Help Me Find a Job I Love! Part 1 can be found here. If you haven’t read it yet, you might want to start there.
In part 2, let’s talk about another “impossible” that keeps you stuck in a job you hate.
It’s too much work.
Does it all feel like too much work to get from where you are now to a job that you’d love? So much work that it just seems impossible to get there?
Maybe there’s a big gap (educational, networking, etc.) between what you’re doing now and what you want to do. You don’t have the right background, the right skills, or know the right people to land the job you would love.
Let’s say that you’ve been a stay-at-home mom for years, and now it’s time to go back to work. Before kids you did some work in retail, or maybe you have a law degree. But none of that matters now. It’s been too long since you’ve done anything other than make a stack of sandwiches at lightening speed with one hand while using the other to surf the ‘net for coupon deals.
Or let’s say you’ve spent more time in your cubicle than in your own home, but you’d really love to do something more exciting and dynamic.
Or you’ve been in charge of a department, but you really want something lower-key that appeals to other aspects of your personality.
The “work” that puts you off your journey towards a job you would love comes in a few different forms.
What kind of work feels the heaviest when you think about it? Which one makes you let out a heavy sigh? Or is it more than one?
Let’s take a look at some ideas that might help.
1. Actual work:
Networking, resume writing, going back to school.
You’re up for it! You can do that work. Because the alternative is the terrible weight of working at a job you don’t love for the rest of your career. The alternative is the wasted opportunity of the adventure you might have had. You might be saying “Jess, it’s really unlikely that I’ll be working the same job I have now until I retire.”
Sure, you may eventually end up with a new job you don’t love, but until you put in the work to figure out what you’d like better and take steps to get there, any improvement in your job situation happens only by chance.
If you break down the work into manageable chunks, it will feel much lighter. Moving in the direction of hope makes it lighter still. So get going! If you wait till tomorrow you will wish you had started yesterday.
2. Soul searching:
Digging deep to take hold of whatever strengths you need to harness, whatever demons you need to exorcise or whatever limiting beliefs you need to uninstall in order to take it another step.
Again, you have a choice to make. You can live with the pain of your life the way it is now, or you can deal with the pain of doing some soul searching. The good news is that you also get to deal with the joy of self-discovery and of moving forward. It’s important to focus on that.
And, like a little kid who turns on the light in his room and discovers a pile of laundry and not an eyeball-eating monster, you may find that the fear is worse than the thing you are afraid of.
You don’t have to do any of this alone. For heaven’s sake, get some professional help. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel when you could get guidance to uncover your fears and push you to your highest potential. Invest in yourself.
If you needed glasses, would you grope around in the dark for years feeling bad about yourself and afraid to admit that you couldn’t see well, or would you make the investment and go see an eye doctor?
3. Letting the world know:
The effort required to let people know (and deal with the fallout of) telling people you’re going for something bigger, something different, or wanting to take it down a notch.
“O. M. G.! You’re doing WHAT?!”
Anyone who has that much invested in what you are doing with your life is either:
a) Intimately involved and effected by your decisions, like a spouse, partner or child.
Friends may have concerns about your choices and will share them with you privately, at which time you can thank them for their concern and then let them know that you got professional guidance with making your decision, and that you allowed yourself the time and the space to really know what is best for you.
Friends who are just nosey will share their concerns with the neighborhood. But really, would you rather be living YOUR life, or living in such a way that they don’t have anything to gossip about?
As Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said, “Well behaved women [and men!] rarely make history.”
If you are dealing with a spouse or partner that has concerns (financial or otherwise) about choices you want to make, you will have to weigh those out with them. I’ll post more about this tricky balance another time. But for now, let’s just say that you must give your dreams as much weight as your debts, because you don’t live forever. Figuring out how to do this may be tough. It may take a while to get things in place to be able to afford the kind of freedom you are looking for – but that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile goal.
Keep moving towards what you love.