Planning a Career Change in 3 Stages

Today my third installment of “Outside Higher Ed” appeared in Inside Higher Ed:

Screenshot of the article “Planning to Leave?” as it appears in Inside Higher Ed, showing the first few paragraphs and an icon of an arrow, representing exit from academia.

This piece shares my process of planning a career change in three stages:

  1. beginning to plan while feeling uncertain
  2. getting serious about planning
  3. putting plans into action

I share stories of re-orientating myself through counseling, allowing myself time to grieve, and experiencing a concussion as the physical manifestation of the mental exhaustion that motivated my decision to leave.

I also discuss logistical, financial, emotional, and relational matters because planning a career move involves considering nitty-gritty details in addition to the big questions of career discernment.

Though my story focuses on leaving higher ed, I hope the storytelling may be helpful to folks considering changes across many spheres of work and life. For, truly, where, when, how, why, and for whom we work are central to everyday living—and striving to live out a commitment to justice.


This post is written by Beth Godbee for Heart-Head-Hands.com. For more posts like this one, you might try “Announcing ‘Outside Higher Ed’ in Inside Higher Ed,” “Deciding to Leave Higher Ed: Strategies for Career Discernment,” or “Listening for/to the ‘Strong YES.’” Please also consider liking this blog on FB and following the blog via email. Thanks!

Author: Beth Godbee

I’m an educator living in Washington, D.C. with connections to many places, including Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Georgia. I write from my identities as a white, feminist teacher and researcher; reiki and yoga practitioner; hiker and vegan. My deepest commitments are to equity and justice. These commitments lead me to write about intersectional identities, embodiment, and emotional literacies, among other matters. In this blog, I document my ongoing efforts, struggles, and attitude of “try-try again” to align with these commitments.

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