PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY: FUN OR NOT FUN?
Our professional lives are a journey with multiple pathways to choose. What we decide to do professionally at age 21 or 25 when at the beginning of our careers may change with time. Even seasoned professionals may ask themselves, Is this what I want to continue doing? The reason for second thoughts is very simple: we mature, evolve and change. Our interests shift and change as we gather more experiences. Therefore, every individual ought to take time to track the shifts and monitor their professional journey closely, assessing and making planned changes as necessary, to ensure fulfillment, fun and excitement does not become a thing of the past.
At one time or another, everyone assesses their professional journey, and if not they may miss significant opportunities. Be practical: start with simple questions; have a conversation with yourself; get a journal, take notes as you talk to yourself. And, put that journal aside, reflect on the conversation and then revisit your notes. Keep it simple, just ask:
1. Am I still enjoying the work I am doing?
2. Does the outcome have meaning for me after spending hours working every day?
3. Does the work feed and align with my passion? Does it excite me? Is it fun to do the work?
4. Does the environment and culture of my work place still align with who I am today? Am I adding value to the company and myself?
5. Is the pay aligned with my experience and expertise?
If you are having these questions cross your mind often or getting up for work feels miserable, or you are constantly frustrated and annoyed in your work? It may be that your work is no longer aligned with your interests and passion. It may be time to consider creating a transition plan for the next step in your professional journey. I am not saying leave your position-no-just start your transition plan. Most people make plans for vacations, dinner, family time, sports and many other important things in life, but most often ignore their inner voice when work becomes a chore instead of a fulfilling challenge. It is easy to ignore the voice, mostly, because of fear of the unknown and anxiety about the possibility of change. What if I can’t get hired at the pay I am accustomed? What if I make a change and fail? What if moving is the worse thing for me? Change is not easy! However, the alternative is allowing the ‘what ifs’ to lead. But ‘what if you actually succeed’?
Have you been in that place battling your inner voice about your professional journey? I know I have several times in my career! It can be very challenging to even consider making a change, especially if one is at a very comfortable pay level. No secret, we feel more secure in our comfort zone. ‘If it isn’t broke leave it alone’, someone once said. Well as someone who has taken many professional risks and upset her comfort zone multiple times, I can guarantee you that if those 5 questions above have crossed your mind often, it is absolutely time for a serious conversation with yourself.
After many years of providing professional journey consults to many professionals, young and seasoned, I have added to my practice, MTR Consulting Services, Professional Journey Consults. Why? First, many individuals have asked for the service; second, I am passionate about helping others fulfill their dreams; and third, I enjoy sharing expertise drawing from years of experience as well as formal learning. I thrive on planning for successful change; I am extremely good at dissecting a situation, building strategies, managing change and transitions.
First lesson I learned very early in my career: Change is inevitable, so weather you want to grow or you want to just enjoy the work you do more, you must be willing to embrace, manage and act on change. The alternative is to let the circumstances or others decide for you. Remember, nothing remains the same. What you thought you loved doing at age 20 or 25 is guaranteed to be different when you are 35, 45 or 50. If you have been there or are there right now:
Remember, it is a matter of taking control of and managing your professional journey strategically. Who knows you may find the journey fun and the identified opportunities may bring great success. But, unless you take your inner voice seriously you may never know. Keep the fun within your professional journey-you spend too many hours doing the work; make it fun!
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” —Victor Frankl
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org: What are your thoughts?