You might be in the situation where you’re getting a decent pay cheque every couple of weeks, and you can do the job quite satisfactorily, but still there’s something missing. Thinking back, you’ve been sensing this growing discontent with your job but are having a tough time pinpointing exactly what it is that’s the source of your feelings. So what’s going on?
If the problem only exists for up to a month or two and then disappears, it may be simply that you were working on a project you didn’t really commit to, or you were in a funk over things going on in your personal life. But if that nagging feeling persists and you still find yourself reverting to thoughts such as the above, I suggest you pay attention and explore a few things.
For whatever reason, you’re body and mind are trying to communicate a message and you’d be wise to tune in, and find out what’s going on. Perhaps there’s a lack of intellectual challenge in the work that you do, you’re not being recognized by your peers or supervisors and that’s important to you, the work itself while your good at it just doesn’t seem all that valuable anymore. If you can isolate what’s nagging at you, you have a remarkable opportunity here and now to take action.
Why a remarkable opportunity? Simply put it’s this: you’ve got the security of a job you can do, and income to be supported while you explore all your other options. Now these options could include returning to school for educational upgrading either outside of your current work, or going back full-time. You might find you’re in love with the work, just not your current employer, and a lateral move to another company is the answer. Perhaps an entirely different career – working for yourself even – but using your existing skills and experience is what’s called for.
This instability and growing feeling that something is wrong can be viewed as troublesome but I’d rather you see this as an exciting moment in your life. So many people are in jobs where they are unfulfilled, disillusioned, unhappy, paid less than they deserve, but yet, do nothing about it except grumble. You on the other hand; ah yes you reading this right now – you my friend have the luxury of intellect and time to escape this looming fate and change course if you so choose.
Now while exciting, it can be a source of anxiety itself can’t it? Yes of course! And it should be! That first few minutes, hours, days and weeks that you spend actually embracing the idea of evaluating where you are and where you might like to head next can be intimidating. The most common and unfortunate trap many people like you will fall prey to is immediately feeling the tug of responsibilities. “What about my mortgage? The kids education? Car loans? What would my husband or parents think? Oh I just can’t”.
Realize that it costs zero to pause, do some research into what’s really going on in your heart and head, and it still costs nothing to perhaps look up an online course cost, check into other job postings, job descriptions etc. You can do all of this and more without breathing a word to your current employer and jeopardizing your pay. If you decide that’s what’s needed is a promotion or lateral move with the same employer, you’re in no danger of lost income at all.
But think about what you value. When was the last time you weighed the importance of your life’s mission, your purpose, and what would truly make YOU happiest and fulfilled? Do you want to look back and say, “Well I put in 47 years at such and such company and that’s got to count for something.” Would you rather look back and say, “When I was __ years old I made a decision that I’ve never regretted. Oh for sure it was an unsettling time, and demanded great personal courage and some sacrifices, but in the end, I’m so much better a person for having listened to my inner feelings and made some changes taking that leap of faith.”
If you are single, some things are easier, such as only having yourself to answer to. On the other hand, a person in a relationship might argue that a supportive spouse or partner can help make the decision easier by encouraging the change because they have your best interests at heart. It’s always best to share rather than conceal these unsettled feelings with those around you who are most important to you. Why? Well it stands to reason they want you to be happy because you’ll be more pleasant to be around. And if you have kids, instead of thinking in some way you’re being selfish and putting your needs ahead of theirs, think of how you could be teaching them a very valuable life lesson: in order to be happy, listen to your discontent, explore it, and boldly change what you need to in order to be happy. Isn’t that what you’d counsel them to do?
So you – yes you…what’s going on right now in your life? Happy? Fulfilled? Missing something? Maybe this blog really was meant for you today. Should you pin this to the fridge and read it a few times? Many times? Hmmmm…..