With the weekend just around the corner and the work week getting nearer its end, it’s time for a little reflection. How do you feel by Wednesday? How do you feel on Fridays compared to Mondays? Do you live for the weekend but dread the work week?
Are you putting in time or simply slugging it until the real life finally shows up? Are you feeling enslaved rather than inspired? Sounds like prison doesn’t it? And it certainly is if you’re feeling trapped, unfulfilled, unengaged and unenthused – but guess what. The only warden and master holding the key to designing your own life is you! We steer the course – and yes, there are all kinds of maps and guides, but only we ourselves can take the wheel to turn it around.
So when is the right time to transition our career?
How do we really know when it’s time to move on? Unless we are one of those extremely lucky anomalies, dissatisfaction and disengagement can and will impact us all at some point in our life. According State of the Global Workforce, a recent Gallop study, only 1 in 8 of us is actively engaged in our work. This happens for any number of reasons – both internal and external, or a combination of both, such as changing work conditions or life circumstances, or an internal shift or growth such as a realignment of our priorities, or an increase in our knowledge and expertise. Whether from within or without, these influences can have a profound impact on our performance, our career satisfaction, and ultimately, our happiness.
To understand the root of our discontent we would first want to reflect on recent changes, or lack thereof, in our workplace, i.e., team, culture, restructuring, being overlooked for a well-deserved promotion, changing policies, or an expanded or retracted job description – or, are we simply bored with the daily grind and routine tasks mastered far too long ago?
Secondly, have our priorities changed over time with altered circumstances? Our motives for immersing ourselves in our work even 5 years ago may be entirely different than they are today. We are not held hostage to our previous decisions, objectives or agendas. Has our financial situation or family structure changed allowing more freedom, time or funds to pursue deep-seated and long-buried interests that are now forcefully moving to the foreground? Have we reached that pivotal stage (sometimes referred to as a mid-life crisis but more aptly called a mid-life check-in) where we all look back and evaluate where we are and where we could have been – only to uncover an intense feeling of FOMO that invariably comes with unexplored passions, unfulfilled dreams, and roads not taken?
Thirdly, are we applying ourselves to a work that is meaningful to us, that has purpose, and that aligns with our underlying intrinsic values? Do we suspect that we have unrealized potential and want to make more of an impact? These questions deserve our serious consideration and it all starts with us – knowing our innermost values, our core needs, and our true motivations. How can we explore this deeper and re-ignite our passion? Let’s talk about that next time. Enjoy your upcoming weekend of rejuvenation of self-reflection.