Don’t forget this important consideration when making a career change
"We only do well the things we like doing." - Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, French novelist
Do you enjoy a tasty meal? Often it can be something to look forward to at the end of a long day or it may be enjoyed with friends and family. We all have a different favourite meal; some people have more exotic preferences than others, others will always choose pasta, some simply love a tasty roast dinner. There are so many different recipes and meals to choose from, all with a unique combination of ingredients to complement each other.
What happens when you eat a meal that you have made at home or ordered in a restaurant and there was something missing? Perhaps there was no garlic bread to accompany the lasagne or maybe the seasoning was missing, and it didn’t taste quite right to you. You don’t enjoy the meal as much, do you? This is because each ingredient of a meal plays an important party to play in balancing the flavours to make it unique and, when an ingredient is missing, the balance is disrupted, and it tastes different leaving you feeling slightly disappointed.
When things are missing in your life
We can also feel like this when there is something missing from our lives. It can feel like the balance has been disrupted, just like when there is a crucial ingredient missing from our favourite meal. When this happens, it leaves us feeling stressed or empty inside. During these times, we struggle to find the motivation to achieve and struggle to enjoy certain aspects of life such as our career.
These ingredients are called values. We are all made up of a unique combination of values which are the fundamental principles you live by and are of ultimate importance to you. When we are living in accordance with our values, we feel motivated to achieve and happy. When one or more is missing from our lives, the balance is disrupted, and we can feel miserable. It feels like nothing can be achieved. We can lose our focus and become stuck in our careers.
What is important to you?
When you feel like something is not quite right and you are not sure how to resolve it, take time to reassess your values. Think about what is important to you by considering your family, friends, hobbies, work, wealth, health and voluntary work. Identify what is important to you about each area and the associated value such as love, wisdom, purpose, security. Be careful not to compare your values to others or ask others for their opinion. These values are unique to you and belong to you.
When you have your list of values, work out which ones are missing from your life and identify ways to incorporate them back into your life by setting some goals, including career-related goals.
Is it time for a career change?
What will these career-related goals be? Past frustrations or stressful times at work may have been due to a conflict with your values. During these times you may have queried, and still are querying, whether a career change or a change in employer within the field you work is the answer.
To help you find this answer, ensure your career choices are aligned to your values and start using your values to guide your decisions. Which of your values is missing from your current role (think about the content of your job and the working environment)? Now identify ways of incorporating these into your work or a future job. You will be more motivated and fulfilled at work if the content of your job and the working environment are consistent with the combination of ingredients (your values) that make you be the best you can be.
We all want to enjoy our careers, doing something we love, and this is possible so long as you are following the recipe that makes you the best. Do not leave out or substitute any of your ingredients.
By recognising and following your values, you will find a career you enjoy and succeed in.
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