According to a 2013 Gallup report, 70% of people hate their job or are disengaged, and perks don’t help. I experienced this first hand earlier in my career, and here are four key lessons I learned.
Lesson 1: Know and Keep Your Values
I had a great job that I loved and was on my way up the corporate ladder. I was well respected, and my opinions mattered. Promotion after promotion was happening. I was able to get the things I wanted. I was finally saving money and my dreams were being fulfilled. Or, were they?
The work environment, values, and people I reported to started to change, and worst of all, they wanted my values to change. They did not come out and say this, but the things I was being asked to do went against everything I believed as far as how to treat and manage people.
Lesson 2: Your Identity is More Than Your Job
I was working late, going home to eat and getting right back on the computer to work to meet unrealistic deadlines, working well after midnight. My life had turned into nothing but work. Maybe it would have been different if I loved it, but the fact of the matter was that the dream job I once loved turned into a job I hated. I dreaded going in every day, and I began to want “out!”
Many times I thought about quitting and finding another job but had not pursued that actively. I still had some hope that things would change and get better. I kept thinking maybe I needed to ride it out a little longer. I could not believe the job I once loved and sacrificed other areas of my life had turned out to be this horrible mess.
But, then it happened… The moment, I knew it was over. It was the day I found myself at my secretary’s desk with tears streaming down my face trying to work on a deadline. Until then I had I not revealed how miserable I was. On this day, no matter how hard I tried, I could not keep the tears back.
Why had I let it get this far? Why did I lose my self-respect? Why was I waiting to get out? I was never a quitter, but this was ridiculous to continue to put myself through.
Lesson 3: It’s Not About the Money. Do What You Love
I finally made the decision to move on and started looking for another job. A job offer came along that sounded terrific. It was exactly the type of work I wanted. There was only one drawback; the pay would be significantly less.
It begged the question, what do I do? I needed to get out of the current situation, but I had worked hard to get where I was financially. However, could I stand another day at my current job? The answer was a clear “NO”. The money was not worth my happiness. I decided I was going to accept the new job and put in my two weeks’ notice. Finally, freedom!
Lesson 4: Be Willing to Make Changes
Are you in a situation where you are unhappy? Are you doing something because you feel obligated to do it? Are you doing something out of pure habit and familiarity?
If that is you, then I have one word for you. The word no one wants to hear and makes people tremble in fear. It is the word, “CHANGE”. Yes, that simple word, “CHANGE”.
Make the decision to change what is no longer fulfilling. Only you have the power to make that decision.
If you want different results, then do something different. I wanted something different and had to make a decision. I had to follow “CHANGE”.
Remember, the decisions you make about your job, surroundings, relationships, and your values will impact whether you will be happy and love what you are doing or whether you will be unfulfilled and regret your life.
If you follow the four lessons I learned, you will be able to overcome and prevent burnout, stress, and have proper life and work balance to live a happier, more fulfilling life.
Your “Pressing Forward” Moment: Where do you need to see different results in your life? Are you going to settle and do nothing because it is easy and comfortable thing to do or will you go with “change” and live the life you were meant to?