How is your work life? Are you happy with where you are? Enjoy what you do?
If you said YES, congratulations! A vast majority of us aren’t happy with what we do for nearly a third of our precious time. Think about that, spending 40 or more hours each week not feeling fulfilled, appreciated, or worse. That is a lot of time, time that you will never get back. Is it how you want to live? And feel?
“Well, so what do I do?” you may ask, “I have to work to pay the bills”. Of course, we all do. But does that mean we have to be stuck doing something that doesn’t fulfill us? No, it does not.
If you feel stuck with no idea how to get out, you may need to ask yourself some hard questions to move you on the path to doing what you love. Spend a few minutes answering these questions regarding where you are right now:
1. Did I love this work when I started working at it?
2. What are the things about my job that I do love?
3. What are the things that make me dread going to work?
4. Is there something that I’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t tried?
5. What prevents me from pursuing this type of career?
6. Is there something I can do right now to make my work life better?
Be honest with yourself when responding to these questions. Take your time, but also write down your first reactions. Read over your answers. What pops out at you? Does it seem like you enjoyed your job for a while, and then became overwhelmed as cutbacks or other responsibilities changed how you performed on the job? If you feel like this still is what you want to do, then how can you improve it? Brainstorm some ideas. How can you spend more time doing the parts you love, and delegating those parts you don’t enjoy? If the people are bringing you down, perhaps moving to another department or working at another company may help rejuvenate your career.
If you never really liked this type of work, but fell into it, or did it for someone else, how can you move into something that you will enjoy? If you are not sure what that might be, pursuing some career testing or research online or at your local community college or university can help you narrow your ideas. If you need training to switch to your preferred career, you could look into where, when and how to do that. Many programs are offered online so you can study while still working.
If what prevents you from doing what you love is YOU, and for many of us it is, then perhaps finding someone who already works in the field can provide the picture or plan to get you moving. Is fear holding you back? Or not knowing what to do to get there? Having a supportive, motivational person in your life can help you go outside your comfort zone. Or a Career Coach can provide the support, expertise and accountability to keep you on track.
Whatever your issue with your career, if you remain unhappy and stuck, you may look back in another 2 or 5 or 10 years and ask yourself, “why did I stay here?” What will your answer be then? You, and only you have the power to make the answer, “I love what I’m doing, and wouldn’t change a thing.” Enjoy your work. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.