The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy – Malcolm S Forbes.
Throughout my career coaching experience, I noted two distinct types of people. The first comes to coaching knowing that something needs to change in their lives but are unsure of the root cause of their dissatisfaction. On investigation we establish that it is in fact their dissatisfaction with their work and career that is negatively impacting every other area of their lives including their relationships. The second type of client comes to coaching with a specific goal in mind, directly or indirectly portraying that they are not doing something that gives them meaning and purpose. Indeed, their specific goal is often masking a deeper level of required life change.
Often the more successful a person is in their professional career, the more dissatisfied they can be with their lives in general. How does this happen? Surely they must enjoy what they do to have reached such levels of career success? Sadly for decades, societal standards have driven us to attain a specific professional career level. We have come to believe that we are defined by what we do rather than who we are. Thankfully we are very slowly beginning to shift our mindsets. How our life feels is far more important than how it looks. If a company cannot capture your sense of passion, purpose and positivity, no amount of money is going to keep you there long term.
63% of Irish people are unhappy in their jobs (Source: RTE). In this career mentor series I will detail a full step by step plan to help you get you get from where you are now to where you want to be in your life. I will also profile a number of Irish people are living what they love on a daily basis. I’m kicking off the series today with 10 basic signs that it’s time for an intervention:
You’re unhappy most of the time
It’s a bit of a myth that you should love what you do all of the time. The fact of the matter is even the nicest job in the world will bring frustrations at times. Even those who can say they really love their job don’t wake up singing Mary Poppins every morning! But the truth is that you should enjoy what you do most of the time. Indeed there should be some days when you really do love it.
You’ve become a negative, cynical person
Are you constantly bringing negative energy into every other area of your life? Are your family starting to see you as a negative, cynical person? You know that smell when something is gone off in the fridge? And the bad smell has infiltrated everything else in sight?! Well it’s the same with dissatisfaction. It has a tendency to spread and show its effects in every other area of your life.
You hate your job
You would think this is a pretty obvious one! Yet there are many people who hate going to work every single day and no green light ever appears to go off. Perhaps you think you have no choice or you are afraid to try and turn your grievances around. Later in the series I will discuss the mental blocks that are stopping you from taking the plunge.
Your work environment is toxic
Similar to the bad smell in the fridge, if the culture is toxic to begin with it’s going to be very difficult for you to ever be truly satisfied. Even if you enjoy the particular work that you are doing, if you are doing it in a toxic environment it is very likely that rot will start to set in and very quickly your enthusiasm and motivation will hit a wall.
You have no sense of purpose
You should be able to establish a sense of purpose in any job. Funny as that may sound, every job is helping someone in some shape or form. To truly feel engaged in any job you have to feel a sense of purpose. If you don’t have that then it’s only a matter of time before complete dissatisfaction sets in.
Work is making you feel physically or mentally unwell
This is a major red flag. No job is worth putting your health at risk for. If you are genuinely feeling physically or mentally ill as a result of your work it’s time for an immediate change.
You are feeling stressed out most of the time
Stress is a feeling of not having control. When you have a lot on but are doing something you love, that gives you a feeling of excitement not stress! If you are constantly feeling stress it means that you feel life is happening to you, as opposed to you driving it. Prolonged stress is very bad for the body. There is a high chance that it will start taking a toll on your physical and mental health.
You feel no challenge or sense of excitement
If you can do your job with your eyes closed and never feel anyway challenged or excited it may be time for a change. If you constantly feel like you are just punching numbers, you are never going to feel a proper sense of engagement.
You never feel recognised
Recognition is one of the most sought-after human needs in all of us. Indeed, many workplace surveys often show that ‘Recognition’ rates much higher than ‘Salary’ on the motivation scales. Are you constantly going above and beyond and never feeling any sort of basic recognition? Then it might be time to take your skillset somewhere that does appreciate it.
You’re making silly mistakes
Obviously making mistakes can be a sign of fatigue or distraction from other things going on in your life. But are you continuously making mistakes that you cannot attribute it to anything external? It may be due to you simply not caring enough. It is one of the most obvious signs of disengagement and dissatisfaction.
Have you said yes to a number of the points above? Do you feel like you really need to make a change in your life but aren’t quite sure where to start? Do you actually really enjoy what you do but for some reason feel quite low and cannot but your finger on why? In the next instalments of my free career advice series we will help to pinpoint the root cause of dissatisfaction in your life.
Next Instalment: CAREER SERIES – WHY AM I UNHAPPY?