Don’t run and hide, take action
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” – Rumi
The new year is a great opportunity to take stock of our lives and to consider what’s working and what isn’t.
You may have realised, perhaps not for the first time, that your current work situation isn’t what you want it to be.
Are you wondering how it is that you’re still in ‘that job’? There may be a part of you that never thought you would still be there.
Maybe your work is comfortable and safe. You know what you’re doing. You’ve reached a level of seniority that means you’re supporting others and leading others forward. On paper it looks great.
And yet. You know your current work doesn’t really involve what you love. It drains you. You don’t have space and time to think about your needs because you’re so busy taking care of everyone else.
You have ideas about what you would love to create but you don’t do anything about them. And then there’s all the fears swirling in your head: if I hate my job, what does that mean for me?
Here are some of the most common examples of the fears that get in the way of people transitioning to a new career or creating a new project:
- Will it be too much for me to handle?
- Can I do it?
- Am I capable?
- Can I afford to?
- What do I have to offer?
- Am I good enough?
- What do I have to offer?
- Who will support me?
If you are wrestling with any of these questions then please know you are experiencing a completely normal, natural response to the idea of change.
I felt every single one of these fears when I decided to resign from my very comfortable legal job and commit to my coaching practice. I even had a little cry once I got off to the phone to my lovely manager and felt bad that my parents couldn’t boast about me being a solicitor anymore (I know, weird isn’t it?!).
I also had a strong suspicion I would probably fail. That I somehow wasn’t charismatic/resilient/hard-nosed/good enough to make it work.
But guess what, it still did. Over the years I have got better at recognising that my fears and thoughts are not instructions. Just because I feel fear and doubt, doesn’t mean I have to let it get in the way of what I want.
If you’ve realised you hate your job, don’t panic. Whilst the prospect of starting something new may feel very scary and overwhelming, remind yourself there is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.
The one word that will help you most in figuring out your next step it is curiosity. Approach your next steps like a research project: this about learning more about yourself and what you love to do.
Sit down with a pen and paper, take a deep breath and get curious about what you might love to do.
Here are some questions to start you off:
- What have you loved doing in the past? Both personally and professionally?
- When do you find yourself in a state of flow?
- What do you consider to be your gifts?
- What gives you energy?
- What have you always been drawn to?
- What kind of working environment do you enjoy?
- Do you refer working alone or with people?
- How do you want to serve the world?
- Why do you want to make this change now?
- What will this change bring you?
This exercise will give you a wealth of information and will naturally throw up lots of different lines of enquiry. You’re likely to feel the natural buzz and energy that comes from gaining clarity on what you want and what it is that you really love to do. Take some time to identify the common themes that keep coming up – they might be trying to tell you something!
Take a baby step
Finally, harness that excitement and let it lead you beyond fear. Take one tiny step forward. Spend 10 minutes researching a course or job opportunities. Reach out to your contacts. Have a conversation. And know that in doing so you will have taken your first step towards a job you love.
Want more support?
If you think you would like the support of someone who can guide you through the emotional and practical challenges of career transition in a safe, relaxed space please feel free to get in touch via my contact page. I can set up a free, 1 hour conversation where I can help you gain clarity and confidence on your next steps.