A friend of mine recently forwarded me an article from The Onion that I can’t stop laughing about: Man Returns To Work After Vacation With Fresh, Reenergized Hatred For Job.
“I’m rested, my batteries are recharged, and I’m ready to despise my entire professional life more intensely than ever before!”
I have a vivid memory of taking two weeks off from a job that was no longer a good fit for me. The day I went back to work, I looked outside at the snow-covered roads and started crying.
“This,” my husband said, “is the last winter you will ever do this job.”
In that moment, it clicked—I was 100% responsible for my happiness and success. I needed to let go of the job that no longer brought me joy. I needed to find my next.
Finding your next can be scary. You know what’s scarier? Living a life where you despise the majority of your day.
If going to work brings literal tears, here’s are three ideas on forging ahead.
Make professional dating your side hustle.
Feeling stuck and don’t know what your next move should be? Meet with as many people you can outside of your current network. Who do you admire? Who is doing interesting work? Who is passionate about their career? Feed off the energy of people who are inspired by their work – use it to propel you toward your next.
Think impact over income.
One of the most transformative chapters of my professional career required me to take a 40 percent decrease in my salary. I almost didn’t take it because I was afraid to lose the income. So many of us put blinders on to incredible opportunity because they may require taking a step backward in pay or title. I offer this perspective: Put a value on what you’ll gain by being energized by your work. Does that value make up for the difference in income or title? My experience: Within a year, I was able to earn the 40 percent back by proving my worth to the organization. I also was able to make an incredible impact through my work, which brought an enormous amount of satisfaction and pride in how I spent my time. Win-win.
I understand that finding your next can take some time, so one way to protect your energy is to set better boundaries with your employer. Reset expectations about your availability by cutting back on after-hours communication. Turn off email notifications on your phone. Consider giving yourself a one-week-trial of not checking email in the morning before going to your office. Use this found time instead to sit down and enjoy breakfast without a screen in front of you. Starting your day from a place of positivity can dramatically improve how it plays out.
No matter how stuck you feel, you aren’t. Rebooting can be intimidating. But it can also change everything—literally. And the only one who can hit the button is you.
Are you dreaming up a career shift this year? I’d love to hear about your plans. Email me here.