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How to Change Careers when You’re Lost | Felicia Ricci | TEDxYale

Translator: Naoko Fujii
Reviewer: Denise RQ Hi, everyone. I’m Felicia, that says there. This is really exciting. I actually took professor Chun’s class
when I was at Yale. He is awesome.
So, it’s honored to be here. The past three years of my life
have been a whirlwind. I moved three times, I wrote two books, I published one of them,
and I actually started my own business. Three years ago,
my life looked incredibly different. I was living in New York City,
and I was working full time as an actor. I had an agent, I was a member
of the Actors Union, and I have just come off being in one
of the biggest musicals of all time, which was “Wicked.” Any of you have seen Wicked?
(Applause) Yeap! So, it’s a really big musical. And on the outside, you know,
everything was going great. If I kept going in this direction,
maybe I could do a lot in theater. And sort of all seemed
to be pointing in that one direction. But on the inside, I was wracked
with doubt, and I was incredibly scared. The reason being, you know, theater and acting was
what I have thought to be my life dream. Ever since I was two,
I went to see my first Broadway show, which was “The phantom of the opera”;
claps for “The phantom of the opera.” (Applause) I don’t know why. I was obsessed with theater.
I went to theater camp. I would sing in the shower,
my parents heard me… I would sing soundtracks
all the time, so I was obsessed. And then, in college,
even though I did have a lot of interest, and I actually majored in English, I decided, when I graduated,
that I had to go for it, I had to go for the theater
because if I didn’t, I would regret it. So, I did. And the relative success
I had early on with “Wicked” was very complicated for me. Because on one hand,
you know, it was amazing. It was the fulfillment
of literally a lifelong dream. But on the other hand, it made me see pretty quickly that what I have thought
was my lifelong dream might not actually be what I wanted
to do for the rest of my life. When I was researching this experience, I thought this is
like a footnote in life, right? So, you start one place
and you end up another, but what we don’t know
is talk about that process. And I wanted to get in the mindset
of what that felt like because I am an actor,
and I wanted to access those emotions. I pulled up a bunch of the emails
I’ve been writing at that time, I found the one I wrote to my agent
when I finally had made the decision and said something like: “Hi David, please cancel all my auditions.
I need to take a long break from acting. I don’t know whether or not
this will be permanent. I’m sorry, but my heart
is not in the business. And it doesn’t fulfill me
in the way I thought it would. Please know that it is not impulsive
but comes after many months of trying to figure out
what to do with my life. Sorry if I wasted your time,
but this is my truth.” So, phew!, even in saying it back now, I kind of like, relieve
the feelings of being there. And it’s a horrible place, right? To not know what you’re going
to be doing with your life. And that horrible thing, my friends,
is what I want to talk to you about today. And that is the process of revision. So, the official title of this talk is: “There is no final draft: keep revising
your life to create your reality.” So, maybe some of you can relate
to what I have just described that feeling of going in one direction or maybe trying
to figure out where to go next? Or maybe some of you are lucky enough
to never have been confronted by those feelings of doubt yet. But, just so we are all on the same page, I want to delve into
what I mean by revision. So, the first thing
that I think of when I think of revision I try to make clear by this visual aid, which is the process
of submitting a paper or an essay to a teacher and I know
we can all relate to that, and getting it back and then seeing
all the nasty red ink on the page, and Xs, and underlines,
and the question marks… And it’s just like the worst feeling to think that you’re completely
done with something, but then to read the margins
that say, “Not quite,” or “Go deeper,”
or “Think again.” So, this experience is a microcosm of what
I’m talking about on a grander-scale which is a life revision. So, I wanted to define
what I meant by that. And a revision in this case means
any change that meaningfully alters your day-to-day life
in the long term, right? So, a revision can be something
that is planned – in the case of taking
a break from acting, I thought about it for many months –
or can be unplanned. Life sends you so many curve balls, and a lot of times,
a revision can be a reaction to that. Revision can also be at varying degrees. It can be a 180 degree change;
that’s very drastic, but I’m not necessarily talking
about starting over or completely leveling your life. There can be varying degrees. There can be
a recalibration or a refocusing. So, that’s what I mean by revision. And then when I was thinking
about giving this talk, I knew that this topic meant a lot to me,
but then I thought to myself: “OK, so I am talking to everybody
as like this expert in revision?” and the answer is, “Absolutely not.” I’m not speaking to you as an expert,
but I realized that I’m speaking to you as a revision advocate
or a revision agent. And, hopefully, my goal is
to encourage you and empower you to be able to embrace
this process of change as opposed to
be totally freaked out by it. So, that’s where I am coming from
and in order to do that, I figured out I would give you
my top three tips for making a revision. And that’s actually a photo of me because it was royalty for it,
so I put that photo of me right there… (Laughter) OK. So, my top three tips
for making a revision. The first has to do
with ignoring the odds. And that is, if you are innovative,
the odds would never be in your favor. My path in particular
has led me to the arts. I’ve always been really into theater,
and now, writing. The chances and the statistics of someone actually making a living
doing these things were horrible. So, I had to get used
to ignoring the odds, and completely drowning out
the sound of people telling me whether or not this looks like
a good prospect for my life. And similarly, if you’re contemplating
a change of direction, a change in gear that is unorthodox or innovative, the same is going to be
absolutely true for you. You are by definition going
against the odds. So, my point is that it’s a sort
of an irrelevant data point to think about: “Well, you know,
let me consult the statistics on this.” And the thing is that people
who care about you the most are going to be the ones
who are telling you that they’re going to want
a more secure life path for you, so they are going to point
these things out to you, but I would encourage you
to really listen to your gut; and when you really consider what step
to take next, to just ignore the odds. Because if you go against the grain, you’ll be going against the odds
by definition. That’s my first tip. My second tip is that revisions
can be terrifying and stressful, and you will freak out. I thought of a little visual humor
for you. (Laughter) OK. So, basically I want to tell you guys
to embrace the fear aspect. And I feel like that this part
could lead to 100 TED talks, the aspect of fear when you are going
through any life revision. But I didn’t want
to bring this up because I feel like it’s such an universal experience
and it’s almost so obvious, right? That change is scary. But when I was at first writing
the speech, I didn’t think to mention it. Because we have a tendency when we’re being, like, polished
and talking about a topic and I want to be academic about it,
like: “I can talk about how scary it was.” When in actuality it was incredibly scary,
making this huge change. You would think that since I’ve been
on stage and I like acting, that I have these nerves of steel;
but that’s absolutely not true. I’m very nervous right now. I’ve encountered
a lot of anxiety in my life, and particularly involving huge revision. So, I just want to put that out there
that everybody freaks out, you freak out, I freak out,
we all freak out. The most successful people do; but it’s not something
that’s really talked about. There are a bunch of resources
out there that can help you if you are currently going through
a scary time or if you do in the future. I actually want to invite you
to email me, [email protected] I have a bunch of resources that have helped me to channel
my anxiety and my fear. And I’d be happy to share those with you,
so, I want to put that out there. So, my final tip for you
is probably the most important tip. And it is that you can’t decide
by thinking, you can only decide by doing. And this one is a really annoying truth because if you’re like me,
you like to think things through, you just want to analyze
every possible outcome, and that’s great. Researching what you want
to do with your life or where you want to go is very valuable. Making pro and cons charts.
I did that as well. But the fact is, when it actually comes
to making a decision, you’re never going to know
how it’s going to turn out until you actually do that thing,
till you actually follow through. And that’s just true.
I have two examples of this. And one is when I wrote my first book. I really wanted to make sure that I would be really good at writing
a book before I wrote the book. So, I read all these books on books.
And I read, you know, how to write books. But it wasn’t until I actually sat down
and I wrote the damn book that I realized that I could do this. This is actually something that fit me.
but it was in the doing. On the flip side, after I wrote my first book
which was actually a non-fiction book, I thought to myself: “OK, my next goal is
I want to write a young adult novel.” So, a similar thing.
I read books on young adult novels, I read young adult novels,
I watched the Twilight series. (Laughter) Twice, no, just once. And so, you know, I was like:
“You kind of think it through.” And then it wasn’t
till it took about eight months, and I wrote 200,000 words that I realized that I actually
hate young adult novels. (Laughter) No, I don’t hate
all the young adult novels, but me, personally, it was not
the right fit for me as a writer, and I didn’t know till I actually did it. So, this is, I think, where you combine the embracing of the fear
and ignoring the odds; is just putting that all behind you,
and actually doing it. I mean, it sounds simple,
but it’s a process. And it’s one that I hope I can demystify for you all,
and encourage you to do. So, this is my final slide:
“Go forth and revise!” Today, I live in Pennsylvania,
and I spend a lot of my time writing. I teach voice lessons,
I run my own company, I help my fiancé run his company;
I do a lot of stuff. And it suits me for now.
So, it’s an ongoing process of revision. But it’s such a crucial element of life. I just want you all to go boldly forth, and create positive change
for yourself and also for the world. It’s a tall order, but I think
we can do it, my friends. Thank you so much for having me. (Applause)

100 Replies to “How to Change Careers when You’re Lost | Felicia Ricci | TEDxYale”

  • This week i took a big jump, I was studying accounting but I was miserable, being in third semester just thinking about how i lost my dream to become a software engineer, to make videogames or apps that would make people happy as they have made me, that i would spend my entire life doing what I didn't love, I was honestly so broken to the point I just left class and told my mother about it, I feared the response of my parents because my dad was the first one to throw shade at my dreams saying software engineers are poor and i didn't have a great chance of being one of the great ones, I didn't feel support back then so I complied with what i had to do in order to get support.

    That just built up depression and an addcition to alcohol and cigarretes to kill off my feelings but I was lucky that after i told my mother she spoke with my father, I literally just got off of the phone with him and he was supportive of me changing my career and i honestly have never felt such happiness and closeness to him, next week I will abandon what doesn't make me happy and change universities and put my every effort to do what I truly love, becoming a programmer and make myself happy doing programs, software and apps to make others happy, I will not settle for a job though I will make myself a huge company based around what I love doing, programming and working on technology.

  • I think Felicia Ricci is going to be ok no matter what , but definitely as a searcher, go forth Felicia and explore.

  • Okay I see a lot of people making the mistake of just leaving a career, especially one with a good salary. Your best bet is to stick it out, save up money enough to last you two years, yes I said two years and here's why. I quit my last job after being robbed at gun point, which I have not been able to find employment since. That was going on three years ago now and there are no job prospects in my case, so do not listen to people who have made it work and think they know it all when in fact, they most likely got lucky and have wealthy parents she went to Yale, that is not a cheap college to attend.

  • Amazing speech. She really speaks from the heart and I love that. All these information are very useful for me and many people that are in this situation. 👏👏

  • Thank You for sharing this, I am a fresh graduate, I got a job that I dream of in a company that I want but after a month of working I realized that I don’t want to be like this. The pressure and the stress is killing me ( if you’re working on a kitchen you will know what I feel ) but there is something that holding me back and still pushing on it. I am afraid of what people will say about me, I am scared of what will I do next because I have bills to pay, I am lost right now.

  • You can't imagine that you have mentioned precisely what I have been through ,, the anxiety of taking the risk,, and the effect of your close relatives opinions that the change doesn't fit you and it's unsafe,, but I will take the risk

    Thank you

  • She said she was an actor,shouldn’t it be an actress since she is a woman?! English is always confusing! Please clarify it! Thanks youtubers:)

  • doing all that, there is a high level of uncertainty comes along all these revisions, and only by forcing the "doing" "#3" over revising would make it easier…….Just saying

  • Thanks for the Video clip! Sorry for chiming in, I am interested in your opinion. Have you thought about – Chiveard Discovering Potential Framework (should be on google have a look)? It is a smashing exclusive product for finding your true calling and achieving success without the normal expense. Ive heard some great things about it and my friend finally got astronomical success with it.

  • I can relate to this.I'm a nurse in the Phillipines. Sad to say the salary here is very low compared to other professions. Then i decided to bcome a professional Teacher. Now im a government employee. At first its hard but as I get along with my students I learn to forget that i was a nurse . Now im a teacher with passion and love in teaching and listenjng the stories of my students..

  • I'm lost and can not be found, but look for me and I might be a round in and out your local town, not a trace not a sound

  • 1st Ted Talk that I've seen that the speaker actually says what they came there to say…instead of an hour later and the illusive point has yet to be made known

  • Most of the people that talks about changes, choosing different careers, changing life direction etc… NEVER touch the subject about finances and the cost of taking that decision, most of the times they are either debt free or have money to make up for that process and THEN get invited to TED to tell how brave should everyone be about taking a leap and oF COURSE there are other that did went through "Brokeness" but the vast majority were set financially in order to that or received help from somebody else to make it happen so they don't starve while revising life ( I AM NOT SAYING is her case, the point is finances are most of the times not even mentioned)….

  • This actually helped me to swallow my fear and to go ahead and try this new path I have been afraid of. I hope it works out 🤞

  • Everything she said I can relate to…it feels good to know these situations are just apart of life and that we should ignore those whom don’t believe in us and do what is best for us!

  • "Decide by doing instead of thinking"

    There are 2 problems with this:
    – It's only interesting for people that can afford switching careers a lot
    – It's possible you are trying to flee from yourself when you are change a lot all the time …. A lot of problems are universal and can be found in any job. You can't flee from them.

  • I pretty much got nothing out of this.
    It had nothing to do with the title.
    I’m already in the middle of all what she had Described and was looking for the ‘how’ in her title. almost nothing useful.

    Hi Makram you simply coming across Ted talks that have slightly misleading titles is it just me or is it a new trend?!

  • It is truly inspiring Felicia! Thanks for your valuable advice! And I hope all the people who want to start their new life, new career, new relationship thrive in the process. Good luck, everyone! 🙂 – Kisses and Hugs from Spain!

  • This is so far the most inspiring talk i have come across. I have been to so many interviews in line with what i studied in campus but i have always failed. Sometimes i have felt like giving up. I also work as a receptionist but i have always yearned of being a programme officer especially in NGOs I loved the part where you said "always prepare so when the opportunity comes,it will find you ready, keep doing it as many times as possible."
    This was very helpful. Lot's of love from Nairobi Kenya.

  • As someone who has pursued vastly diverse careers over the past 2 decades, I could totally relate to Felicia's advise. Her 3 tips are for individual introspection and action. Yet, every individual's risk appetite is very different, and it depends a lot on one's support systems. Stronger one's familial/social, emotional, financial, material support system, higher will be one's risk appetite. Unless one is highly multi-talented, it's advisable to take a considered decision on changing careers. My tip for potential career-changers would be, to weigh in the adverse consequences of changing one's career. If you can cope with a worst-case scenario, then Felicia's tips would come in handy, to become action-oriented.

  • Very down to earth and genuine approach presented which the viewer can both relate to as well as take away tangible items to make the leap of faith

  • Im tired of the political corporate games at work. I cant go to sleep knowing I was forced to make a decision that affected families. I'm changing my career soon.

  • OMG Fel, you're on TED too!!! I've watched your videos on singing, I love what you too! And here you are inspiring an ever bigger audience! Thumbs up, you rock!!! And you are truly inspiring! All the best xx

  • I quit my job as a pharmacist. But I gained a wonderful wife and my child. I can’t find any job but I will survive working in a warehouse. Life is not just about making money and working 12 hours a day till you die.

  • Thank you Felicia I'm going through this change now. Just like you said I have freaked out a few times. But in my gut I know it's time for a change …

  • i really like the idea of going against the odds, but i don't know what I'm interested in in the first place.
    For someone like me, who has no idea, is going to college the right thing to do? (I am currently enrolled in a degree that I think its a bit boring… not that I hate it)
    I've been thinking about this for 2 weeks, still in the degree (and when I graduate I will have lots of debt yayy).

  • You can't decide by thinking but by actually doing, ten years back i realized this without reading any books or hearing anything from online. I feel proud.

  • I remember looking at this girl´s videos to learn singing when I was in music school, I left music and now im studying software development

  • I am seriously thinking of quitting my teaching job but it's the money issue that scares me… Also, what job can I do afterwards? My qualifications are not in demand on the job market…

  • The mic and necklace conflict here… I just can't . Can't. Sorry. I'm sure it's a good talk. But this is just unprofessional.

  • Wow!
    How does one do this life revision stuff when you have a wife and three children at home?
    Doesn’t one have a responsibility to fulfill your promises?

  • Thank you so much. I was lost for a while in that place called life direction and frozen in fear with walking down a different career path. I could relate to your talk and it gave me some important insight into my stress-provoking dilemma of just doing it 🙏

  • All these videos who tell you to just abandon in fulfilling stuff and chase a dream seem deluded. In that I mean they all have wealth or partners with their own business. Not so easy when you're having to make ends meet. Give me some realnepopel delivering these talks please.

  • Nothing about the “lost” part. She didn’t tackle that part of finding about writing. She said “revision” but I didn’t know that transitioning from “acting” only gets 1 revision to find out she’s into writing and do it. That’s what I am interested about. But I like the bit about “decide by doing it”

  • Quran chapter 2 “all non Muslims are the enemies of Allah and must be fought with until Islam is the only religion on the planet”. A supposedly “holy book” declaring war on all non Muslims right in chapter 2. Religion of peace! Lol.

  • That is sure helpful in dealing with this effect of experience. Measuring statistics can really, especially if there are so many, get someone off track and filled with anxiety with trying things. Experiencing and not concentrating on negative effects can help put a person talent to work.

  • I'm about to start a safe job that pays well…but I don't want it. Nobody that I know gets wealthy and lives well by working for an employer. I'm so torn… I would love to start my own business. But my anxiety and self doubt always gets the better of me.

  • Left an unsatisfying job recently when everything was going very well.. now thinking abt revision in my life n can actually relate to her

  • Amazing!!! best speech ever! Just what I needed!! don't wait until it's perfect and don't be scared about deciding for good, just go ahead and try everything! live by revision!

  • I am a former animal science/pre-veterinary studies major turned equestrian students/business management who added computer networking and management of information services who has created a career path pursuing communications and marketing. How did this happen? As I got into the workplace, I was never afraid to tackle projects which required me to learn a new skill and ask for training. Fortunately for me, I worked for a lot of enterprises who were willing to let me do this (because it was cost-effective, let's be honest). My advice? Don't wait for someone to pay you to do a job. Where you are, ask for more responsibilities and worry about the money later. You can always run to the end of that line and take those skills into another job where the opportunity and pay match your new skills. If employers are smart, however, they'll hold onto you and continue to invest in you… but don't hold your breath… keep moving forward!

  • I've been living with this doubt for the last 10 years. Pursing a career I never wanted. Doing a degree I never wanted to do. All to make my mum proud. Only this year I've finally snapped and I'm currently driving uber to pay the bills but I've never felt so much happier. Like a tonne of self doubt and stress of me. No idea what the future will hold but I'm optimistic.

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