Miserable at work? 3 questions to kick start a career change

Are you too familiar with Sunday Evening Gloom – that time when thoughts of the coming week fill you with dread?  Is the thought “What am I doing here?” frequently popping into your head while at work? Or maybe you have a nagging feeling that you’re out of place where you are?

If no amount of dining out and long holidays can shake these feelings off, then say “hello” to your very own career crisis!

But before you freak out – this is actually great news. It means you’ve outgrown the old and are ready for something new.

Where do you go from here though, if you’re stuck in a job you hate or that doesn’t fit you anymore? How do you move on to a satisfying and joyful career?

To set the wheels in motion, here are three important questions to ask yourself…

What’s REALLY causing your unhappiness?

Understanding the real reason behind your current state of unhappiness is key. Ask yourself – are you running away from your job because you’re tired of your routine tasks, or because you’re burnt out by certain aspects of your day to day?

Workplace culture plays a big part in career satisfaction. Sometimes it’s how we feel about ourselves that’s the cause of unhappiness at work. There is a danger here of jumping ship and finding yourself in another unsatisfying job. So have a long think and dig deep to find the REAL reason behind your unhappiness.

Here are some causes that might apply to you:

  • Being overloaded with work
  • The work isn’t challenging enough
  • Not being appreciated
  • Not feeling competent or ‘good enough’
  • Not feeling in control of your work
  • Not given freedom to make decisions
  • Not given enough support
  • Not being listened to
  • Disconnected from the results of your work

What’s your WHY?

If you no longer have the answer to WHY you do what you do and you’re searching for meaning, ask yourself – what would you do right now if you didn’t need the money you’re getting paid from your job?

This is THE most important question to ask yourself before embarking on a new career – as it pretty much determines your satisfaction and fulfilment in this space. Your ‘why’ is very closely tied to your personal values.

If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.

Simon Sinek, Find Your Why

Give yourself time and space to ponder this. You may discover that your drivers to date have been more EXTERNAL, rather than INTERNAL.  For example:

  • Earning a lot of money
  • Becoming successful for the sake of becoming successful. Perhaps you were trying to prove something to your parents or a spouse…
  • Chasing status, etc..

Why have all these things been so important to you? What value have they brought you? Are there any emotional blocks that need to be resolved behind there somewhere?

Imagine you had all the money you wanted. What would you do then?

HOW do you want to work?

Once you have your ‘why’ worked out it’s important to look at how you want to work.

There are a number of important questions to ask, all individual to each person but I want to share several key ones with you:

  • Do you want to work for yourself or for someone else?
  • How much money do you want to earn doing what you love?
  • How important is flexibility for you?

If you still find it very frightening to even think of a career change it’s time to think about the beliefs you hold around change. What is it that you’re afraid of? Is it fear around losing money? Is it the uncertainty of the process? The not knowing of what you do next?

It is so important to understand the driving force of this fear. Replacing negative beliefs with supportive thoughts can help you move through this process of transition. Working with a coach can really help if you’re feeling stuck with this.

The Coach Space

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