I remember feeling stuck in a job that left me less than satisfied. Because it was a good job with a good income in the right industry, I chose to bury my concerns and continue. After all, why borrow trouble? I knew I was fortunate to have been successful in many wasy. It must simply be angst. Others would love this job.
Recognize when it is time to change jobs
That was me a few years before “the incident” that taught me the truth. I was comfortable in my career and making good money. I was good at what I did. My dissatisfaction had built slowly, creeping into my life in small enough doses that I adjusted with it. It was sort of like weight gain. It crept into my head slowly enough that it simply became “the way things are.”
That’s why I took me a while to think about career change. Dissatisfaction becomes acceptable to us. Nothing’s perfect, right? Every job has disadvantages. It’s not like others love work all the time. With national statistics continually showing more than 60% of the workforce feeling disengaged, that’s a logical argument. But the game changes when the dissatisfaction increases either because you’re in a horrible environment, or not doing work that fulfills you.
For me, the disruption came when I found myself working with a toxic boss. Three years into a job I had loved, after promoting up to work strategically with the ubiquitous boss from hell…my two years of utter disillusionment began. If I had it do all over again, I would have left as soon as I felt mismatched. I didn’t. I had lessons to learn about my own leadership and values. It was long past time for me to change jobs.
Reflect and Understand
On the other side of this life training, I looked inward to figure out what I truly wanted. And that was where the magic began. I decided old patterns would no longer satisfy me. My particular patterns were to know “generally” what I liked to do and then pursue the best industry or job where I found a need or an opening. At one point I even prided myself on my ability to be able to work with any type of personality—tough enough to take it all. Nowadays I would simply say, “Why would I want to work with difficult personalities?”
My journey took me to a place where I uncovered my core values and what really drives me to do what I do. First, I explored my dreams, passions, skills, and interests. Next, I reflected on what had worked well for me, what had not, and what I had feared (and what that told me about what I wanted but was afraid to admit). I came face to face with who I really am, instead of just what I do. I learned how to respect all my qualities and accept me as I am. It was scary for me. Then it was liberating.
Decide and Plan
After that, just a good job wasn’t enough. I wanted more. It was time express more of my values in my professional life. Also I wante to work with more people with whom I could relate. Gone were the days when I would feel honor in taking a beating at work and living to complete my tasks. I thrive in collaborative, empowering environments where people respect each other. You know what? When that’s what you seek, that’s what you find.
The old adages are true: What you focus on is what you get; if you don’t know where you’re going you won’t know when you get there. The good news, however, is a relief: What you can see you can be.
I invite you to take that approach to your career. Don’t bury your feelings of idssatisfaction. Face them. If it’s something you can change, why wouldn’t you try? If you want something different, take some time to find out what it is. Find your vision. Make it real and present in your life. Approach it like an athlete who envisions the ball swooping through the hoop or her body moving in swift, perfect form as she crosses the finish line ahead of the pack. What you can see is what you can make plans to achieve.
If you’re ready to change jobs, working with a coach will help you reach your goals faster. I can help you with career exploration, job search strategies, and career planning.