Why Your Career Isn't Fulfilling and How to Fix it
Over the last few weeks, I've been doing a lot of market research for a new program I'm so excited to launch at the end of this month. More to come on that in a separate announcement but sneak peek behind the curtain, it's a 2.0 version of a program I'm already offering. I can't wait to tell you about that... but later ;)
In this post, what I really want to do is talk with you about a topic that is like a plague for so many wonderful, caring rockstars out there... one that often bring people to tears when they discuss it with me...
Let me back up and give you some context first.
My market research has taken the form of speaking with professionals who are severely frustrated with their career at the moment. They feel there is a much bigger impact they could be making, and a higher income they could be earning, but for a variety of reasons, they're not able to achieve that in their current role. They are worried about the future because they know that their current situation is not sustainable, and they fear they can't live like this much longer and they want change immediately.
One of the biggest challenges common among them is that they are not fulfilled in their careers, and they haven't been for a very long time. So, at this point, they're just burnt to a crisp... like over-done toast. They're tired all the time, they aren't sleeping well, they don't even have the energy to hang out with their friends because they need the time to veg in silence just to keep hanging on by the thin thread they're desperately trying to hang on to.
Their families see it, their friends see it, they see it themselves.
But they don't know how or when it got to this point, or what to do about it.
It's such a common theme that I decided to write this impromptu blog post to talk about this today in case you're reading this and your heart is screaming, "YEP! THAT'S ME, TOO!"
Well, let's talk about some of the different scenarios that lead up to such a severe sense of career dissatisfaction...
Sometimes, people fell into a job because it was there and available to them at a time when they needed one a long, long time ago. And ever since then, they've taken steps down that path to create a career for themselves and have continued to progress in that career until they finally reached a point where they're so dissatisfied, tired, and frustrated all the time that their mind switched out of auto-pilot and into a state of awareness about the negative impacts their career is having on their life. So now, they feel stuck and don't know what to do.
For some people, they chose a career early in their life thinking it would yield a high salary one day. Doing all the things to try and show their value, they're overlooked for promotions and aren't advancing in their career they way they feel they should. And now that years have passed, they come to find out that despite their work ethic, intelligence, and experience, they just don't care for this type of work but they feel stuck because they believe they don't have the skills to operate in any other career path. Again, they feel stuck.
For others, it's that they've worked in their career track (or with one particular employer) for so long that they can't fathom what other choice they have than to continue in the same grueling Groundhog's Day, paralyzed by the uncertainty of whether making a move is the best idea, and hoping to hang on until retirement. Meanwhile, their health is suffering in various ways and they get zero enjoyment from the time they spend away from work. Yet everyday, their level of frustration is growing because they have someone micro-managing them, throwing micro-aggressions at them, and it's getting increasingly difficult to keep their emotions in check. They feel trapped in a puzzle box that doesn't seem to have a way out.
Yet for others, they've decided they want to stop being an employee and open their own business. Desperate to get out, they pick a business idea that sounds good in the moment, and then work themselves into the ground trying to earn an income from it. And although their wheels are spinning, they're quickly digging deeper and deeper into the mud, and they feel anxious, uncertain, and terrified they've made the wrong decision.
Then there are those who are in the right career, but now there's been a big change in their employment status--like a layoff or something of the sort--and now they're asking themselves what they want to do with their career now that they are at an advanced level but not sure if they want to trade work-life balance and regain all of that responsibility for a paycheck. They feel unclear about next steps and unable to make a decision that feels right to them.
In my conversations, I've heard stories that are multiple variations of these. Each with their own set of emotions, fears, and debilitating effects on their confidence.
Now, I don't know about you, but I resonate with many of these scenarios deep down in my bones. To say the least, it's not a comfortable feeling, which perhaps is the understatement of the century.
It breaks my heart that there are countless people out there working so hard to digest the buffet of anger and frustration sandwiches they're eating every single day. I get it. I was there, too, once upon a time.
So, if this also resonates with you, let's talk about the fundamental reason why you may be unfulfilled in your career...
It happens because your career path (or current job, or employer) is not aligned with your values, your passions, or your career calling. Maybe it was at some point, but now you've reached a different stage in your life where different things are important to you. Or maybe it's that the career path was never aligned with who you really are deep down inside and it just took 10+ years for you to realize it. If you're in the latter group, there's no judgement coming from me or anyone about that. In fact, this happens to many, many of us. I say "us" because it was true for me, too. And now, I have daily conversations with people who also feel this same way.
But the question I ask them is: How would you have known any better years ago?
We've come such a long way with career assessments, personality and behavioral assessments, career counseling, life coaches, etc. that many of these resources weren't available to many of us years ago when we first embarked on our career journeys.
The good news is that it's the year 2023 and we do have these resources at our disposal today.
So now, the question becomes, "How do I fix it?"
The answer is: with self awareness and self trust.
First, you have to know yourself...who you are as a human being on this planet. No, I'm not being fru-fru about this, I'm talking about taking a deep and honest look at your values, your passions, your purpose, your behavioral style, your career calling, your likes/dislikes, and where you want to take your life as a whole. Not just your career, but your life.
What kind of life do you want to live? What is it that you're trying to create for yourself and your family? And no, "I want to travel, be able to buy whatever I want whenever I want, and feel happy in my job" isn't going to cut it. Those are great, but that isn't specific enough because you're still left wondering, "Okay, but now what?"
I mean, asking yourself questions like:
How exactly do you envision the best version of your life 10 years from now? What are you doing every day? How are you taking care of your physical and emotional health? How are you spending your free time? What kind of things do you strive to accomplish that makes you feel good about yourself? What do you want to be known for? How do you want people to think about you when you're not around? What do you really care about? What are you doing when you lose track of time? How do you best help the people around you?
Those are just some of the many questions where, if you knew the answer to them, you can start to address the series of question marks floating around your head about what kind of career path feels aligned to your soul.
Second, and I'll end with this because this post has already gone on longer than I intended, is to trust yourself.
What do I mean by that? I mean, trust that you have everything you need already inside of you to find the answer that is true for you. Trust yourself to go through an intentional process of really figuring this stuff out for yourself once and for all.
Now, I know that can feel really difficult right now, especially if you're down on yourself because of the situation you're in and how you might be feeling.
But my friends, there is nothing wrong with your judgement. If you're reading this, I'm talking to you... You didn't make a series of "bad decisions" to get here. You are good enough, and you're right, you do deserve more.
This just happened because you made the best decisions you could with the information you had available to you at the time.
Hear my voice in your head when you read this next line...listen to an episode of my podcast if you want to know what my voice sounds like... just make sure this next part really sinks in...
Do not beat yourself up over this.
Okay? You might feel stuck, paralyzed, angry, anxious, trapped, frustrated, all the things right now... But you know what?
There is a way out.
A satisfying and fulfilling career is out there for you... You just have to find it.
You might be saying to yourself, "yea, but I don't know how."
You do know how.
If you're reading this blog post, you're most likely on my mailing list because either you've had a free consultation with me in the past, or something drew you to my website at some point and you signed up to receive emails from me.
If that's true, then you probably know by now that my calling is to help people like you find clarity on their career path so they can find work that aligns with their calling, make the necessary changes, and start feeling a deep sense of work-life fulfillment. As a result, their confidence and overall life experience dramatically improve.
I have a program that has helped people in your situation with 100% effectiveness. Every single person who has gone through the program has found what they feel they are meant to be doing at this stage in their life. A career path that gives them energy and satisfaction.
Then those positive feelings spill over into the rest of their life and they finally start living their life outloud again.
You can be one of those people, too. All you have to do is reach out to me. We'll schedule a call and talk about how to get you on the professional path you were born to walk. One where you feel confident about your future, knowing with full clarity not only how to make an impact that is meaningful to you, but also how to start aligning your current circumstances to the life you truly want to be living.
Book your free consultation and let's discuss. If not now, then when? How much longer are you willing to put up with the discomfort? Only you know the answer to that question. So, when you're ready, I'll be here with an ear ready to listen, and a process to change this situation for the better.
It's time to carpe that diem, my friend.
Grisel Scarantino, MA, ODPC is a Career Success Coach, helping seasoned professionals grow their career success, satisfaction, and work-life fulfillment. She’s a award-winning coach, consultant, speaker, best-selling author, home chef, enjoyer of life, Bigfoot enthusiast, and lover of funny dog videos. If you want to fall back in love with your career path, grow your success, and better enjoy the life that you're working so hard to support, schedule a complimentary call with Grisel today.