Come back to the first full working week of 2019.
How do you feel?
Excited and full of hope at the prospect of a year full of meaning, impact and fulfilment?
If that’s you, the chances are that you are probably a rising star at work who is intellectually and emotionally engaged in what you do, because it matters to you. In the UK, according to the latest Gallup stats[i], there are only 11% of UK workers who feel like you do. Well done on finding and living your career purpose.
Career purpose is a deeply felt intrinsic motivation which combines your unique and innate talent, fascination and potential and is reflected in the context to which you are drawn to make a difference. You know when you have found it because you work in a state of flow, are focused and achieve by going the extra mile because it matters to you. It makes you feel truly alive doing it.
As Oscar Wilde said: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” If this describes you, keep going with your sense of career purpose in mind and remember to factor in some time and activities for self-care. Those of us who care deeply are liable to experience burnout, so work to establish and maintain a sense of balance from now on.
Feeling anxious and full of despair at the prospect of another groundhog year?
If you are in the remaining 89% of the UK workforce, then it’s much more likely that you felt anxious, sick or even resentful as your heart sank at the prospect of your soul being eroded by living another year of quiet desperation, of rinse and repeat. And of course, burnout is not just the preserve of rising stars.
Here’s a question for you: why do you do what you do now?
Working predominantly wearing golden handcuffs to earn money to pay the bills of a lifestyle you don’t get to enjoy and where the only glimmer of light to escape from your everyday existence is your annual two-week holiday is not the way to happiness and no way to truly live.
If that sounds like your life at the moment, then the chances are that you are either one of the 66% or so of millennials who have chosen the wrong career[ii], you are still trying to establish your career as a young professional or as someone in their fifties, seeking to develop an encore career where you can give back and leave a legacy when you retire.
Whichever is the case, if your job left you feeling empty and demoralised, or made you ill last year and you can feel your stress levels rising already, then maybe it’s time to change company, environment, pivot direction or even change course totally before things get worse.
As someone whose previous career and lifestyle looked fabulous from the outside but felt more and more hollow on the inside as the years passed, I understand what it feels like to be lost, to be in the wrong place doing the wrong thing for all the wrong reasons – because no one showed you how to create a better working life.
Every year for three years on the bounce in my late 30s, I forced myself to keep going for the sake of everyone and everything else and I developed an under-active thyroid in the process as I fought against my natural self.
You can be good at something but that doesn’t mean that it fills you with joy or a strong sense of intrinsic meaning. It took a workshop focusing on values for me to wake up and recognise what was wrong. Only then was I able to start the journey towards creating a significantly better future which fully reflected who I am.
En route, I struggled to find anyone who could help me effectively, so it took time, effort and a lot of searching and reflection before I found the path which led me to building a working life that is both joyful and lights me up. It took time to finally be able to say that “my career purpose is to help others find their career purpose”.
As Rumi says: “As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” So, if your very essence is being crushed and the voice in your head is screaming at you to find a better solution, then why not start working on creating a better life which you don’t need to run away from?
Imagine what it would be like if instead of hating your current working life, you could create a life which reflects who you are, gives you exactly what you need and want, makes use of your innate and unique talents and potential, strengths and skills, engages your passion, means that you matter because of the impact and contribution you make, and enables you to do so by working with like-minded people in a place where you thrive?
Impossible you say? No, it’s not. Not only have I done it for myself, but as my clients’ testimonials on LinkedIn and elsewhere show, I have developed a proven system which I have used systematically with thousands of others to help them do the same – to create an inspiring life and career built on purpose that you don’t ever need to escape from, and which has longevity even if the robots are coming!
All you need to do is back yourself by having the courage to leave another groundhog year behind you for good.
If you choose to, we can work together to help you discover your purpose and start creating a working life you love that reflects who you are and the difference you want to make.
Why not email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can start making a plan so you can enjoy a Happy New Year, this year and every year from now on.
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ABOUT THIS BLOG
Designed for professionals, the Career Alchemy blog mixes news, career trends and philosophy with "how to" advice to help you achieve happiness and success in your working life, no matter how much the world of work is changing.