Have you ever felt discontent in your job? Those moments, where you think, “Is this what I got my very expensive degree for?” Maybe it’s just that you thought it was going to ‘feel’ better, or ‘be’ different. If so, you’re not alone. Forbes found that a New-York based nonprofit research group, The Conference Board, reports for the last eight years that more than half of Americans are not satisfied in their job role.
There are so many factors that could contribute to unhappiness in the workplace. And many times it’s not just one thing. Bad communication with your boss, too much work, not enough support. Sometimes (and so many times) it’s the people you are around daily. There are only so many days a year that one can handle being around the ‘debbie’ downer! It’s hard to stay enthusiastic in the wrong environment or doing a job that doesn’t align with your passion.
Sometimes you’re in the right job and in the wrong company.
We like to use our skills
First, know who you are and what you’re good at. What do you do well? What tasks or things at work make you want to go to your job? These are the things that you are probably good at and your goal is trying to find more and more opportunities to sharpen your best. We tend to find more energy in things we do well than in things that we constantly struggle to accomplish. Finding what you are naturally good at is a fun journey. It can start with a career assessment. We use the DISC assessment and it can help build a framework for you.
Skills plus values equals passion
Second, what are your values? In what areas do you feel passionately? When you match skill with passion, this can be a very fulfilling direction. So, do you have the skill for creating gorgeous websites and a passion for helping non-profits? Do you have a knack for public speaking and always been drawn to politics? You get the idea! This is a stage where you can dream again. Many times the reasons you are questioning if we are in the right career is because we lost the dream. It became routine. Boring. Not exciting enough. And you stopped dreaming.
Follow your instincts to the right opportunities
Third, if we have an outline for who we are as well as what we are good at + where our values are, we work in the daily goals that fulfill it. During this process we somehow become open to opportunities that align. I’ve heard stories where clients say, “it just sort of happened!” or “it fell into my lap!” Who doesn’t want that? Once we are willing to dream again, the opportunities are there. Seek and ye shall find.
Just take the next step
Create concrete steps. You just need to do the next step. It is easy to become very overwhelmed with all the information out there, even not motivated to look at your resume and fearful that there isn’t going to be anything else for you. You just need to do the next thing on your list, not plan out your whole life in six sessions or three easy steps. Let me give you an example.
A next step could be to call that business friend to set up a coffee meeting. Ask about his or her passions and say what you are thinking in terms of a career change. It could mean researching different graduate programs. It could be emailing someone on Linkedin to connect over lunch. It could mean having a candid conversation with your boss. Let the path lead you. Your job is becoming open to the path that’s waiting for you.