Let me start by stating the obvious… If you are unhappy in your job, you are not doing anyone a favor—least of all yourself. Regardless of your excuses and whether or not your boss really is a tyrant, or the commute is too long and stressful, or you don’t like the city, your co-workers, or the work itself—everyone around you loses when you spend five days a week doing something you don’t enjoy.
The tension that builds up makes us grumpy. We risk getting sick, our productivity goes down, and our personal lives are affected. Who wants to hang out with a downer? When nothing seems to go right and our frame of mind doesn’t allow us to see how it can get any better, that’s when our unhappiness can trap us in a downward spiral. We hit rock bottom and the emotional pain level becomes intense. And it all started with not enjoying the work we do.
So the question is: If we know we are miserable, then why is it so difficult to break that destructive pattern and find a new career, one that makes us happy, before we risk personal Armageddon?
If you are at the first stages of a downward spiral or you’re already at the bottom, here are a few thoughts that might help find your way out. The first step is always a journey inward. The more you know about yourself, the easier it will be to take that awareness and turn into your next, more fulfilling career.
1.) Write down what makes you happy. A five-year old can blurt out exactly what he wants in three seconds flat. Relearn how to do the same. Make a big list of everything that comes to mind. When you know what makes you happy (even if it you think it sounds ridiculous), you are giving your brain clear signals to recognize when those things come around again.
2.) Know what you are really good at. It’s probably something that comes so easily to you that you can’t believe other people struggle with it. You may even find yourself wondering, “What’s wrong with them?” Here are a few ideas to get you started: communicating, running numbers, building relationships, fixing things, preparing reports, reading manuals, and helping people. As an example, building businesses is easy for me. I can’t imagine how someone else doesn’t clearly see like I do what a business needs to get to that next level. So, I have taken that strength and turned it into a career as a business coach and consultant. It makes me very happy and I am good at it.
3.) Ask your friends and family what they like about you and what they think your skills are. Listen up when sentences starts with, “You are so good at…” You are already perceived to be an authority in however that sentence ends. My friend, Alice, is very spiritual and has a calming effect on me every time we speak. She understands how things connect. Her spirituality is so important to her that she is creating her dream career by training as a spiritual practitioner. Another friend was an unhappy corporate executive until he got very sick and now he is helping others to avoid his mistakes by coaching them to find balance. Both of these people came into their new careers by following their passions and listening to what others told them they were good at.
4.) Dream on and fantasize away. Everything is possible. What would your ideal business look like if you took all those great attributes you just identified and combined them with what makes you happy? Chances are that you have already recognized your dream career but it seemed like a fairytale then. You probably said, “I would love that job,” or, “That person has the best job in the world.” Did you know that 99% of all new businesses aren’t about new ideas, but improving something that already exists? That means your new business can be that fairytale job tailored to your strengths. Think about the “revolutionary” ideas of bottling water, making gourmet coffee, or selling flavored popcorn. Or how about the guy who is delivering razor blades to his subscribers once a month? RAZOR BLADES. Imagine that…
5.) The more outrageous, the better. Change the world, make an impact, or be selfish by wanting to work on the beach in an exotic location.
If you have a fabulous business idea in mind already and you want to get started, please join me at CreativeLive May 15-16-17 where I will share the essential steps to starting your new business. Even if you don’t know quite yet what your business will be, this course will cover all the things you need to consider when you are ready to move forward.
Happiness is a choice, and you can start making these decisions today. And yes, chocolate ice cream is a perfectly acceptable choice.
I want you to get out the job that makes you miserable and create the business that makes you smile inside and out. Remember, if you are going to create, you may as well create it big—it’s the same amount of effort. And most importantly, have fun doing it.