As I was walking through the mall with my mom earlier this morning, we started to discuss how incredibly important it is to both love and be proud of your occupation (and for all of those full-time mothers reading this… I totally believe that being a mom is a full-time job).
A lot of Heart Month has been devoted to better eating habits and exercise, but helping your heart goes beyond physical wellness. Your emotional life has to be healthy as well. So, another way to help your heart is by doing what you love and loving what you do.
The conversation in the mall started when I tried on some gorgeous electric blue pumps, snakeskin booties, and some random flats. I had the shoe salesman running! In the end, they didn’t work because 1) I didn’t have that “wow” factor you get when you try on shoes you love and 2) they didn’t feel good. So, I told her I was so sorry, but I’d have to pass. I actually felt bad because she put so much effort into it. I secretly thought about how much I would dislike being a shoe salesman. Now, just because I think I would dislike it doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t think it’s the best job in the world (probably because they are damn good at it).
I just feel like we have one time on this earth and we need to make the most of it. Each of us are going to have many different jobs throughout our lives, which are largely determined by factors out of our control (sudden move, death in the family, new life in the family, changes in economy), but we can always control our mindset and goals. Also, we all have god-given talents that are terrible to waste if whatever job you are doing doesn’t hone these gifts. Having a job you hate infiltrates bad vibes into your entire life and my personal opinion is that it also leads to bad wrinkles, premature aging, and weight gain, because all you look forward to is what you’re going to eat for lunch and then dinner when you get home.
If you are in a job that makes you anxious, bored, or resentful, it’s time to make a pros and cons list. Ask yourself some questions like:
Why am I in my current job situation?
Can I see myself in this job even two years from now?
Most days can I not wait for work to end or do I usually (somewhat) enjoy myself?
Do I feel like I make a difference?
Am I proud of the job I’m doing?
Do I feel like I’m using my talents?
Is my dislike for my job infiltrating other areas of my life, like my family and my eating habits?
If you aren’t happy with your answers, it’s time to start making a pretty plan. You are worth more than feeling mediocre in your career. Again, I understand that lately, the economy has dealt us a 17 at the blackjack table of life. You may be biding time in a job that pays the bills until you can move on to something else. This is fine… BUT MAKE SURE YOU MOVE. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut. Here are a few things to ask yourself if you are unhappy with what you are doing at the moment and want (actually NEED) to change:
What do I love doing? What am I good at?
What kind of classes, certification, and start-up capital do I need to make this happen?
What is preventing me from changing careers?
How can I overcome what is preventing me?
If I can’t imagine leaving my current job (even though I hate it) because of my current circumstances, what baby steps can I take toward my dream job?
Be honest and kick-start your motivation by reading about women who have made it big by following their dreams and gut (does Stephanie Meyer of the ‘Twilight’ series ring a bell?)
Lastly, remember that your career DOES NOT DEFINE YOU. It is so easy to get caught up in this, but it is critical to keep it in mind in order to have a balanced life. And if you have a job you love… keep at it! Do you have a job you love? Hate? If so what is it? As always, keep counting!
Lauren Michelle says
Great article Chelsea. My entrepreneurial spirit definitely calls. I am on my way because working for someone else does not satisfy my needs wants or desires.http://flypeople.wordpress.com
Asheaon Squirrel says
I totally agree. Stress is such a downer if you don't like your job and balance is the MOST important thing. I've had graduate level courses on career exploration and development and you've hit the nail on the head. It's ALL about balance!
I totally agree with you Chelsea! I had a job I loved as a surgical assistant but due to a latex glove allergy I had to give up my career. I've always been creative so I started making jewelry. I luckily have a very supportive husband who not only encourages me but also goes to craft fairs with me. I'm still using my hands- like my old profession- and I'm meeting a lot of new and fun people. I still miss my profession but I'm happy with what I've had to move on to.