Have you ever felt trapped in a job that was less than exciting? Did you absolutely live for the weekends? Did you feel a sense of hopelessness that you would never get the opportunity to explore other options? I constantly come across people that are miserable and unhappy with their current careers, but they feel lost and unsure how to move forward. I have one client in particular that dreaded going to work, but she had no idea how to get off the treadmill. She had been at this company for some time and felt secure with the position and what she contributed to the company as a whole. Unfortunately she was surrounded by toxic colleagues who constantly brought her energy down and led her to feelings of insecurity and unhappiness. She knew in her heart that this job was not fulfilling her purpose in life, but until we began working together did she feel confident pursuing other avenues. She realized she did not need to jump in the ocean feet first before learning to swim, meaning she did not need to leave her job without first putting together a solid plan to embark on. She had time to dig deep and discover what she really wanted and valued out of life and then we devised a plan to slowly get out there and experience what interested her. After only a couple of months, we had devised a plan that she felt comfortable with, and she was ecstatic to finally pursue passions and interests that she had pushed aside for quite a while. Don’t ever think that you are too old to figure out what you would like to do when you grow up. Wouldn’t you rather have 5 amazing fulfilling years than 30 dull and passive years of your life? Don’t give up until you have exhausted your resources. Commit this week to thinking big and letting your mind go.
1. Happy or unhappy?
Are you fulfilled at work or are you just getting by? Are you truly ‘living’ your life or just working for a lifestyle? There is no right or wrong answer here. Just be honest, because the only person you are letting down is yourself. You first need to acknowledge where you are and how you feel before you can devise a plan to make some changes. Come up with 4 to 5 alternative careers that you think would be fun and fulfilling.
2. Strengths and passions
What are your natural strengths? Are you a people person? Are you good with your hands? Are you a numbers person? Do you have a passion for the outdoors? Have you always loved gardening and arranging flowers? Have you always had a pull towards cooking? Take some time to create some lists. List what your strengths are from current and past experience. Now list your passions? What puts a smile on your face just by the mere thought of it? Think back to your past if you have a hard time with this one.
3. Try it on
Now you have your “dream” list of careers you’ve considered pursuing. I would like you to “try” on the various careers and see how it feels. Interview others involved in the profession, try volunteering, join networking groups, take classes if need be. This is your chance to be proactive and begin the momentum, it has to start somewhere. Just get your feet wet, do your research and see how you feel. This is the first step in beginning your new journey.