I often read the following phrase in the questionnaire I ask my clients to complete before their session: “I don’t feel like I am being myself at work.” This especially tends to be the case with individuals who work very long hours and rarely have the chance to catch up with themselves and get a feel for where they are in their lives now. Do you relate to this?
A key reason why individuals are feeling unhappy in their careers is because their vocational choice no longer matches the person they have become.
However, a lot of us still view ourselves as the person we were when we originally chose our careers (i.e. the keen and ambitious 23 year old graduate who entered the ranks of professional accountants etc). We forget to bring into the equation that we change in many ways as we grow older and our lives and priorities change.
So what I want you to do right now is to take a piece of paper and write out what really matters to you at this stage in your life (bullet point style or even a napkin is fine too!). What do you love to do and really care about as a person? To use a slightly corny phrase: “What makes you come alive?” Then look at where your career fits into that.
If you are not feeling like you are being yourself at work, it’s probably because you have changed as a person. And that person needs a different kind of job (or career or manager or company culture…or heck they actually need to create their own business…). Be honest with yourself. Life is to short not to be yourself at work.
Remember this: People change and so do their priorities and values. Make sure your career reflects that. If not, you are living someone else’s life (even if it’s the life of the person you used to be!).