As I write this article, I am sitting on my terrace soaking up the lovely early Tenerife sunshine. Not that I am gloating for any of you less fortunate!
If you think I must be mad working when I’m on holiday then I kind of know where you are coming from. The thing is for me, I have to confess, I love what I do so much that I would do it already if I didn’t need to work. I would do it for fun.
Yes ok, I can hear some of you thinking that the white coats will be appearing around the corner any moment. In all seriousness though, I do consider myself to be very fortunate. Do you feel the same? Do you consider your work to be something you enjoy? Does your working life look the way you want it to be? If you can answer yes to any of those questions, then I think you may have a important advantage over many people.
We both know there are many reasons why people work. Not least to have a roof over their heads and put food on the table. For some working can provide the finer things in life. Some people work to feel purposeful, and some to make meaningful change.
On the flight back home from my last holiday, I was sitting next to man in his early 30’s. His job was a drag artist of all things. His story was interesting and inspirational. He had worked for years in a regular office job. Like a lot of us, he worked to pay the mortgage and to fund a bit of a social life. He wasn’t particularly inspired by his job, but it paid well.
One particular year he holidayed oversea, had a huge eureka moment and decided that he was really unhappy and life had to change drastically. He came home, sold up, bought a place oversea, and decided on his new career. It took him 6 weeks. When I was chatting to him, it was some 10 years or so since he had made that decision and he looked and sounded very happy. He said it was the best thing he ever did.
Like me, you may have heard many stories about people who have made emotional life changes. Some people make them little by little (like me) and some make a sudden”aboutturn” like the example above.
If you don’t enjoy your work, then you may assistance from some coaching to help you get into a better place. Making changes in your own life can be scary, (already though quite exciting). Sometimes the reality of doing what you think you really love might not truly fit with how you imagine it to be. It might be that only small or incremental adjustments need to be made. You might be in the position of knowing what you would love to do, or you might nevertheless be on a journey of discovery.
If you are in a place where you question whether you are in the right job, pursuing the right career, or doing the right things, then the following tips may help you.
- Some activities are only meant to be hobbies, because they give you variety and change. But if you love your hobby and could see yourself spending the majority of time doing what it is you do, then you might want to analyze if you could earn a living from it.
- You may not need to truly change you job. Sometimes the purpose and meaning of the job you do become obscured by time and complexity. Go back to the beginning to revisit why you chose it.
- If you think you want to make a change, try it on a permanent basis if possible. We all have pipe dreams which are never truly meant to manifest in reality. My pipe dream was to live in Florida. I was fortunate enough to be able to play at living in Florida for a while. With that experience, I realised that because my family live in the UK, the reality would make me miserable. Not work related I know, but you get the picture.
- Don’t make a change where the focus is to escape from a situation. This can work, but it is inherently risky. Problems often simply follow you if they aren’t resolved satisfactorily in the first place. If you don’t have good relationships, or your values are different, or you simply hate what you do: Then yes, these are all good reasons to consider your options. You will maximise your chances of success if you make sure you are heading towards something better, not running away.