We spend most of our adult life working. Shocking but true.
Do you see yourself doing what you’re doing in 5 or 10 years? Does that make you excited?
If not, what are you going to do about it?
Many people stay at a job they hate because they don’t know what else to do. Because of a fear of change. Or just because of inertia.
You spend a lot of your time at your job, so here are some things to help you take control of your work life.
You have to get clear about what you want your work-life to look like. Depending on your age, you will see this differently. Most of us can envision the end game — we want to retire and be surrounded by people we love. But we have no idea when it comes to the years in between. How do you enjoy all those “working years” before retirement?
I had a paradigm shift about my job several years ago. After high school I went to college so I could “get a good job.” For a few years I really enjoyed my career choice. I was in healthcare and I loved taking care of my patients. But as my life circumstances changed (getting married and starting a family) so did my satisfaction with my career. I found myself dreading going to work.
I had to make a decision. Would I keep on doing the same job because I felt like I should or was I willing to take a leap of faith? I’m so grateful I took the leap of faith all those years ago and started my own business.
Last year, I earned the same income that I would have working in health care full time. But I got to be with my kids, go on field trips, have total freedom and flexibility. I even took the entire summer off and spent it in Alaska! This would not have been possible while working in healthcare.
You want to feel like you’re part of something, like you’re making a difference. We all do!
My 13 year old daughter and I had a conversation last night. She is very passionate about the environment, especially our over consumption of plastics. She has created a presentation for the principal of her school to persuade the school to stop using plastic straws. When I asked her if this was for a class project, she said “No, I want to make a difference.” I think we all feel that way at our core we want to know that we are contributing, that we have purpose.
A lot of research has shown that we are happier when we feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Does your work give you that sense of contribution? How can you create that for yourself?
I don’t believe work is there to make you happy. You being happy — that’s on you.
Remember the 2015 Disney/Pixar movie “Inside Out”? It’s based on neuropsychological findings. You can’t have happiness without sadness or other “less happy” emotions. You can’t expect every day to be full of joy from beginning to end.
Your job isn’t going to be nirvana. There are going to be ups and downs. Those moments of joy and contribution might be few and far between. But they are awesome!
Have you ever heard of a payback moment? It’s the feeling you get when all the blood, sweat, and tears are finally worth it. They are unpredictable but when they happen you will never forget the feeling you have.
Like my friend who works in the inner city… it’s a really hard job. She is a financial counselor and mentors underprivileged women to help them become financially secure. The long term goal is home ownership. This is a very long journey which makes it very emotional and exhausting job for her. But there are payback moments that make it all worth it!
If you are never having the “payback moments,” then maybe it’s time for a change.
People are willing to take a pay cut if they know they would be happier. But many don’t have the confidence that they will find what they are looking for.
No matter where you go, there YOU are. This is a something I’ve picked up along the way. It’s what’s at the core of job satisfaction. No matter what job you take or career you choose, you will always be you.
Is it the environment? Or is it you? Are you ready for a change of situation? Or can you change your approach, attitude and experience of your current situation?
I can help!
TAKE THE DARE TO DREAM quiz to identify what’s holding you back from making the changes you want in your life.