and raise awareness about important work all over the world. Most importantly, I saw how this career could be an embodiment of everything I believed in – an example of doing what you love while helping others, and that each of the women featured would serve as testament to this as well. It would allow me to pay forward what had helped me get this far, to be an example of women helping women.
The result is my website Inspire-Aspire: Be the Career Change – a resource of inspiring stories for women looking to combine their passion with a purpose. The term Inspire-Aspire relates to the objective of sharing these stories: that they may serve as inspiration to aspire to. The phrase “Be the career change” is a spin on Gandhi’s famous quote, inviting women to consider using their careers as a means to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
My message is that while you may not be able to change the world as one individual, if we each do our part we can collectively make a huge difference. It is my hope that Inspire-Aspire: Be the Career Change serves to remind women of the impact their lives can have on the world, and to be an example of the positive change that comes about when we join our voices together.
If you enjoyed Sarah’s story check out www.bethecareerchange.com to get an insight into more inspiring stories and follow @inspireaspire on Instagram to keep up with daily feeds!