(but you don't love it either.) My job was good on paper. My income was okay. The people were nice.
I didn’t hate it.
When “I don’t hate it” is the nicest thing you can say about where you spend 75% of your waking hours, it’s a sign.
And while helpful, it didn’t answer the nagging: What do I want to do?
At one point, I decided that I should quit and devote myself full-time to figuring out this answer once and for all, and spent a whole weekend budgeting how to survive six months without a paycheck. Halfway through though I freaked out and stopped, because I couldn't live with making such a "rash" decision.
I scolded myself:
I need to KNOW what I want, and I need to Make The Right Choice.
Talk about pressure.
I was stuck in a cycle of daydreaming how good it would be to love my work if only I knew what that was, asking everyone else what they thought, partially believing them, second-guessing myself the moment I got closer to an answer, figuring that I was probably better off where I was, and then starting all over again months later when frustration returned.
In a way I got lucky. My turning point was getting so sick I couldn’t do my job anymore. I had to quit.
The beauty of being sick, or tired, or sick and tired, is that you care a whole lot less than you did when you were trying hard to make the right decision. I hear the same thing from clients who have been let go from their good-enough-but-not-great jobs.
The relief when the decision gets made for you.
[box] But what if you’re healthy, mildly happy, and stuck in a cycle of questioning that you keep coming back to every six months without ever reaching the Right Answer so you can finally move on? [/box]
What do you do if you don't hate your job, but don't love it either?
1) Listen really hard.
Set a timer for 15 minutes and listen to the part of yourself that has sent you in circles all of this time.
This voice inside of you doesn't get to be in charge, but it does get to be heard for 15 solid minutes. Listen to how scared it is that you'll choose wrong and embarrass yourself, or how unwilling it is to settle because it wants to Be Free to do whatever it wants to do whenever it wants!
Prepare to be surprised.
You may hear your mom's voice stuck in your head; an opinion about how you are supposed to live your life that you've been carrying around, assuming that it was true. Following it so dutifully, or rebelling against it for so long, that you never stopped to realize that it wasn't even your own belief in the first place.
This voice might not even be yours.
You won't know until you listen, so have a sit down with the part of you that has been unwilling to make a decision, and hear what it has to say.
2) Make a list.
Write down everything you like doing. Two pages worth.
Capture every little detail that you wish your job included. What you enjoy about what you do now, and what about previous roles that you still remember fondly. The relationship you had with your boss. The variety of activities you had in a day that both kept you busy and feeling accomplished/valued/appreciated.
No judgments. Just write down everything you know you like and keep adding to it.
All of it is useful information. How many, or how few, people you want to work with. How far you want to live from where you work. How much you want to make -- really, sit down, make a budget, choose a number and add it to the list.
3) Call me.
People often ask me how I will help them figure out what they want to do. These are among the first two assignments you receive when we begin working together.
It helps to understand what is really holding you back from making a decision -- not just what you think is holding you back -- so that it doesn't have the same power over you anymore. Then you need to let yourself dream up your perfect career without any limitations or negotiations. Not one peek at job postings until you imagine the most ideal scenario for yourself.
Do those two things and you will be utterly shocked by what happens as a result. You will be further on your way to making a decision you're psyched about than you ever have before. There will be a whole lot less fear, confusion, asking other people's advice, or second guessing.
Soon you'll be enjoying your new career as if it was always meant to be this way, and you will completely forget how stuck you felt. It'll seem like that all happened to someone else.
Sound good? Let's do this.
If you're in Washington, DC, join me on Saturday, January 30 at Third Space Wellness to make a decision you can live with and love.
You’ll discover a simple way to get past all of that mind clutter.
You’ll hear from others who are right where you are, figuring out what they want and how to love their life even more right away.
And by the end of our time together, you’ll feel clearer, at ease – dare I say, confident! – about what you’re doing, why, and the steps you’ll take next.
BONUS: I’m offering a package that weekend. Schedule an in-person coaching session and receive the 90-minute workshop For FREE. Reserve your spot for both here.
If you're not in DC, get on my calendar.
A couple sessions, sometimes even one, will give you the clarity, and relief, you've been searching for. It will end the cycle of wanting to make a change, not figuring it out, and giving up only to want it all over again. In its place you'll be in a better career than you ever imagined was possible.
Yes, most clients have mysteriously and magically perfect opportunities show up without doing all of the hard work they convinced themselves they would have to do in order to figure out the right choice.
It's kind of awesome.
I can't wait to hear from you, and see you in DC!