Is Your Career Making You Stressed Out?
I wrote last week about recognizing if your current job/career is unhealthy for you. Did you have a chance to really sit down and give it a good think and a good feel? If, when you checked in with yourself, you found that you are indeed very unhappy with your job/career and it has begun to negatively impact your life, and perhaps even your health, then you may have begun to admit that yes, it is time to make a change.
Change. It’s a process so many of us dread. While change can be good for us, and even necessary, the act of change is a process that can feel uncomfortable and daunting. Our minds are overwhelmed with to-dos while our hearts are overwhelmed with “what ifs?”.
I know what you’re feeling. Not only have I myself gone through a tremendous amount of change during my life with parents and friends dying suddenly, divorces, job changes, immigrating to a new country and beating cancer, I also have worked for many years in the people business – human resources and have spoken and counseled many people who were in the process of change or getting ready for it.
I want to share with you today some of the things I have learned over the years about the process of change and how you can begin down a new career path that brings you joy and satisfaction.
“So find what inspires you and fills not only your lungs with life but your every activity.” ~ Bernie Siegel
Forgo the Guilt
If you have a family you are responsible for, you may be feeling guilty right now that you are attempting to do something for yourself, something BIG, and you’re not sure how it will affect them in the short-term. I am certainly not suggesting that you quit your job with no plan and no savings. No, you obviously need to make sure you can afford to make the change.
But I AM suggesting that you owe it to your family to be happy. Your lack of happiness will, and potentially even has, negatively impact(ed) your family if your mood and your health take a hit. So you actually owe it to ALL of you to take care of every aspect of your life.
Forget guilt. It is a program running in your mind and it serves no purpose but to distract you from your true purpose and path.
Introduce You to You
Many of us simply don’t know ourselves. We’re too busy living our lives to spend any time going inward to find out who we are and what makes us tick. But you’ll need to know the real you to make important decisions in the weeks and months ahead.
Take some time for self-reflection. Again, don’t feel guilty that you are taking this time for you, it is critical for your path. Think about your passions, the kind of environment you want to be in, the type of people you want to surround yourself with (if at all), and what skills and talents you want to share with others. Be sure to jot down notes and any ideas that start coming to you.
Define Your Must-Haves
Unless you are 21 with no mortgage or family responsibilities, you won’t be able to start down any career path, there will need to be those things your career must offer you. What are some of these for you? They could be things like:
· Do you require a certain salary?
· Do you need a specific benefits package? (time off, healthcare, etc.)
· Will your new job/career require travel? If so, is that okay for you and your family?
· Do you NEED to work from home to take care of young children or a sick family member?
Don’t skip this step. You only get so many chances to choose a new career path, so best to take your time, know everything you need to know before making any important decisions.
Explore Your Options
Now that you have a better understanding of yourself and your must-haves, it’s time to start looking around at the options before you. Do you already know exactly what it is you should be doing? Have you always dreamt of your ideal career but didn’t pursue it because of pressure from others? If so, now is the time to explore the options you have before you of how you will get from Point A – imaging yourself in that job/career – to Point B – living it daily. Who is currently in your network that can help you along the journey? What old contacts may be able to put you in touch with someone who you can seek guidance from? Start digging and see what you come up with.
If you don’t have any idea right now what career you should be pursuing, then now is the time to explore. You may want to do some research into different industries you have an interest in. Make a list. Do you know anyone in those industries whose brain you can pick?
If you need, keep brainstorming. What sorts of tasks or activities do you enjoy doing? Are you creative? Good with design? Do you love organizing spaces? Are you a natural problem solver and love helping people solve their problems? Write what you love doing down along with your skills and talents. If you aren’t sure, ask your friends and family to tell you what they feel you excel at.
Make a Connection
At this point, you may have a list of different jobs or career paths you are interested in. Or you may know exactly the career path but must now determine HOW to get to that Point B. The days and weeks ahead of you will require research and digging and reaching out to people. But before you begin this leg of your journey, you must make a connection with your higher self who has all the answers you seek. Why go this journey alone when you can get help from a higher source that wants the best for you?
If you aren’t connected to source through your intuition, it’s time to GET connected. Make time for yourself to check in each day. Meditation is powerful. I know, it can be a hard practice to start. Our monkey minds never seem to want to cooperate. But the more you go inward and find that quiet space, the more able you will be to begin to hear the universe whispering to you to call this person, look in the back of that newspaper, read this blog post… you will find yourself on a hide and seek adventure with the Universe as your guide.
If you follow these simple guidelines, you will put yourself in a space of self-love and self-care where you can begin to understand your true soul and what gifts you have to offer the world. From here you can begin your path toward a career that you love and that serves a greater good!
Make sure to keep an open mind and look for signs. I remember when my old boss called me up about a job and it didn’t work out. I was devasted. Little did I know that 2 months later he would call me up again for the most perfect position of my life. You have to try and maybe fail and try again to find what is right for you. Never give up because that perfect job, career is just around the corner.
Wise words of wisdom about your life and the work you do by my dear friend, Dr. Bernie Siegel. It’s a must read.
Pursue Your Passion.