Off Track & Feeling Stuck?
If the words above resonated with you, you're likely at a point in your life and career where you know, or have a strong feeling that you're on the wrong track. This is likely to be the case if:
- You dread going into work. I don't mean you dislike work, or just don't feel like it; I mean you HATE going to work. Sunday nights and returning after a break are especially hard for you
- The negatives of your situation far outweigh the positives. I know the deep sense of dissatisfaction that you feel when the only positive is the fact you're getting paid each month
- You feel despondent and lack feelings of joy or positivity when you think about your future, in terms of your work life
- You think about the amount of time, hard work, energy and money you've invested in your future and feel that it's been a waste
- You feel stuck or lost
- You're struggling to see a way forward that you feel good about
Where do you go from here?
If you identified with most of the points above, it's time for you to rethink your current situation. No matter how much money you've spent on your education and regardless of the fact that you may have been in your current role for some time, it's not too late for you to switch direction.
The hard truth, however, is that for you to start moving in a direction that's right for you and will bring you the satisfaction you're looking for, you need to start digging deep and making some decisions. For many in this position, the hardest part is often knowing where to start.
Where to start
Clarify what you actually want. I know that this can be hard when you've been headed in one direction for so long. Begin by asking yourself:
- What's really important to you?
- What do you really dislike?
- What are you naturally good at?
- What are you interested in?
- What do you want in life? Don't worry yourself trying to think of another job title just yet, think more holistically
- What do you want to be known for?
- Think of 4 people you admire. What is about them that you admire? Once you've thought of 4, look for similarities in the qualities, skills or things you like that they all share
Find a quiet place, where you won't be disturbed. Even better if you can spend a morning or an afternoon on this. It's important that you get to spend time on these questions as they'll give you a starting point, from which you'll go on to form some solid ideas and plans for your career choices from here on.
Write down your responses. Be honest with yourself - don't answer with what you think you should say, it has to be the truth. This is such a good exercise to do as your journey into the ideal role for you starts with you knowing yourself and what you actually want.
Some people find it difficult to think of things they're good at. If this is you, ask a handful of trusted friends or family for their thoughts and write them down. You'll end up with loads!
Once you know what you want, it's much easier to start thinking about a way forward. Your next step is to explore past roles and experiences you enjoyed as these will often help you find a career that incorporates your most important values and help you to feel satisfied and fulfilled.