The Wrong Job
I wake up every morning with a groan, slowly edging my way off the mattress and on to the floor grasping for any reason I can think of to not go to work today. Should I call out? There’s so much I need to do and 100% don’t want to. I sneeze, I cough, I sigh. Somehow I stand up and begin preparing for the commute into the office. The whole time I am brushing my teeth, putting on my clothes, or doing my hair I am thinking of ways I can survive the work day. This is getting depressing.
When it comes down to it, being in the wrong job can make you sick. At work, I would find myself hiding in the bathroom for extended periods of time, or just moseying about with some papers and a stern but pensive look on my face so that I appear to have something important happening. This was supposed to be the fun job! Dress down and wear what you want to work. Look, there’s a game room! Ping pong tournaments, bowling nights with coworkers, and parties and blah, blah, blah.
Why am I not enjoying this?
Should I be ashamed? I am now stressing about the fact that I am embarrassed about not liking this “super awesome amazing and lucky” role that I am in. Is there something wrong with me?
Thinking like this can make you physically sick. Loss of sleep and overall mental health deterioration are huge symptoms that will impact your everyday life.
The problem is that none of us had a very good education in who we are and what we love. We were bombarded with what success is meant to look like, what you must do to succeed, what needs to be done. And this is coming from everywhere: School teachers, TV, social media, friends, family, religion, and culture. With all this information and “education” it’s understandable that most of us have no idea what we really want.
There are loads of studies out there that show over 80% of people are unhappy in their current job. 80%?! Eight Zero. How did it ever get this bad?
I sat down and thought about what I needed to do in order to be where I want to be. Some of you will recognize a little carry over from my post about getting out of ruts.
So what does success actually look like for you? It’s actually quite tricky to hear yourself think, but you need to be able to separate the storied other people told you about success from your own point of view. The trouble with social media is that you are getting a very skewed look into people’s lives. Why aren’t you out there always traveling the world and experiencing great things? You don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. No one in their right mind posts the down and depressing times in life.
For some of us, success is about the freedom to do the things we love. For others, it is the chance to solve interesting problems or to, you know, travel the world. There is way more than just climbing the corporate ladder just for the six-figure salary. What would you define as success? Once you know what that is, you can start working out how to get it.
Your user guide
Although knowing what your strengths, likes, and dislikes are is key for career success, I personally think that knowing the conditions in which you thrive are incredibly more important. The current role I am in suits my skills – teaching, project management, specific technical abilities, but the environment…the place and the politics are all at odds to my character and adding to my misery.
Think about yourself as a unique and rare plant that has specific requirements of soil, water, sun, and other nutrients. What are the conditions in which you tend to be the happiest and most productive? Maybe you need a quiet space, or you love the hum of a busy office with worker bees buzzing about. Maybe you want to work outside or in your pajamas or just late at night. Understanding these conditions is crucial before you head off on the job hunt. What are the conditions in which you thrive?
Take Heart and Take Action
So now I feel like you readers are a little skeptical. “So I am supposed to find a job where I eat pizza and ice cream all day and get paid for doing it?” My answer is…not exactly, but why not?
The world of work is changing pretty radically. The job for life is dead. The ability to work from anywhere is a reality. There are jobs today that didn’t even exist 5 or 10 years ago. I have been told many times, hey you are getting paid for what you do, so take the bad that comes with it.
But why does it have to be that way? I know what I want and I know how I thrive, so the question to keep asking is:
How can I get it?
The amazing thing I have found in career searching is once that definition is in place, most often we find the solution, or at least part of it, right in front of our faces. Sure, it may take a couple of leaps or puddle jumps in order to find what you need, but often enough we will get there. Keep your eyes, heart, and mind open. There is something out there. So here I am searching, on the edge of my chair looking, not waiting, for the right opportunity to hit me.
I think I am close to something great.