A Hard Look at Your Career

stareI recently asked you to look at how you really want to feel while you work. I was pleasantly surprised by the reactions in the comment section. One comment was almost as long as the original post.

Too often we don’t think about how we really want to feel and what it takes to make this a reality. We put our heads down and keep ignoring what is happening in our careers.

I know this is the technique very well, I used it for the longest time. Ignorance is bliss, right?

It is until you keep grinding and you look up and realize how much you dislike your life and career. That’s when your life is spinning so fast and out of control that you don’t know how to make it stop.

If you are unhappy at work you need to create a plan to change this.

Where to begin?

You have to begin at the beginning.

Simple and yet so hard to do.

You have to look at why you haven’t been able to leverage your superskills. Those skills that you are passionate about, you lose track of time when you are in the middle of using these skills and those skills that come so easy to you they don’t feel like work.

I recently asked a coaching client a question that really stumped her.

I asked her, “I’m going to give you a two option scenario. You pick the one that you would prefer. Option 1 – You will die in 3 months and you can do anything you want with the money you have saved up, visit any country, create any experience. Option 2 – You will die in 1 year, but you have to stay at your job. You put in your regular hours, so that means you have weekends and vacation days to do whatever you want. You have to stay at your job for the entire year. ”

I paused for a good 2 seconds.

Then I asked her, “Which one do you choose?”

She was silent on the other end of the phone. I waited. I knew she was really giving this some considerable thought.

She said, “I guess I would choose to live for another year.”

I asked, “Why?”

She said, “Well…I would miss my family too much. I would miss my dog. I would still be able to eat good food. I would even miss some of my co-workers.”

I asked, “How does that make you feel?” (I know typical coaching question. J)

She said, “It makes me think about how I look at my job. I take it for granted and don’t think about all the positives that it offers me. I think also that looking at my life as if I would die within a year would help me focus on what is truly enjoyable instead of what stuff I hate.”

Too often we don’t think about the importance of our mindset.

“How you look at things is just as important as doing those things.”
- Chris Brogan

Your job might not be ideal, but it’s still work that pays the bills, challenges you to improve and gives you some positive outcomes. If you aren’t happy at work you need to work on this mindset then begin to work on your superskills.

How do you view your job? As an opportunity or an anchor? (Let me know in the comments section.)

I know that you can improve your present job and my hope is that you come away with a clear plan on how to make it happen.