Feeling like you’re stuck in the wrong career? Here’s what you can do
Do the feelings of dread on Sunday night and the frustration of “what am I doing here?” plague you week in and week out? Or maybe it’s the nagging feeling of sensing you’re out of place where you are.. And there’s nothing you can do to shake it off – no amount of going out or going on holidays can seem to shake this. Congratulations and welcome your very own career crisis! But before you freak out, it’s actually a pretty wonderful phenomenon – you’ve outgrown your old set of values and the work that you do and you’re ready to start something new. Leaving an old and familiar can be a pretty scary thing and we can get stuck in ruminating over what’s wrong and why we’re here and the feelings of frustration so let’s dive right into the steps you can take to begin your journey.
- So you’ve found yourself at work, unhappy and frustrated. Firstly, asking yourself an in depth question around the reason behind your current state of unhappiness is key. It’s crucial to distinguish between the so called transitory factors – “I’m tired/I’m working on a routine task I’m not enjoying/I’ve had an argument with my spouse and I’m feeling pretty frustrated in general” and the core factor – “I’m unhappy with my career”.
- If the latter is the case – acceptance is key. Just the act of accepting your unhappiness with your career releases a great amount of energy in your body. Very often we resist accepting this truth because we’re too scared to do so. Why? Because that will require change. So pushing those feelings down actually keeps a lot of the energy blocked up in our bodies and creates a lot of tension. So sitting with this truth becomes imperative.
- Once you spend some time sitting with this for a little while, you’ll likely begin to feel a host of feelings, ranging from excitement to fear, depending on how you relate to an idea of building a new career for yourself. And this really helps to determine what you do next. If you feel excited about the prospect of change, now is the right time to meditate on several questions. Here are a few I use with my clients and find them very useful in drilling down to what’s next –
§ “What is my why?”. This question is actually one of the most important questions to ponder on before launching into a new career . It is also one of the prime determinants of how happy or fulfilled we’re going to feel in our job. I will shed more light on this phenomenon in my next article. In short, our long term motivation is always driven by our why, that’s separate from money and achievement. It’s the sense of purpose and meaning is what propels us in time thorugh hardships and launching of new projects.
§ Once our values have been identified it’s time to think about what sort of work process wise you would enjoy - drilling down your “how”– is it working from the office or for yourself; is it mostly working with people or working alone.
If, on the other hand, you found yourself dreading making a career move it is a perfect time to work on the beliefs you’re holding around it. What is it that is making you feel uncomfortable? Is it the fear around losing money? Is it the uncertainty of the process? The not knowing of what you do next? It is imperative to uncover the reasons behind this fear and replace these negative beliefs with supportive thoughts which can help you in this time of transition. There are many practical exercises which can help you do exactly that and I will cover them in depth in my future posts, please stay tuned.