Are you feeling very fed up with your current role? Do you want to get out of the current predicament that you are in but have no idea where you want to go or how to do it? Even highly successful business people can often feel like they are climbing a ladder on the wrong wall. A very large portion of people feel ‘stuck’ in their current career/job and as a result, very unhappy.
Why am I Unhappy?
‘God speaks in whispers first’. Our inner guidance system (or intuition) is always giving us subtle signals. We need to slow down and start paying attention. Many of us are not only ignoring inner whispers, we are ignoring loud screaming voices! If you are deeply unhappy, you have to do something about it. The first step is to investigate the root cause of your dissatisfaction. Please take 5 minutes to complete this exercise if you have not done so already – CLICK HERE
Right so you know that you are unhappy in your role and have identified the root cause. But what now? The vast majority of people have no idea what they actually want to do. If you ask any of your friends ‘What do you want?’ you will be shocked at how few actually know exactly what they want. But in order for us to move forward, we must have some clarity on the direction that we want to go. Today I am helping you to map out what is that you really want.
Living what you Love
Firstly I must quench the age old myth that ‘if you do what you love you will never work a day in your life’. If anything you work a hell of a lot harder when you are really passionate about something! But it is a different feeling. When you love what you do, hard work feels exciting, not stressful. But how do you find out what it is that you actually love?
EXERCISE – Get out a pen and a few sheets of paper. Turn off all distractions, allocate at least 30 minutes and answer each question very honestly and thoroughly:
STEP 1: ‘MY JOURNEY TO DATE’
Draw a Table with 3 Columns:
- In the first column, list your ‘Career Highs‘ – The most successful moments you have experienced in your career to date.
- In the second column, write down the ‘Feelings’ that you felt during those moments.
- Finally, In the third column, write down the ‘Why’ – What did you do that led to that success?
Draw another table with 3 columns and do the exact same thing for your Career Lows.
There should be clear career correlations that will increase your level of self awareness and assist with the steps below.
STEP 2: SELF ANALYSIS
- List your Personal Strengths and Weaknesses. These should be personal characteristics/traits. When doing this it is helpful to ask yourself how other people would describe you.
- List your Key Competencies and Skills. Look back over the list and highlight the things that you enjoy doing the most.
- List everything that you love to do in your spare time/Key Interests etc.
STEP 3: WHERE AM I NOW
- Based on Step 1 and 2, Summarise the Tasks/Behaviours that stimulate you most eg. what you really enjoy doing.
- Look at this list. On a scale of 1-10 rate how much you are using this list in my current role?
STEP 4: WHAT DO I WANT TO DO?
Ask yourself these 3 questions and jot down whatever comes to your mind naturally (don’t overthink it!):
- If I never had to worry about money what would I want to do?
- What would I do if I knew there was no chance of failure?
- If I didn’t care about anyone else’s thoughts, feelings, opinions etc what would I do?
STEP 5: LIFE PURPOSE
Based on everything you’ve answered so far, complete this short Life Purpose Exercise:
- List 2-3 unique personal qualities eg. creativity, enthusiasm
- List 1-2 ways that you love to express those qualities when interacting with others eg. to support, to inspire, to educate etc.
- In one statement, write down what a perfect world would look like to you eg. ‘Everyone is freely expressing their own unique talents’
- Combine those 3 sentences into a life purpose statement eg. ‘My purpose is to use my creativity and enthusiasm to support and inspire others to freely express their talents in a harmonious and loving way’.
This exercise example is taken from ‘The Success Principles’ by Jack Canfield.
FINAL STEP: CLARITY
Now that you have your purpose and know what you would love to do, you need to find a way to make money from it. Examine your life purpose statement and your Step 4 notes. Brainstorm ideal jobs that would fulfill that purpose and/or entrepreneurial business ideas. When doing this ignore any current constraints eg. I don’t have x qualification, I don’t live in x, I don’t have the money to do x etc.
You now have your ideal destination and most importantly clarity of direction. From there you can work backwards to create specific goals and build a proper roadmap to work towards. We will examine how to do this over the coming weeks.
When you do this exercise you will should feel enlightened. However this may be short lived if you are instantly hit with ‘reality roadblocks’. Indeed the key reasons why people ‘feel stuck’ in the first place are societal programming, living someone else’s dream, settling because of a lack of confidence or feeling trapped financially. For most people financial security is the key barrier preventing them from making a change. But that should not prevent you from having a clear direction and ‘get out’ plan that you can work or side hustle towards in the background. In my next post I will examine the mental barriers that stop us from moving forwards and how to overcome them.
I hope that you have found this exercise useful. I am a fully qualified Personal, Executive and Leadership coach. While I am not currently hosting 1:1 coaching sessions, I do love offering free advice and support to help people on their transformation journeys where I can. Please continue to follow this free career series and feel free to send me any questions at any time.
As always, if you are feeling deeply unhappy please reach out and talk to someone or engage the services of a professional counsellor or coach.