Working with as many clients as I have over the years, I have listened to stories of unhappiness and dissatisfaction in workplace choices. Clients express feelings of dread, anxiety and general helplessness, lying awake at night going around in circles in their head, figuring a way out. Their days are spent clock watching, emerging 8 hours later feeling frustrated and angry. As much as we try not to take those feelings home, it is inevitable that these feelings might well spill over into our personal lives affecting the personal relationships that mean so much to us. Yet we keep getting up each day and going over the same thoughts and failing to make a change.
Many will have a similar story and have experienced these feelings. Most of the reasons, including mine; are not feeling valued, toxic work environment, lack of support, feeling isolated, inappropriate behavior from a colleague or manager and the list could go on.
Sharing our experiences with friends or family can often lead to further feelings of anxiety, as whilst they are well-meaning comments such as this don’t help:
‘You can’t just leave, how will you pay the bills’
‘I think you are lucky to have such a great job’
‘But what will you do, it may take you ages to get something else’ ‘’
‘You always think the grass is greener stick with it and it will be fine’
‘What about your holiday leave, we have plans!’
So how do we break the cycle and make that decision to change and take control? We need to be BOLD, know we have it in us and trust in ourselves to take that leap. I did it and here is how I help my clients do the same.
Know Thyself. Really get to understand ‘you’ and what makes you tick. There are many tools out there to help you do this! Free online personality assessments are a good way to start. Whilst some are better than others, I would always recommend www.16personalitys.com.au You can take the free part and if you want more in-depth feedback you have to pay. Hire a Career Coach to help you uncover areas you may well have unconsciously been avoiding. Consider your strengths; what you are good at and what you enjoy. If we work with our strengths we will be at our best. Keep a work journal of when you are feeling most energized and what makes you feel drained and uninspired. Challenge your thoughts; our brains are wired more to negative than positive so we will always do the self-sabotaging! try to catch those negative thought and challenge them!, It works trust me!
Research. Find roles that interest you. If you hear about a role that inspires your thinking look into it, Google is a great start. Myfuture.edu.au is a really useful resource to find out about industries, and roles. It will also give you statistics on the growth of jobs. Find companies that really resonate with you and your values, they will often have career pages with vacancies. Job search boards such as seek.com.au, they are a good starting point for research. Once you have identified potential roles see how you fit, what technical and transferable skills do you have that are a match. If you are going into a similar role then you will have many transferable skills. If you are going in another direction you may need to consider further study or some volunteer work. My next blog post will be on ‘To Study or not to study’ watch out for that soon!
Network. This is something you should be doing on a regular basis. Many jobs are now gained through someone recommending you. Start reaching out to friends, family, and colleagues to let them know you are actively looking. Ask for introductions and connect with people on LinkedIn. This may take you out of your comfort zone but when we do this we grow!
Prepare. Start to put a plan together, as you are preparing all your career related documents and online platforms, start to consider your finances and what you need to have for peace of mind for a buffer when you are making a move. It may not happen as quickly as you would like, so have a nest egg devoted to ‘Career Change’ Remember with any change there is always going to be a compromise, you need to decide what that compromise will be!
Action. Once you are feeling confident that you have a cushion and maybe some interviews lined up it is time to take that leap of faith. It is exciting and a little scary but it may well be the best thing you ever do!
We are all different. Some of us have to be super organized and have all the ducks in a row, others just trust and jump. Whatever way you do it the rewards will be clear. Life is short and you don’t want to spend it being unhappy in your job. You deserve to feel fulfilled and valued. But only you can make it happen!