That petrified feeling when you’re stuck in a job you hate — but you don’t know how to change your life.
by Deborah Voll
Certified Professional Life and Career Coach
We are all afraid of the unknown. And not knowing exactly what it is we want stops us in our tracks. So, we get stuck. We choose safety over fulfillment because: overwhelm!
I’m thinking about Jesse, who was stuck in a job that, over the years, had become toxic, for a variety of reasons. She had the financial pressures of maintaining a home and her high schoolers were about to go to college. It was so overwhelming that she just shut down and kept slogging on in her current situation. After a few sessions with me, she became clear about what she wanted. But mostly she developed the confidence and energy to get a job she loved.
It changed her life in so many ways. So, I’d like to share with you the first, five easy steps to start you on the path to living the life you dream of. And deserve!
But first, breathe!
First, let’s identify what it is you want — and next, some steps of how to go about getting it. Don’t do these assignments all at once. Take your time.
Tell me about your current job
Make a cup of tea and sit down with a journal. Writing things down gives you clarity. Also, things on paper seem less scary than thoughts flying round and round in the air with no destination.
Tell me about your current job: what you don’t like about it, and what you do like about it. Make two lists of the pros and cons. Be honest and get into the tiniest details. And I mean tiny. Write anything and everything that comes to mind. Is it boring? Too demanding? Is the company cheap? You don’t like the industry you’re in? You have a toxic work place? A boss you don’t like? Your values aren’t aligned with the company? You’ve outgrown the job? You’re not getting the promotions you want? You’re exhausted? You don’t like the commute? Everything is valid.
By clarifying what you don’t like or want, it will help you clarify what you do want. Even more important: it attunes your senses in your job search so that you stay away from similar situations.
Now, tell me about the job you want — or fantasize about
What does your ideal day look like? Write it down and read it back to yourself, aloud.
First, do you want to stay in your field? Do you want a higher-level job in a different company? Or do you want to change careers entirely? Now is the time to confront and indulge your dreams and desires.
Can you write a job description of a job you might want? Or an industry you’d like to be in? Do you want to work freelance? Do you want to start your own company? Do you want job security? Do you want to relocate?
Educate yourself. Do the homework.
Given what you stated you’d like to do in your ideal job — do you need to expand your knowledge in the area of technology or certifications? You might need to level up your skillset. Now is a good time to explore in-person training or online options for further education. Learning something new while on your current job gives tremendous satisfaction since you know you’re moving forward. It empowers you, big time.
Jesse wanted to leave her non satisfying corporate job and work in the medical field. She researched the job possibilities by studying hospital websites and learned what it would take for her to qualify for these jobs. She talked to people in the medical profession to get their input, advice, and connections. Best of all, she learned that what she wanted was possible.
Getting the new qualifications, you need increases your self-confidence. Employers like people who are self-starters and know what they want. Your energy and accomplishments are attractive to employers. Learning new things always puts you in the situation of meeting new people — always a good thing.
Consider putting your toes in the water before taking the deep dive. Can you explore your new career interest part-time? Can you talk to people who are in the industry you want to be in? This is a great way to learn more about the job and industry before you commit to making a transition. View job hunting as job exploring. Create opportunities for yourself.
Save up some $
If you are considering a switch to something more in alignment with your passion and purpose, it may (or may not) require a reduction in salary. I know many people feel that is fine as long as they are doing something that they love each day. Joseph Campbell famously said, follow your bliss and the money will come. The universe supports you. Review your budget and start saving or working towards living on a reduced income so you can make the job switch comfortably or fund your new career venture.
Please leave a comment below and tell me what you’re thinking. What are your challenges? What are your fears? You can do this! I believe in you!
If you found these tips helpful, Check out the programs I offer for women in transition. Most important, do sign up for a free meeting/conversation where you can ask me anything, we’ll get to know each other bit and you’ll feel what it’s like to work with me
Starting my own private educational consulting business has freed me to be my own boss, create a saner or more flexible schedule, help students outside the confines of the classroom, and make time for my true passion–creative writing and publishing.
Evelyn, That is amazing! Congratulations and Happy New Year! I would love to tell your story on my podcast! Please let me know if you are interested in connecting. Cheers!