Feeling lost and uninspired with your career? Ask yourself the following questions…
We spend a large portion of our days, weeks, and lives at work, to the point where, often, the time we spend on developing our careers and businesses outweighs time with friends and families.
This isn’t necessarily negative; hopefully our work supports us to live with meaning. But, sometimes, we may not feel aligned to our role, or valued by our employer, or feel positively challenged by our job. Perhaps, our values no longer match with the organisation we work for, or the lack of career progression may be holding us back.
As with all areas of life, things can change. Our ambition might outgrow the current role we have at work.
Maybe we are returning from maternity leave with a renewed sense of identity, perhaps we have a new manager who doesn’t support our career ambitions, or we realise that a 50-hour working week isn’t for us anymore. It’s common to have these thoughts, and to feel out of sync with our working life for some time before we review and act towards change. Job security and financial stability can outweigh the possible risks that come with a career move, and we can start to feel ‘stuck’ instead of curious.
But the pandemic has created a shift in workplace culture, and the changes towards flexible working have provided new opportunities, reduced commuting, and minimised office politics for many. As a life and career coach, many of the clients I work with share thoughts on wanting to make a positive impact through their work, wanting to feel more fulfilled, and to have more of a balance between work and home.
As with all big life decisions, it is important to move through the fear that we first notice, and into a place of open-minded possibility. So, ask yourself these five questions that can help you to reconnect with your career path and purpose.
1. Is your work ‘meaningful’ right now?
Having a sense of purpose in our work keeps us motivated and allows us to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves. What do you love most about your role right now? Assess how your company’s values align with your own personal ones. Make a note of when you can influence positive change in your projects. Recall the colleagues that inspire you, who share your vision for a supportive work environment.
2. Is your current role making you feel valued?
Knowing that we are making a difference, and that our time and contributions matter, is how we feel fulfilled. Reflect on recent feedback, and note the contributions you have been thanked for. Assess where and how you enable your team and organisation to achieve objectives – does this make you feel proud? Being appreciated helps our motivation. Who is championing you and sees your potential?
3. What new skills are you learning through work?
Our capacity for learning is endless, and each opportunity for growth taps into our potential. Access to learning and development keeps us engaged and motivated, whether this is through formal learning, observing, or saying ‘yes’ to new experiences. Does your current role allow you to stay curious, and seek out new opportunities for growth?
4. How might you change or improve your working life?
After considering the points above, what do you notice? Reflect on the elements that resonate with you, and identify where there may be a gap you would like to close. There may be a bigger calling, or you may be fully invested in where you are right now – there is no right or wrong answer.
5. What, if anything, is holding you back from making a change?
In some ways, this is the most important question. Often, we can instinctively know that we are ready for change and are curious to see how our future careers could look, but the familiarity of a current role keeps us in our comfort zone.
If a career change, promotion, or retraining ‘feels’ like an exciting change, but overwhelming too (which is completely normal) then consider asking for support. A coach or mentor can really help us to challenge our thinking, and to look for wider opportunities. With this information and support, we can begin to identify the right career development plan – one that is unique to our vision, values, and potential.
Find out more by visiting lifecoach-directory.org.uk or speak to a qualified life coach.