We all know people, and sometimes the person may even be ourselves, that rather be right than happy. Life is fluid so adjustments sometimes need to be made to get us where we want to go. This applies to our goals and benchmarks as well.
Think about it, what you wanted at age 10 probably changed by age 20, 30 etc. It is the natural pattern of life. We grow and change as our we live through new experiences. Life is full of change so it stands to reason that we change right along with it. Sometimes a sticking point to this natural path in life comes in relation to our careers. For a myriad of reasons we may be on a path and feel we must stay on that path regardless of the level of happiness it brings. If you find yourself in this dynamic I have two recommendations you may want to consider. One, adjust your path while staying in your current career. Or two, adjust while easing out, or flat-out leaving your career.
Just like many things, one career may not suit you your entire life. If you started at the company when you were 24 at 44 both you and the company are most likely entirely different animals. The good news is that is great because it means you are growing! But to both grow and remain happy in your position you must make sure you are checking in with yourself and gauge your authenticity on a regular basis. Failure to do so can lead you to a place where nothing but unhappiness or lack of fulfillment exist.
More good news, it is easy to grow and either stay where you are career wise or jump into a new career. Start with some easy basic writing exercises.
1) Write about your current position. Then write about your dream job. Can you get to the dream from where you are? Perhaps it just involves a little tweaking or creative discussions with management. Maybe it involves a shift in the company or requesting additional or alternative tasks that feed you and your growth. If you can’t see a line from where you are to where you want to grow, perhaps you need to start considering alternative employers or self employment.
2) Write your current values down. Are these values the same for the most part as your employers? If so great, there is room to maneuver. If not you may need to do a serious self integrity check. Do you really want to support an environment you do not believe in? Worse yet, do you want to lower your integrity and the quality of your output due to such a conflict?
3) What is important to you? Write down what the deal breakers for you in life are. What are the values, circumstances, financial elements, geography, etc. that you are not willing to negotiate on? Where do you draw your line in the sand? Once you define what you are willing and not willing to be flexible on you will discover you have more options than you may have originally thought. Knowing what is non-negotiable to you will help you identify all the opportunities that are out there.
Starting with any or all of the above three steps will get your creative juices flowing. A much better scenario than just sitting around and stewing. Go get ’em!