Got the Career Blues? Step Outside the Box
Clients often come to me saying that they want to change careers or jobs, although they have no idea what they want to do. Most of us look for a new job or career through a specific lens or paradigm, that limits the scope of possibilities considerably. Here are some ideas to widen your view, and strategies to help you step “outside the box.”
- If you are currently employed, how does your current position make you feel? Valued? Uncomfortable? Competent? Incompetent? Excited? Depressed? How have you felt in past jobs?
- What do you like and not like about your current position? If you’re not employed, think back to previous jobs. Make a list of “likes” and “don’t likes.” Next, expand your list of what you like to include ALL of your skills, abilities and talents. If you’re an accountant who likes to garden, put gardening on your list.
- Notice your energy levels when you are doing your job or specific tasks you undertake in the rest of your life. Observe which tasks energize you and which drain your energy. Energy is a KEY indicator of life satisfaction and fulfillment. And noticing your energy helps you to connect with your body and its messages.
- While you’re in the initial “What do I want to do?” stage, take MONEY out of the equation. Considering money as a factor is the fastest way to quash any dreams, passions or aspirations that might rise to the surface. I hear this from clients all the time. “Well, I have to make money. I have a mortgage to pay, kids to support. I couldn’t possibly run off and write novels on the beach.” Yes, you need to have money. And once you’ve identified what you want to do, then you can find ways to make it work with your financial needs.
- Be alert for ideas that are quickly followed by “This is crazy!” Or notice yourself telling someone, “I know this sounds crazy, but….” So called “crazy” ideas are often sure signs that you’re on the right track, that you’ve uncovered an idea or value or passion that resonates deeply with you.
- Other questions: What does my gut tell me? What do I need to be honest with myself about?
Career changes are often indicators that something deeper within us is attempting to emerge, that we are ready to grow and change. Don’t be surprised if a career transition or the quest for one heralds changes in other parts of your life or causes you to examine them from a different perspective. For example, you may feel immense gratitude for what you have. Or you may stand up for the first time and say “I’m not going to take this anymore!” Since we don’t operate in a vacuum, one change will affect the next. And that domino effect is often the best thing that’s ever happened to you.