How annoying is this? You’ve got a successful career and you actually like it a lot of the time but something just isn’t quite right.
You should just suck it up and get on with it right? That’s what you’ve been doing for a while now and nothing bad is happening.
Let’s dig a bit deeper. Do you feel like you’re making the most of your life, making the most of what is available to you right now? Does your career match up to your values? Do you even know what your values are?
Just because you are earning good money and don’t hate your career doesn’t mean you can’t possibly think of a change. Mediocrity, however much it is disguised by the common definitions of success, is draining. We are genetically designed to further ourselves and our species and sticking to what you find comfortable can actually be holding you back from a fulfilling life.
How Have You Found Yourself Here?
Can you look back at your career path up to now and see all the decisions that brought you here? Were they all your own decisions?
Chances are that you had a lot of influence en route to your current career.
Number one of the list of influencers is our parents. They wanted what’s best for you, they wanted you to have the greatest chance of success possible in life, they wanted you to be even more successful than they were.
But their definition of success was most likely flawed. It was based on how much you earned and what status you achieved. That was just how the world was back then.
It’s trying to be a bit different now. Individual success is becoming increasingly linked to success as a society in general. How can you have a positive impact on the people around you, or even all over the world, with what you do in your career?
I’m not saying your parents were selfish, they might have had the same desires but somewhere along the line, we lost some of our human aspect of working together for a greater good.
This sounds like it’s getting a bit philosophical, but bear with me, I’m trying to untangle that over-used term ‘finding your purpose’.
I hate that term, not because it’s ‘bullshit’ as some people like to say in their attention-grabbing headlines, on the contrary; I actually think it’s quite a beautiful goal to have. I hate it because it’s become something that people think is ‘bullshit’, partly because of those attention-grabbing headlines, partly because it’s rammed down everyone’s throat too often.
Our careers have been turned into something that defines us. The amount we earn and the status we achieve is a measure of how successful our life has been. But what if we switched it back and thought of our career as what we did to be of service to the world?
You’re getting paid to do the work you do because it is meant to add value in some way. What if the goal was to continuously strive to increase or improve on the value you give? Not the money you earned.
Wouldn’t it make the receiving of a salary so much more fulfilling?
I’ve been a bit of journeyman throughout my career. Partly as a result of seeing my father do the same. I’m not complaining about that, it’s been very interesting! But it meant I arrived at my mid-thirties with very little to show for my career.
Then I got into blogging because I saw some potential in it. I built up a few sites with ads on them that made enough money to deem myself a ‘success’. That was the trouble though, I was totally fixated on the money coming in.
I was checking my stats 20 times a day. My mood depended on how much money I was making from ads. When it dived down because Pinterest changed a couple of things, I got pretty upset. But I kept it all to myself because I didn’t want to worry my wife.
That was the point I had to make a change. I did actually love the blogging, the writing, the creativity, but I needed to be creating something that was valuable to someone.
That was when I teamed up with a great friend and started building Better Work Heroes.
The objective is simple: We believe everybody has the right and the ability to achieve a career they love.
We want to do everything within our power to be of service to people who need help improving or changing their careers.
And it feels good!
What Can You Do About This Feeling That Something Isn’t Right?
Finding out that it’s quite common is all well and good, but what can you actually do about it?
The first step, that you may have already taken, is actually acknowledging that something isn’t right. It may be something very small, it may be something large. But being honest with yourself and deciding that you need to take some action is very important.
Then, it’s about understanding where this feeling is coming from. Knowing your true values is incredibly helpful at this point.
I talked up the importance of ‘being of service’, rather than simply striving for the best salary. You may find your values are totally focused on money, and that’s OK, but your subconscious might need a little nod towards the value you’re giving in exchange for that money.
That’s where journaling can become a powerful tool to remind yourself of the value you are giving, how grateful you are for what you have and what your vision or goal is for the future.
It’s incredibly easy to set up a journaling routine. You need a notebook, a pen and a couple of questions to ask yourself every day that remind you of what you need to think about.
I ask my self these questions every evening and answer them in my journal:
- What one thing were you most grateful for today?
- What did you do today to be of service?
- What is one thing you want to achieve tomorrow?
Finishing with something that you want to achieve tomorrow gives your subconscious something to work on overnight. You’ll be in a much better place to achieve it in the morning.
This creates a subtle change in the way you think every day. You move to a more mindful, grateful, positive mindset just by spending 5 minutes thinking of the best things about your day and your future. You may start to uncover things that are missing from your current career.
The next step is making your current job a good as it gets, after all, you don’t hate it. If you can get yourself to a better place in your current work, you will be in a much better place to make decisions about your future. You may even find the missing link that turns your current job from good to great.
Examine what is not quite right about it. Use your values and your journal to uncover what’s putting you off. When you find something, think of ways you can adjust to minimise it or remove it completely. Once you’ve made the decision to do something about this feeling that something isn’t right, you give yourself the power to do things that you might not have done before.
Make your current career follow your values and goals. If it’s just not possible, then you can think about a different job or career.
Getting to that point, when you either improve or decide to change your career, is a journey in itself but is only the beginning of a fruitful, fulfilling career.
However you’ve ended up in the position of not quite feeling right about your career, there will be a way of making things right.
Firstly, you have to be fully aware of your feelings, then you need to understand why they are there and what your current career and job really mean to you.
Once you’ve got those ducks in a row, you can be ready to make decisions about your future.
If you’ve got that feeling, we’d love to talk it through with you.
If you want to arrange a free conversation about improving or changing your career with a coach, send us an email to [email protected]
We want to see you fulfil your potential!