Our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.M.Scott Peck
If we are not happy in our work, whether that be with the work itself, our colleagues, or our manager, negative thought patterns may emerge and spill into other parts of our life. We may have a significantly different perspective on life, for example a sunset may no longer appear as beautiful as it used to.
Invested too much:
If we are feeling unfilled by what it is that we choose to do, then it’s always possible to change. Of course, many of us stay in a job that we don’t entirely love because we feel as if:
- We’re already “pot invested”;
- We’ve spent too many years in the same career or company already and to “throw it all away” might seem ludicrous, especially if we see that choice from the imagined perspective of other people. Or, we might feel as if ...
- We are making too much money in a chosen career and can’t possibly change.
And then, there’s our ego. We may have trained for many years for a specific job, or worked hard to get a certain title or level in our career. To leave that all behind is like giving up a part of our identity; who will we be if we are no longer a senior manager or CPA?
Is fear holding you back?
Fear is often at the heart of not exploring alternative career paths, whether that be fear of change, or fear of having to start all over, or fear of not knowing enough or having the “right” skills, or even just our ego fearing a loss of self.
When we have a certain level of competency at work, then it might be hard to change. Learning a new career may be exciting and wonderful, or it might be scary as hell. But when you wake up every day and look forward to going to work every day, that’s a real gift.
How much does happiness matter?
When we reflect back on our lives, we often think of the relationships with others and the things that brought us meaning. We might regret not taking a certain path, and our career might be one of the things that we wished we could change, in the sense of “I wish I had become an artist…”
But it’s never too late, and one is never too old to change.
Take some time for dreaming:
- List out all of the requirements that you need to be fulfilled in a job.
- Take note of everything from the setting, from the people with whom you work, to the type of clients or external people, even down to what you would wear to work.
- Do you enjoy being around smart people?
- Do you like to work alone?
- Do you like autonomy or team environments? Perhaps this will give you a clearer picture of the direction you’d like to take. (Find more tips and information in my article here).
My wish for you today is that you give yourself permission to dream up your best career!
-- Kathleen Dwyer Blair, LCSW, BCD, Director.