One of the most rewarding feelings is changing from a career that no longer brings you joy into one that aligns with your purpose. Some careers have expiration dates and it is daunting to think about leaving the familiar into the unknown. But, if the idea continues to pop up, it may be something that needs attention.
Important decisions present themselves relentlessly.
I have worked with many people who have the aching feeling every day at work that they must leave. They aren’t sure where they are going next, but their soul tells them that it is time to move on.
One of the first things I do with new clients is work with them on gaining clarity on where they want to go. Before they start randomly applying for jobs, it is important to have a sense of direction. Clarity does not come without contemplation and reviewing what is important. If you are leaving one job just to go into another one randomly, the likelihood of finding fulfillment is low.
In fact, getting a job just for the sake of a paycheck does not bring the satisfaction that a job that aligns with one’s purpose does. This does not mean that finding a job to pay the bills in the meantime is not necessary. Most people hold a job while pursuing their passions. But the end goal should be to find a career that aligns with your purpose and values.
One of the exercises I do with clients who are seeking a career change is to discover and define their core values: Foundational beliefs and ways to think and act that are most important to you. These are the values we want to emulate in our day to day life — the non-negotiable feelings we desire.
In order to discover these values, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Why do I do the work that I do?
- What am I doing when I am at my best?
- What qualities do I admire in others?
- What are my greatest qualities? (ask 10 people to name your top three)
- What are the most important things in my life?
After taking the time to answer these questions, I have clients come up with their top 5 core values. This is a living document that evolves as one learns and grows. There are usually 1-2 that stay the same throughout our lives.
- In order to narrow it down to 5, look at your answers for questions 3, 4 and 5. These are clues to what is the most important. Make a list. Then sit down and find your top 5.
When your top 5 are discovered, you now have the framework to how your career should make you feel and act. If the career you are currently in is void of these values, see if you can infuse them. If the answer is no, begin looking for industries and companies that align with your values.
This is a key step in seeking alignment with your career and values. Be open to what comes up. Don’t force the answers to appear. Sometimes, we need to slough off layers of years of frustration in our career in order to truly uncover the answers.
If you would like more help, career coaching can help navigate the transition by finding clarity and figuring out what steps need to be made. This is not an easy decision and there is a lot of hard work to do, but when your soul prods you to move on, it is worth paying attention to.