Do you dread waking up every morning, go to work, do the same things over and over again just to come back home, eat, watch tv and go to sleep until the next morning to start all over again?
I know exactly how you feel. I was doing this for almost 15 years, so trust me when I say I know, I know 🙂
During my career change journey I’ve heard many people saying “I admire you for your courage”, “I wish I could do the same”, “I wish I didn’t have to do the same shitty job I do” and the best one…”You are so lucky!” amongst many more…
A few years back I decided I wanted to change this, I wanted more from my life. Much more! But I was stuck. There was no way I could leave my job, I had too many obligations, even finding a new job wasn’t really an option for me. As eventually I would end up doing the same things again just in a different office. Even though my job was really creative, I was working as an Art Director for marketing agencies, I still felt that my job was very repetitive and boring. I was working for big corporates so the money was really good but that was keeping me imprisoned. I couldn’t see beyond that…
The Yellow Wall
One day I was a speaker in a creative workshop. The room was full of graphic designers and creatives who were all feeling very deflated. The problem was always the same. The ‘fight’ between the clients and them. The client wants one thing, the creatives want to do their “creative” thing.
So I gave them this example: Think you are an Interior Designer and a client has hired you to paint a bright yellow wall in their living room. It’s their house, it’s what they want and they are paying you good money for this.
The problem is, you hate yellow! What do you do?
Some answered that they would try and make their client change their mind, show them other options, show them how much better it would look if it was a different colour, and try their best to persuade them to choose something else.
So I shouted: “But the client wants YELLOW!”
Almost everyone agreed that eventually they would paint it feeling deflated and uninspired and would probably sulk the rest of the day about it, as they couldn’t stand yellow.
My answer to all this was.” It’s your job to take the clients brief, and do the best job you can with what they want. If they want yellow, you need to paint the BEST F***ing YELLOW WALL you have ever painted in your life and be proud of it. It’s their money, their home, their dream and you are just there to execute it in the best possible way you can with your expertise.”
My point with all this, is that your job can be just a job, not who you are, but what you do. Many times, we are stuck in a job that we don’t like, but we are there for our own reasons and we can’t just leave. Sometimes we simply have too many responsibilities to quit and do something else. Other times we just don’t know what else to do. And it’s as simple as that.
Not knowing what you want is quite common. Especially if you have a very demanding life, who has time to think of ideas, right!?
A job can be, just a job!
My advice, if you can’t change it, leave your work alone for now and maybe start thinking your exit plan. It is what it is and try to do the best you can.
What you do, doesn’t always mean that is who you are!
Instead, focus on the rest of your life and how you can make it more enjoyable.
I went through this phase for many years, until I decided I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life like this. When I say I decided, I really had no clue what I wanted to do. I just knew that continuing this lifestyle wasn’t for me. I went back and forth for years knowing that I love home interiors and organising, ‘Pinterest browsing Queen’ here, but it was just an idea and frankly I didn’t know what to do with it. How could I make a living? I had an established career as an Art Director could I even bother?
Then I decided to study while having a full time job, just as a hobby. It wasn’t easy and I still didn’t know what I was going to do after studying. I was studying in my long commuting hours and over the weekends. But that different focus brought so much joy into my life and into my actual 9 to 5 work. I was so energised by my new hobby and that was giving me a great boost in my
work-life. I wasn’t dragging my feet anymore, in fact I was exploring new ideas and techniques sparked from all my new learnings. My job was just a job, I was doing the best I could, but it wasn’t depressing me anymore as it wasn’t my main focus.
So my ‘problem’ wasn’t my work, but what I was doing with the rest of my life.
Whilst I was studying, I started my blog, and one thing lead to the other and here I am. A few years later I have quit my full time job to pursue my dream, I’m a blogger, I have set up my own business, and I just love and find joy in everything I do. But all that wouldn’t happen if I haven’t take the first step and think “What do I want to do with my life, not my job, but with my life?”
Does all this sounds familiar?
Here is some ideas to get you out of your job funk:
- Visualise your ideal life scenario. Where would you like to live, how would you like to work, what would you like to do in your free time. Write them down.
- What could be the possible actions you need to take to get there? Write them down.
- Think about all the things and hobbies that you love or enjoy doing, write them all down. I would advise if there is more than one, pick the one you love the most, e.g. yoga.
- Then, see if you can learn more about the subject, e.g. take some yoga teaching lessons.
- Start a social media channel specifically for your ‘hobby’. This can be such a creative and fulfilling process as you will start interacting with like minded people, e.g. start on Instagram ‘a day in my yoga life’; or ‘things I’ve learned while practising yoga’; or ‘my yoga journey in poses’.
- Maybe start a blog about this topic. Blogging is a great creative outlet and it’s up to you how ‘public’ you want to go.
- Find meetups or groups with the same interests as yours and start meeting with real people
The possibilities are endless! So what do you think, ready to give it a go?
I can’t promise that you will end up having a career change, but what I can promise is that the boost of energy you will get from your new focus and activity, will bring great new changes in your life.
The question is, are you ready for it?
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