The importance of our professional life is sometimes understated, because our work is about much more than money and paying the bills and involves a sense of belonging, self-worth and purpose in life, and most importantly a sense of day to day wellbeing.
Based on my work experience, it appears that many people arrive at a junction in life when they are questioning if they are in the right career or if they really enjoy that particular job/role within that career.
These are times of inquiry, high distress and low performance and productivity (I personally dislike these terms, but simply I don’t know how else to put it). Having a bit of support from a mentor or coach, or even better a therapist can make a lot of difference.
It’s the difference between feeling lost in a career or job that makes you feel horrible every Sunday night and Monday morning (and very often even throughout the week) and the short transition period needed to evaluate your circumstances, wants and possibilities and shift your actions towards a more enjoyable and satisfying job within weeks or the latest months from today.
Working with people across cultures highlighted a number of common themes that run through our minds when we find ourselves in a job/situation we hate. I am very happy to share these teachings with you now to help you reflect on your work/life circumstances and make your professional (personal/social) life more fulfilling and rewarding.
We are programmed by our parents/caregivers in our first years of life and sometimes we are made to believe that we belong to a certain “league”, including not only our social class, but also our abilities, skills and possibilities in life.
This is what’s keeping very gifted people in occupations and roles that use none of the special talents they have. Well, a few in the artistic world might get discovered by entertaining shows like XFactor, BGT and so on, but in other professions there is really no other platform to go for an audition or a test and receive the appreciation and recognition you deserve.
I have met in my life very gifted people stuck in jobs they deeply hated, afraid to make the jump to the work that fueled their passion for life and they all without exception lacked self-confidence.
In our work together we found that the roots of those inner feelings were in all cases related to a set of experiences that have marked their childhood and, by reaching the awareness and working through the emotions associated with those painful events, they managed to accept the past, learn from them, integrate them into their lives, forgive those that put them down and heal their inner hurt.
In the event you find yourself in this category I will tell you that your confidence is a resource you hide within yourself. You can without doubt be the next person that goes through this journey of self-discovery and activate that inner resource of confidence, make the decisions required and change your work/life arrangements to completely transform your life.
Some people believe they are not worthy in this world and that they do not deserve good jobs and good lives. They tend to position themselves in a specific crowd and most times remain stuck in there for a long part of their lives.
I am aware that some of you might have aversion against the importance of childhood in our development, but I have to say that based on my life and work experience the sense of self-worth is also established in the childhood and gets renegotiated continuously throughout life.
In here, I met a variety of situations, from people that put a low value on their worth because of early life events and manage throughout life to improve that with the help of mentoring, coaching or therapy, to people that have developed a reasonable sense of self-worth early in life, but due to specific adversities of life have changed their inner feelings and have stopped valuing themselves.
The work with these people was similar, as both cases required a thorough introspection and a review of their core beliefs in life, together with a journey of self-discovery, reconnection with the real self, healing and personal development.
I have not met a person to go through this process and not learn about themselves, others and the world and not understand the consequences of their unique experiences and their impact on their lives.
They all came out full of insight and gratitude from these sessions and finding who they really were and who they wanted to become has helped them transform their lives at a deep level.
If you find yourself in this situation, I can only tell you that the way forward for you is only upwards. There is no way you can go any lower. Just have a look within yourself and see all those amazing resources that lay in you and are waiting to be put at use. You only need one second to change your life and that’s the second when you make the decision to change.
Skills & Abilities
Some people get education, possibly a qualification and think that is good enough. They do not keep up the pace with our fast-changing world and find a level of comfort in a position or a life situation and carry on functioning like that by default.
These are the people that struggle the most when they reach the awakening moment, which most times comes in after a massive hit such as unexpected dismissal, redundancy or bereavement, divorce, betrayal, terminal illness, etc.
With them the work involved going through the loses they accumulated whilst living with little contact with what was really happening in the world. Very often, these people have had to reskill and invest significant resources in time, money and energy to catch up with their trade, but also to cope with the lack of self-esteem, self-confidence and low sense of self-worth that followed their experiences.
Do you find yourself in this category? Do not despair. It is very possible to walk that journey and completely change your work life, either in the same trade or in a different field, more aligned to who you are today.
A quite common occurrence is to follow other people’s dreams, be it parents or peers around us.
These people usually find themselves in jobs and professions that were fashionable at the time when they qualified, but they find no pleasure in doing it whatsoever.
In all fairness, it does take some time for all of us to figure out what is the right occupation or even role within that profession that suits us and it is not rare when our needs, wants and options are changing throughout life and we end up embracing a complete change of career/situation.
The work with these clients was generally easier as the process of change happened much quicker. Once they identify whose dreams they have followed in the past they returned to their own aspirations and started to rebuild their life from there upwards.
Are you finding yourself in this scenario? Don’t worry, even the fact that you are aware of this situation has made half of your work towards transformation and a happy and satisfying life. The rest is done in partnership with a good mentor, coach or therapist that can take you through the steps of change you need in life right now.
At times, we tend to get stuck in painful work dynamics and we do not know how to deal with them.
People in here are either in the right profession but the wrong job/setting or lack the confidence and self-worth to approach something more suitable.
Sometimes, the clients have all of these complications, plus the comfort of a stable role in which they are also quite underskilled.
The work here is complex and requires a bit more time, to create a boost in their confidence and sense of value in the world, then look into upskilling. It is important also to address the unhealthy patterns of behaviours towards work/team and then learn new healthy and viable ways of managing conflicts and relating to others in a more positive way.
At the end of this process, clients feel more confident, more grounded within themselves and see their future with more clarity and direction. They also heal and grow on a personal level and move past the conflicts in the the work place that kept them glued to an unhappy and miserable situations, living for the weekend and waiting for holidays.
Do you find yourself in this group? You have a bit of work to do, but honestly, it’s the only way out of that job/situation that you hate and the only alternative to feeling all your life the way you are feeling right now. So trust yourself and do it, because you are worthy.
To talk to me about a difficult work situation, email me in strict confidence at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or book an initial phone chat: