I was recently asked, what’s your best advice to women as it relates to their budding careers? My answer: Do what makes you happy and follow your intuition. Call it your gut or that strong feeling that nothing can explain it away. You and only you know what that looks like, smells like, tastes like, feels like, and sounds like. Yes, you know, intuitively. Sure, you may have a mentor or cheerleaders who encourage you, but if their inspiration doesn’t resonate with you, you’re simply wasting time. And, time is ever so fleeting!
How many hours are you working? Did you include your commute time and homework? Get serious, how many hours a week of your life are dedicated to your career? Okay, so if you’re not happy at work, it’s a simple deduction; you’re not a happy person. Ouch! I know, but really, do you really want to wait for the weekend to enjoy your life? What about all of those other hours when you’re living your life [at work]? Shouldn’t you have happiness and joy then too? Yes, you should!
You have to choose your happiness in your career. It’s not going to change without you making that conscious decision that move, that choice. Sure, it may feel scary, but isn’t it more frightening to stay stuck and unhappy? You are ‘there’ too much to wait for 5 p.m. or the day to be over. To live a fulfilling, happy life, you have to be happy doing what you do.
How? It’s simple, yet can be difficult to make these choices. Sometimes, we experience periods of doubt...which are unfortunately reinforced when we listen to people who tell us to ‘just suck it up.’ Some will even tell you how they had or have it much worse, 'be happy to have a job at all!'
Do any of these statements sound familiar to you?
- I like my boss, but I don’t really feel like I’m maximizing my potential. I want more. The doubt: I’m not sure what to do… Should I find something new? What if I get in over my head? Your intuition tells you to have a direct conversation with your boss explaining your need for challenge and growth. Wow, think of the relief, imagine his/her reaction!
- I love my job, but I cannot stand my boss! The doubt: I’m afraid I won’t find something else this rewarding. Your intuition tells you that it’s likely your boss won’t be there much longer. You’d be surprised how small tweaks can make a difference until he/she is gone.
- I love how I feel appreciated at my company, but I’ve got to make more money! The doubt: What if I make more money somewhere else, but don’t get the respect? Your intuition tells you that your contribution and performance should equal financial reward; no matter where. You deserve both positive and financial recognition.
- I am happy for the most part. Although, it would be nice to make some changes. The doubt: You will face opposition, conflict or lose friends. Your intuition tells you that the anticipation is getting in your way of success. When you take action, the doubt dissipates.
How else can you trust your intuition and make the right choices so you can find your career happiness? There are many methods, tips and techniques. Here are two of my favorite exercises that I use with my Career Coaching clients.
Removing Limiting Beliefs Exercise (Abbreviated): Disproving your Limiting Belief(s) is critical to moving forward toward your goal. This exercise is the first step in helping to (1) Remove the limiting beliefs and self-doubt. And (2) Replace those negative thoughts with positive new ones. Once you truly believe the new positive thoughts, the obstacles in your way now, will start to disappear.
Through our coaching sessions, we may find your limiting beliefs are very strong and deep. So, it’s important for us to find real proof to discredit them. This is not a one-time exercise. This must be practiced often.
Negative - Contrast Positive - Clarity
In this column, write the reasons why you believe you can’t have________ (your goal). In this column, write the evidence that this belief can be disproven. Ex: I can't find a job because of my age. Ask yourself: Is there anyone in this world who found a job at my age? Next ask yourself: How many people at my age found a job today, yesterday, last week, last month, etc. Do research.
Next, write your new positive belief. Then, cross out the old negative, limiting belief. If the new thought is strong, you will have a great sense of empowerment when you cross out the old. Try to find more than one statement as evidence, the more you have, the weaker the old statement becomes.
Ex: I can’t find a job because of my age. There are thousands of people who found a job at my age.
Ex: I can't find a job because of my age. Yesterday, in my city, hundreds of people my age found a job.
Core Values Alignment Exercise (abbreviated): When you work to closely align your core values to these areas of life, you instantly improve the awareness, energy, vibration and peace toward a happy self.
1. What are your top 6 to 8 Core Values
2. Rate your current alignment. For one week, on a daily basis, starting on Sunday, rate each of your chosen Core Values from 1 to 10 (1= weak/low, 10=strong/high). This rating will describe how it relates to your level of happiness or level of quality in the following 10 areas of your life.
- Work colleagues
- Financial status
3. Compile the daily ratings. Analyze any differences and prepare your final ratings. What areas do you need to improve the ratings to your core values? For example, you may find some areas that are low in alignment to your core values. Work with your coach to see how you can improve these areas for optimal alignment.
Janet Logan, Professional Certified Coach and Founder of My Coaching Services has extensive experience in Human Resources. She’s worked with thousands of people; hiring, coaching and mentoring them to develop their careers. She earned her International Coach Federation accredited coaching credentials through Coach Training Alliance. Now, as a Professional Certified Coach, Janet works with her clients to manage and align their career to the life they want to live. Her genuine concern along with her enthusiastic spirit provides them with empowering confidence for positive results.