You Could Be In The Wrong Career and Not Even Know It
The Alarming Facts About Jobs
The average American changes jobs 10 – 15 times. At least that’s according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A 2008 article in Time Magazine listed some top job change reasons as:
2. New Challenges or Opportunities
3. Ineffective Leadership
4. Poor relationship with manager
5. To improve work life balance
It’s simple to rationalize any one of them as valid reasons to jump. In fact, any one of them, or any combination might be completely true. But, is it the REAL reason?
Think about these statitistics for a moment. It seems that even if you leave your job for one of these reasons; you’re likely going to do it again within a few years. Which means these same issues will likely show up in the next job too.
So, what’s missing, what’s behind the job changing?
Indulge me for a moment; imagine waking up with a lack physical energy. Your logical and rational brain would begin to assign reasons for the lack of energy.
You’d consider that you’re not getting enough sleep (none of us are). You’d remind yourself that you’re dealing with excess stress (even the drive to work was crazy today). And, of course, there’s the fact that you haven’t gotten to the gym in weeks (okay months, but whose counting?). All may be true.
But, if this lack of energy persists, you’d see a physician and uncover possible problems. You’d want to make sure there’s no underlying condition. And, you’re family would likely insist.
A lack of energy, for any reason, has an impact on your life. You can’t enjoy daily activities if you’re tired. You feel like you’re living in a daze.
Our Career (or Job) is No Different
If we won’t tolerate a physical impairment, why would we tolerate continual job changes? After all, each job change impacts our life, right? It impacts commute, salary, family, even our social circles. Yet, we continue to do it over and over without digging deeper into why.
Before you accept that next shiny new position, I invite you to dig deeper. I invite you to seek clarity, and ask yourself these questions:
1. Does my current career have a purpose outside of paying bills?
Can you remember the last time you actually thought about purpose? Too often our lives move so fast that we live in survival mode. Purpose can feel like a mystical force that’s out of reach.
But, a lack of purpose can cause your spirit to call out to you. It can show up as a feeling of discontent that you can’t put your finger on. It can cause you to land on any excuse to change jobs. Instead, dig a little deeper and consider if it might be purpose that’s missing.
2. Have I evolved as a human since choosing this career?
We often choose our career in our 20s. It’s no wonder that by the time we’re in our 40s we notice a disconnect between who we are and what we do. We grow…and that’s a good thing.
Think about how you’ve changed as a person between then and now. Is your current career still relevant to the you that you are today? It’s possible that it’s not. The person who chose this career no longer exists. This you, the one in your 40s, has a new vision.
3. What are my values, and does this career honor them?
Core values can feel as mystical as purpose. It’s something we factor in when making a moral decision. But, often, we don’t take the time to consider them when making a career decision. If there’s no alignment between your core values and your career, you won’t be content.
4. How do I want to show up in the next decade of my life?
When you were in your 20s you created a vision of yourself as an adult. Now that your an adult, create a vision of who you want to be in the next decade or two. What do you want your life to look like as you finish your 40s and work through your 50s? You have a lot of years left to work, you get to decide.
Changing jobs 10 – 15 times may be average; but imagine how much better it would be if you find the career that fits you. Imagine finding fulfillment and purpose. Imagine not needing to look for a new “job” — because you know you’re where you belong.
You may need to see a doctor to uncover the root physical anomalies. But self-assessment and reflection can help you discover what’s behind an unsettled feeling in your career. Career fulfillment does exist; and YOU deserve to find it.