Ever had a day, week, month…or even year, where you just can’t wait to get out of a situation? You are stressed and unable to sleep. You are miserable. For simplicity purposes, let’s say this “situation” is your job. (However, this advice can apply to any life changes. )
So, you are dreading your job. Every morning your stomach is in knots when you wake up from a sleepless night. You are suffering, your family is suffering, and you know have to make a change. You may think the easiest fix is preparing to jump ship by finding another job. You will settle for any job as long as you get out of the current situation.
As a certified coach, I’ve seen this situation many times: A professional comes to me for career coaching, because she settled for the current job. She is in this position because she hated her previous job and just needed to move on. After updating her resume and LinkedIn profile, she networked, applied various places, and interviewed. BAM! She landed a job and settled for the first offer. She was happy once again since she waved good bye to that last employer. Then, after a year, the “new job honeymoon” phase is over. She finds herself right back where she started. She is very unhappy and once again her family is suffering as well as her health. That’s when she decides to work with me.
Unfortunately, when you just “settle,” you are not addressing the real issues. You may find a job that puts a band aide on your current situation. However, once the honeymoon is over, you find yourself right back where you started…miserable. It can become an endless cycle. Here’s the good news – there is a solution!
In the example above, settling for a job could have been avoided. Let’s back up. A resume and LinkedIn profile are very critical steps in a career or job change. But, in order to stop the endless cycle (or madness), your resume and profile should not be your first steps when you feel the urge to jump ship or make a change. Instead, take a moment to pause, reflect and explore. Ask yourself, “Why?”
- Why do you want to leave your current situation?
- Why are you open to looking now?
- Why are you not happy where you are?
- Why now?
As you explore your “Why,” you may find that you are craving more purpose, time with your family, less stress, more challenge, or more time to do the things you love to do. Each situation is different. But, you have to really explore your “Why.” Write down your responses. Keep a journal. Discuss them with a trusted loved one, friend or coach.
More than likely, you are going to discover that your work is outweighing your overall life, and you do not have life balance. In other words, you are allocating all of your time to work, and neglecting other areas such as your family, health, faith, friends, and finances. Your job is causing stress because you are not addressing an area of your life that is important to you.
When you feel conflict, stress, or frustration, start exploring a change by asking yourself “Why?”. This one step is the beginning of transformational life change that leads to joy, happiness, and life balance.
To learn more, download a complimentary copy of 8 Steps to Achieving Balance in Your Life and Career. Start exploring the first steps of change towards life transformation.
Such a meaningful post, Staci! Isn’t it so true that people often want to change jobs, when a deeper reason exists for their unhappiness. Asking these “Why” questions is perfect to find exactly what’s going on!
Knowing your why for many things will help in the transformation. The why can be big or little, but so important. I help my health coaching clients figure it out as well.
Responding as a retired career coach. In my 30 years experience many clients thought they had to switch jobs to be happy. Your advice is a great first step. I also found that those who wanted career change had not explored using their skills in a setting that would give them more satisfaction.
Oh yes, the Why is so important in figuring out your next move. I too am all about life/work balance and I like the way you tackle figuring out what a person’s Why is so that she/he can make a sensible next move.
I feel like you were describing me years ago. I always wanted to own my own business and working for other small business owners was just not cutting it. So, now I am where I want to be. But, there is always ups and downs in the process, life isn’t perfect. I just need to own up to that and be flexible in the process. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, Susan! I find that when people don’t ask the “why,” they will find themselves right back where they started. It’s so important to go straight to the heart and explore what’s really going on. Thank you for stopping by!
Yes! It’s so important to ask the “why” when exploring health as well. You have to own your reasons before you can make a change. Looking forward to learning more about your health coaching! Thank you for sharing!
This is so true, Roslyn! Exploring the environment and transferable skills are very important! Excited to hear you have a career coaching background as well. We have a lot in common. Thank you for sharing!
Exactly, Beth! You can be sensible while still thinking outside the box. That’s often where we find balance! Thank you for sharing!
Hi Sabrina! So glad you have found a place that is right for you. There will always be the ups and downs, but finding a happy medium is where you find balance. I agree, it takes flexibility. It also requires regular evaluation to see if you are in balance. Thank you for stopping by!
When I was active in the work force, I generally changed jobs, and often industries every two or three years max, Staci. For someone like me, I do need constant variety and stimulation, especially as I worked in a marketing/promotion capacity. Asking “why”, has become the new mantra in the business world and it makes the most sense to start with your why. I think at different ages and stages of lives, our why shifts and changes, based on our life priorities. It’s wonderful to hear that as a coach this is where you begin with people. As someone who is also a coach, both as a biography coach and a health and wellness coach, uncovering the why, is always the fist step to transformation and change.
Excellent article Staci. These why questions are applicable to so many different situations. Being able to answer them is critical if any meaningful change is going to happen. Lots of people think that if they get out of a current situation that everything will be better. When in fact they are expecting the circumstance to change and not willing to face the fact that nothing changes until they change. Thanks for posting.
Hi Staci 🙂
Awesome post! I can totally relate and I 100% agree with you that when you know that it is time for a change in your life or work, you really need to step back and think about your “WHY”, and figure out how you can get to that place that you need to get to to ensure that you are making the RIGHT choice for you 🙂
There is nothing more powerful than knowing what you want – and going thru the why questions can help you get there. Great article!
Excellent questions! I think it’s vital to connect with your “why” and keep drilling down until you can tie to answer to how it makes you feel. Then broaden your thinking at that point: What else can I do that makes me feel that way? It’s amazing what doors (in your own mind and elsewhere) will open when you connect with your feelings. Good read!
Yes, Beverley! Well said. Uncovering the “why” is a must in transformation. It’s important that professional coaches help clients work through the “why” before making a change. It helps the client own the decision. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for sharing, Joyce! There is nothing worse than an endless cycle of being stuck in the same situation over and over again. Asking “why” helps eliminate the possibility of the cycle and begins meaningful change or transformation. Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you, Joan! The “why” is so important in making the right choice…and it may vary among individuals based upon their age/stage of life. You have to know your “why” in order to own the decision and make real change. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Teresa! The “why” helps you make meaningful change and own the decision. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Jackie! And great point! You must realize how the “why” makes you feel. Thank you so much for sharing!
Great post – I once heard about a girl-scout troop that performed an exercise that required the troops to write down what they wanted to be when they grew up, WHY they wanted to be that profession, and what they would have to do to get there. I imagine the same would apply for all big life choices, actually: WHY do I want to marry this person? Stay married to this person? Divorce this person? Have a child? Etc. Also, Jackie Harder’s point, above about ‘What else can I do to make me feel this way’ is very thought-provoking. So glad I read this – and the other readers’ comments.
Hi Joan! Thank you for your comments. Love the Girl Scouts’ example. Wow…what a great concept to learn at a young age. In reference to decisions and change, if everyone learned to ask “why” earlier in life, smarter life choices would be made. I agree with Jackie’s comment as well. After exploring your “why”, go deeper and explore how it makes you feel. Appreciate you stopping by and sharing!
Good to read this post I can imagine myself in the situation you have described. There are times in life when everything goes out of the way.. we get stressed up and finally get frustrated and spoils the opportunity knocking at our door.The examples which you have used are very real and lively one can easily connect them and can apply for his betterment.
I have seen people repeat this cycle too – finding themselves unchallenged, or “bored” and thinking that changing the environment will fix things.
Often it is an internal re-alignment that can lead to acceptance and making structural adjustments in other areas that might have been neglected.
I remember my friend getting divorced thinking the grass was greener, then when she was divorced feeling self doubt and anxiety and settling too soon into another unfulfilling relationship.
Interesting perspective, Bren. I agree. It’s important to take a step back and evaluate when you feel unchallenged. “Internal re-alignment” may be necessary. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Ellie, yes…that I think we all have experienced that level of frustration. If you don’t make a change, the consequences can be significant. Thanks for stopping by, Ellie!