Clare, 28, a stylist from London had been in her job for six years. Once upon a time, she had enjoyed it, but in the last two years her feelings had changed. Even buying the clothing for shoots, which she’d previously loved, had become annoying.
She came to me and said, “I really want to love my job again.”
I was glad she searched out help. People have a tendency to stay miserable in their jobs for far too long. Working takes up 50 percent of the average person’s existence. That is an awfully huge amount of time to be unhappy! Life is too short.
Over the next three months, Clare and I worked on discovering her current identity and getting her to accept that—even though her job may have been right in her early twenties—that doesn’t mean that it’s right for her now.
If you’re unsure about your current job, the discovery exercises and techniques we used to help Clare make the right career move—and unlock any fears about taking the leap—might be useful for you too:
1. Assess Your Current Job
Decide if you’re more unhappy than happy in your current career. It might help to write a list of pros and cons to weigh. You can also ask yourself the following questions to help determine whether you need a career change or not:
1. Am I working too much or too little?
2. What do I love about my job?
3. What do I hate about my job?
4. What are the talents I use and I don’t use in my job?
5. Is there anywhere else to go in my current company? Will this happen soon enough?
2. What Does Job Satisfaction Mean To You?
Everyone has a different definition of job satisfaction. It’s important that you discover what that means to you; otherwise you won’t be able to determine whether you have it or not. It might be helpful to list and prioritize your job satisfaction criteria.
Here are some examples:
1. You feel what you do is worthwhile or makes a difference.
2. You want to be respected for your achievements.
3. Your want your views to be heard.
4. You're working with people you like in a good atmosphere with team spirit.
5. There's a healthy balance between work and the rest of your life.
3. Ideal Life
Write a description of your ideal life and see how your current career fits into this. For example, you might describe wanting a flexible workweek in your ideal life, but your current career won’t allow this. Therefore, there is an obvious mismatch.
4. Matching Values To Your Career
Determine whether your values fit in with your current career. Happiness is the result of a strong relationship between the two. Your values may include family, money, independence, friends, honesty, love, happiness, charity, health, holidays, sleep and more. Decide what your top 10 values are and match them to your career to ensure that your career supports, instead of hinders, them.
Do a little rooting round and find people who love their jobs. Ask them why they love their work and how they went about finding their positions. If their work sounds appealing to you, then see if it’s possible to get work experience or intern there, and find out more about it firsthand.
6. Your Ideal Job Brief
Write up your ideal job brief. This is important, as it will provide you with a strong focus and establishes your career goal. You can also start placing possible career roles next to it or, while you search for alternative careers, you can hold them up against your brief to see if they match or not.
7. Gather Confidence
Once you have found the right career move for you, if you are having problems taking that final step, then ask yourself the following questions:
1. If I don’t take this leap, what will be the consequences?
2. Is life too short not to take a few risks?
3. What really is the worst that can happen if I leave? Can I deal with this or will I allow this to happen?
Ultimately, Clare found a new career path as a personal shopper, which she loves. She said, “Establishing myself was difficult at first, but it has been really worth it. I just wish I’d have done this sooner!”