Have you ever experienced a case of the ‘Sunday Scaries’? Perhaps your Sunday starts out slowly, with a cup of coffee and intentions of relaxation, but as the day progresses and you think about the work week ahead, anxiety and nerves begin to set-in. If the thought of your work induces anxiety and stress instead of interest, motivation, and inspiration, perhaps it is time to explore other career paths. Of course, not every day at work will always be smooth sailing, but if the general sense you have everyday going into the office is one of dread, it may be time to take a hard look at what really inspires you and consider a change.
While the saying, “Do work that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” may seem cliché, it has some truth behind it. On average, you will spend 1/3 of your life at work. That figure alone, is a strong argument to find work that is engaging and fulfilling; work that keeps you from checking the clock every 10 minutes, counting down the seconds until it’s time to clock out at 5pm. While making a job change can be intimidating and somewhat overwhelming, there are some key areas to consider while you get started on your new path.
Take inventory of your interests and passions
Finding a job that inspires you starts with having roots in something that you are passionate about. Make a list of all past and present hobbies, activities you have participated in, whether you made money doing it or not; i.e. volunteering, art classes, reading groups, sports teams etc. You may start to see patterns emerge that may point you to a different industry or role.
Understand what makes you tick
Personality assessments are great tools in helping you understand fit factors better. Aspects such as personal strengths and weaknesses, whether you prefer a quiet workplace or a social one, whether you enjoy working heavily on a team or on your own are all examples of factors that contribute to job fit. Knowing these details will help you narrow down the type of role you are interested in; one that will cater more to your strengths and values.
What are your X factors?
Chances are that there were a variety of factors at play in your current or most recent job that contributed to your being unhappy or it not the right long-term fit. Factors such as management style, company culture, commute, pay, performance metrics and growth opportunity are important to consider while looking at new opportunities. Each person may be vary widely within these variables, so take the time to pencil out what is on your wishlist moving forward. Maybe living closer to work and having a flexible schedule is more important than a high salary, for example. Understanding your unique priorities will help you to narrow down your new path.
The hope is to move in a direction that will be inspiring, where you will never have to watch the clock, count down the minutes until 5pm, or be anxious on a Sunday afternoon. Instead, your work should compliment your passions, priorities, and strengths, setting you up for long-term success and happiness. Making a career or job change is never easy, but with thoughtful reflection and consideration, you can move your career in an exciting new direction.