So many ambitious women spend months, years, even decades in careers that are out of alignment with their who they are. The work they do just doesn’t line up with their values and beliefs, perhaps it did once, but over time or experience, things have changed. They’ve sucked it up and stuck at it, resulting in feeling out of balance and often demotivated with life in general.
From my experience as a coach working with high-flying career women, the ‘go-to’ methods for coping are quick fixes including; over-working, drinking alcohol, comfort eating, falling on and off the wagon with goals, chipping away at self-esteem and confidence.
Use the steps below to help you explore ways to find work you love or to help you take control of the career you’re in by learning to love what you do:
You don’t have to leave your job, it’s about exploring what’s possible.
Find Work You Love:
Start by making a list of your inherent strengths v’s your skills – there is a big difference! When we’re living out our strengths the sky is the limit – everything is possible, yes it’s scary, you will need to learn, and you will keep expanding and constantly be curious of what’s possible – but you will be living with purpose and as your highest self.
By focusing on or only using your skills you’ll quickly burn out, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to do it.
Once you’ve written your list think of ways they could translate into an inspiring career.
The Sky Is The Limit: Complete this sentence as many times as needed until something stands out as a possible option for a future career:
“Wouldn’t it be awesome if…”
The next step would be to research career options, gather information about the paths you’re considering and how they could influence and share your long-term goals.
Reach out to professionals working in those fields, people who can give you information, support and guidance. Remember not to compare, see this an an opportunity to be inspired!
Consider joining professional organisations or attend social events to create authentic connections and yourself a visible expert in your field – its not always nessary to retrain or do a course to change careers – strengths translate into many different careers. Taking on a course is great to perhaps be up to date or to learn some new skills, but remember the qualification isn’t what defines you – you define you!
Contact prospective employers to learn about potential career opportunities, consider what it will take to set up something for yourself, at this point consider what you are willing to sacrifice, will you be ok with a pay cut? working longer hours? moving to a new city or country? Possibilities are endless.
Be patient, finding a new career that you love may take time and you might have to try a few different roles before finding an ideal fit. And that’s ok, the mindset shift is to adopt a growth mindset; embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others.
Love What You Do:
If changing career isn’t an option or perhaps you’re just not ready to make that leap choose to be proactive in loving the work you do.
Start by requesting to work on projects that interest you. Let your team know the areas you’re passionate about – it’s often the same are you’ll produce the best results in.
Surround yourself with peers and colleagues who support your work and push you in encouraging ways to do more of what lights you up.
Accept constructive feedback and work towards improving your weak points – though continue to focus on your strengths, use your weaker points as an opportunity to learn a new skill but do not define your worth by them – you are enough as you are already!
Stay motivated by giving yourself small rewards for accomplishing goals – focus on ways to inject more joy into your life for example; creative workshop, taking up a class, making time to create a vision board or to decorate your house.
Make your office environment more attractive, add fresh flowers to your desk, invest in a comfortable chair, hang up motivational quotes and picture, take in a healthy lunch and snacks.
If it’s time to transition to another position or company, make sure you continue to do work you love. Seek fresh opportunity that inject joy, meaning and purpose.
For the majority of us taking that first step to try something new is scary, deep inside you know you want to do it but the fear of failing can stop us before we even start. These activities are to help you break that barrier to start something even though there is no clear outcome, it’s like your rough draft, this is about taking a chance, being open to the possibility that you can create change one step at a time.
Heidi Jones coaches high-flying career women to take action to balance their health, happiness and career goals. Join her New Free Online Healthy Lifestyle & High Flying Career 5 Day Challenge and learn the tools to help you take control of the controllable. Follow @heidi_jones_coaching or visit her website heidijonescoaching.com
Listen to: The Heidi Jones Coaching Podcast