Considering life changes

What do you stop and consider when making life-changing decisions? When do you know it is time? Does having a mental health issue mean one must be even more careful when considering change?

I live in Australia. I'm single. I have an interview with a New Zealand university on Monday. I applied thinking I could make the move. I still think I could.

I had lunch with some colleagues and my former manager at a pub today (uni lifestyle! :wink: ). I greatly admire and respect him. And it hit me I'd miss him greatly.

But the reasons I want to leave my current job are sound. It is a debilitating place. I am beginning to loathe it. I don't want to move to a big city, and after months of looking and contacting schools and businesses there is nothing here in this regional centre. Nor nearby.

I moved here over 3 years ago and made a life for myself. I have a good doctor. I've made friends. I like the area. But work is distressing me.

How do you judge when a move is warranted? Necessary, even? And what should I consider? I realise I haven't had the interview yet, but if it goes well I want to be prepared.



  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    I don't know what the answer to this is in general, but I can tell you how it worked for me. I had trained for a career that I didn't yet have a job in, and realised I didn't particularly want a career in this field anyway. The job I had was okay, fulfilling, but not something I wanted to continue in, partly because it was impacting negatively on my health, and I was constantly exhausted.

    I realised I had health issues, and the symptoms were scary, but doctors were saying it was 'just' anxiety. I was confused, because I didn't feel anxious, and there were various things that made it logically seem like something different from anxiety. I have since been correctly diagnosed and it is something which is disabling but not life threatening, but at that time, I had no idea what it was. It occurred to me that it could be life threatening and that because the doctors were convinced it was anxiety, I wouldn't get any treatment I might need. I began to think I could just die any time, especially as I live alone - a bit melodramatic of me, but I was trying to come to terms with having a mysterious illness and didn't want to shy away from worst case scenario. I wanted to be prepared for all possibilities.

    So I imagined: what if I knew I was going to die in a year's time? How would I cope with this? How would this change my thought patterns, my priorities, my decisions? And I decided to act as if, though with the proviso that I couldn't just quit my job, which is what I would do if that really were the situation, and a few other such provisos.

    It turned out I was quite good at imagining - I actually felt quite depressed for a while. But somehow, I began to come to terms with my own mortality, to accept the unknown, and to see my life and my heath and my faith from a different, bigger perspective. I made quite a few life changes - not immediately, but they were a result of this change in perspective. The life changes are still happening, and still lots of unknowns. I was actually just thinking about this the other day - how this... thought experiment, maybe?... had had such an effect. And particularly showing me things I didn't want to waste my time on, as well as helping me realise the things that mattered most to me, and the risks I was willing to take.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    My view is that it’s always a good idea to leave a debilitating place - even as a step into the unknown.

    When you think how much time you spend at work, a toxic workplace is the last thing you need.

    My sympathies as you make this big decision.

  • Contingent decisions: thinks out of which much may flow. The best thing for me when I made a tremendous jump was to consider (a) how bad I felt, (b) what I could project for the future if I kept feeling this way in terms of health, mental health, family relationships, (c) if the intrinsic risks were manageable, e.g., unemployment. Then I worked consistently and devoted some extra effort to make the new thing work.

    It's a leap of faith with some calculation of the risks involved. Not sure there's much more to do except jump or not jump.
  • Sometimes we stay somewhere or in a job for the wrong reasons - it's too much hassle to make a move, we have the 'golden handcuffs' on and wouldn't make as much money doing what we would prefer, etc.

    Caution is needed. Doing something in haste often leads us to regret it at leisure. But we will always wonder what might have been if we don't go through windows of opportunity which open for us.

    For those who believe in God, prayer is an important element of the decision making. I have faith that God will affirm the right decisions.
  • Something that's always helped me: to ask myself whether I am running away from something bad or I am heading towards a positive good in its own right. It's not wrong to want out of a toxic situation but heading towards a positive good is better.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host
    Our move to Canada, which I suppose is the most life-changing thing we've done, was precipitated by D. having a toxic work situation; because of the nature of his work, there aren't that many openings, and we really had to go where he could find a post.

    I suppose it was a mixture of La Vie's "running away" and "running toward", and while it was a leap in the dark, I think we've made a good landing.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    I ran toward a big change. It's worked out well for me, but it brought out the unbearable strains and irreconcilable differences in my marriage. Life is a series of trade-offs.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thank you all for sharing your stories and giving advice. I am very thankful and it has greatly helped.

    "Running to" vs "from" is a good consideration*. I did apply for some jobs out of a desire to get away asap; I think this job is different. It genuinely interests me.

    I'm going on a final, repeat, mass email of local businesses, just to see if anything has changed since I emailed in August. That may help settle my mind.

    Thank you all again.

    * I had a bad experience running from a church once...never felt settled until I ran to one
  • This evening a conversation led to the understanding that many careless people actually do alright. You're being far from careless from the details you've shared. Whatever you decide will be okay if fear doesn't control the choice.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thank you.

    We'll see how the interview tomorrow goes.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host
    Best of luck!
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    edited October 14
    Climacus, I will be chasing up any loose ends etc tomorrow for move the next day so am sending you lots of good vibes or whatever floatas your boat for your interview .
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Best wishes for your interview Climacus. Remember that the exchange of information goes both ways - so find out what you can about them, while they're finding out about you.
    :smiley: sending good vibes tomorrow.
  • Best wishes for the interview tomorrow/today, @Climacus
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Very best wishes for your interview, Climacus. I hope the way forward becomes clear.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thank you all; greatly appreciated and valued.
  • @Climacus - thinking of you this morning (here). I echo what everyone has said about 'to' and 'from' and whatever transpires, remember there's a whole community of us rooting for you!

    The Encouraging Mrs. S
  • Thinking of you too, Climacus.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Hope is goes/is going well Climacus.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thank you all. I feel very much supported. It means so much to me.
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