If you think you’re lost and often wonder what you want to do in life, give yourself some credit and know that you’re not alone.
If you ask a few thousand people if they enjoy their work, only a handful will answer “yes” to that question.
Even when life has a lot of ups and downs, and even when you, and most of humanity, must exchange time for money in order to pay bills and keep food on the table, here are a few tips that may help you figure out what you may want to do with the rest of your existence so that you can find fulfillment in your life.
Job dilemma? Ask yourself these questions
1. Acknowledge that something is off.
What is off?
- Is it the type of work that you currently do?
- Is it the organization you work for?
- Is it your financial situation?
It is important to be clear with yourself. If at first glance your thought process goes to how miserable you are at work, then the quality of your work is most likely the problem.
2. Ask yourself questions such as “who or what is the problem here?”
Examine yourself, your co-workers, and your organization. Can you identify an exact issue? It could be multiple people or just one person (you) not fitting in the organization.
If you feel that you’re having a problems fitting in, you may experience some physiological symptoms such as headaches, high blood pressure, panic attacks, and ulcers. Having symptoms of discomfort could signal the need for change.
If you do experience any of the above symptoms, start executing plan B.
3. Plan B. Ask yourself a question related to your own existence. who am I and what are my values?
Write down everything that you care about. Do you care about people? Do you value your freedom above everything else? Do you want to change the world? Are you an animal lover? Do you like working with numbers?
Dig in deep into your early work days when you felt you were happy and accomplished. What were you doing then? Were you working a different type of job?
Analyze these experiences and establish your real strengths and weaknesses.
Once you have your strengths on a piece of paper you will understand what you’re really good at doing. This is where you shine the most. Completing this exercise will narrow down the types of jobs that may be more suitable for you over the type of job you may be doing right now.
4. Start changing your actions.
If you don’t like the work you’re in then start getting involved in projects that you care about or feel can satisfy you. This can involve attending networking meetings, starting a new hobby, learning new skills, or simply applying to jobs that you are interested in.
5. Start changing your attitude.
You don’t have to resent the world if your life is not going well.
Your attitude has a lot to do with your happiness. You can come to work with a positive attitude even if you don’t enjoy the job you are hired for right now.
Live and work at your current job moment by moment, task by task until something changes.
Always provide a value to your employer and don’t burn any bridges.
6. Get help from someone you trust.
Get help and encouragement from a trusted person if you need it. This person can be a family member, a co-worker or a friend. They must be willing to give you a positive perspective on life. They might be able to advise you of other career options that may be better suited for you.
It is important to pick someone who is fulfilled and happy with what life has given them. You don’t want someone who has lost their objectivity. You also certainly don’t want someone who is grumpy and who only adds to your unhappiness.
Get together with this support person frequently and follow through on tasks.
7. Narrow down what needs to be done to get from point A to point B.
Survey the jobs that you can do and the marketplaces that best fit your personality. Working as an aggressive sales person may not fit the personality of a Zen person who does not like confrontation. So, pick wisely.
Start thinking of how you can benefit another organization with your assets. You may find your future in your present company but maybe in a different position. You may even find happiness in a totally different profession.
8. Do not put all the weight on monetary gains.
A job that doesn’t use your talents but pays well may not be the best suited job for you. It could leave you miserable and unfulfilled.
Do not put too much weight on jobs that are dead but provide “more money”. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to pay your bills, but you don’t need to JUST be making money. You want to be making a life for yourself.
9. Brush up on your people skills.
Branching out to different levels of the organizations or different jobs may required dealing with different types of people. Brush up on your people and communication skills.
The resume is nothing but a piece of paper that may or may not get you in the company door, but once you are in the door for an interview the people doing the interviewing will either like you or not like you.
It’s not always all about skills but mostly about whether the job you’re going for is a good fit for you and if you are a good fit for the organization.
10. Ask yourself this question next: Where do I go from here and how do I live the rest of my life?
This is the hardest question of all because there are many other life pressures that may simply guide you one way or another.
You have to work to make ends meet to put food on the table, but that doesn’t mean that you have to accept everything that comes your way without attempting to make changes.
The only two things you can change in life are your attitude and your actions. Other than that, you have very little control.
If your job is just a means to bring you money so that you can work at doing something else, i.e. start a small business, then you may not need a drastic change in your job. You may simply need to keep the status quo so that you can concentrate on the other endeavor.
Get excited about change. Change is the only constant thing in life and if you accept that, then you are ahead of the game.