You go to work everyday, you do it well, you are stable. But you’re not enjoying your job. What are you missing? How do you find what you enjoy?
I have always been told that I am very good at a lot of different things, but I still have not found a job that I truly enjoy.
What am I missing here?
~ Multi-faceted Molly in Manhattan
Caitlin, today’s Dear Ellie columnist, has all kinds of clarity for us:
Great question! What do we do when we’re amassing talents, skills, qualities, and resume points? Where does it all lead? What do we want to be when we grow up, right? How do we spend out time circling the sun?
My first thought is to ask you what you mean by “truly enjoy”. What does that mean to you? Is it a job or career where you have all the freedom, you have all the connections and community, or does it mean that you feel satisfied each and every day?
There is a trap here. You may see others with an “ideal role” and think “see, that one, I want to be like that one”, and then find a way to emulate their path. They are on their path and you are on your own. We all have a unique drive within us to identify which blossoms into enjoying the full journey.
I think that you may be “missing” is to sit down with a big ‘ol whiteboard or a notebook and define what you want. Easy enough, right? “I want to truly enjoy my work”. That’s broad, so what does that actually mean to you? What does it look like, feel like, sound like, act like, etc. The first few ideas will be hard to get down, then the floodgates will open, so the final version can come back to 4-5 simple bullet points. Those bullet points start to paint a picture in your mind. Once that picture is in your mind, concentrate on making the d*mn thing happen. Your mind will take it on as instruction then your drive is to match the picture to the reality.
Take it a step further, back-out from your ideal future job/role/self and identify the steps towards that goal…the attainable movements. You may realize that, gosh, I don’t really see my role here in X-town, perhaps I need to move to a new opportunity. Or, I’m meant to be owning my own business, or you really like big organizations, or a mission to serve is the drive. Money follows passion because money follows energy. If you are in a high state of passion and energy, the money will round it out.
Another trap. “It should be easy and always enjoyable”. I will tell you from experience, when I’ve hit my highest points of success, it was a tough climb but worth every single step. The effort I put in felt good when the results came to a reality cause I did the d*mn thing. The journey is important, and you should define how you want that journey to look, feel, and sound like. Read that last sentence again.
Let me also put in here something that has come up for me, and that’s that in the earlier part of my career I sort of fell into various roles here and there. They were on track with my education, and then were in the right field, but shooot I needed a job and that’s the one that stuck. Is this true for you? You’ll find that point where you have to throw a big goal way out in front and be drawn each day towards that vision. You’ll begin enjoying the roles you have between now and that future…and it can happen quickly.
Be awestruck by the future you. Who are you 10 years down the line? Be impressed and want to emulate that fantastic lady. You’re on your way to greatness with all you’ve attained along the way.
Wishing you great success!
Hugs + Lashes,
Ellie + Caitlin