Are you feeling frustrated, stuck, “lost” or otherwise not happy with your current employment situation or future career prospects? If so, the fact that you’re undoubtedly not alone might not make you feel a whole lot better. “Misery loves company” is not a particularly reassuring or uplifting philosophy!
Before I get into this topic further, I need to offer a caveat: I am not a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist. If your problem stems from deep-seated internal challenges, my opinions might not be your best guide to overcoming the situation. On the other hand, if you’re experiencing what many of us have gone through or are encountering now in our professional lives, what I want to share might at least be worth reading.
If you sort of fell into your current line of work, took the path of least resistance, etc., it’s probably not surprising that you’re feeling frustrated or otherwise unsettled. You didn’t get where you are through conscious choice, and what seemed like okay ideas at the time might, in retrospect, not be so hot.
In that case, part of the issue could be that you didn’t focus on your strongest passion or commitment when you made job changes or career moves. Consequently, that passion has been pushed aside in favor of day-to-day, get-it-done activities, and the lack of real fulfillment has fueled your frustration.
Even if you did make one or more conscious decisions about your career choices, you could still be finding yourself stuck. Where do you go from here? How do you align what you’re doing or going to do next with your core purpose?
You might have heard of Simon Sinek (Start With Why). He has shared the following statement with his readers: “When we know Why we do what we do, everything falls into place. When we don’t know Why we do what we do, we have to push things into place.”
I believe he’s right on target. If you don’t have a purpose to your work or aren’t clear about what it is, you’ll have to work much harder to get half as far as if you had that clarity of purpose to start with.
When you gain an understanding of your “why,” you can then begin considering steps that could lead you out of your present frustrated/stuck condition. Realistically, some possibilities for making a change at this stage could be out of your reach, but it’s worthwhile to take a good look at your career options from the perspective of “it might be a stretch, but I could do it.”
The possibilities this course could open up for both short-term job satisfaction and long-term career success make it particularly important for you to give serious consideration to. The payoff (emotional, physical and/or financial) could be huge.