Where am I going? What am I doing? Yes that is the multi million dollar question. I have lost my mojo going to work and every morning I struggle to get out of bed, because work is now a chore. The passion and natural energy I once had for my career has dimmed and I feel lost, procrastinate, tired, insecure and depressed. Where is this coming from? Why am I experiencing this?
WOW! thats pretty deep, but unfortunately a common experience and stress when I speak to my friends and acquaintances. It seems this passion they once had is vanishing and more and more people are relating this feeling too a mid life crisis. Well its not a mid life crisis, its a career roadblock that may happen at some point in your life. You are responsible for taking control and changing the direction of your career journey.
You now are so deep into a routine and pattern of life, that finding a solution to get out and seek another job is all very scary. Fear has set in and now you are lost...
Well simple really...I encourage you to go back to basics and ask yourself this. If you don’t like turning up to work, then why waste your time and emotional energy doing so?
I started my career doing something I loved, working with animals. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but as I grew into my role as Supervisor of Primates, the light, which was motivational energy burning strongly, started to fade. I lost my passion after 2 years of being a Supervisor (already had been in the zoo industry for 5 years) due out being burnt out and not personally stimulated. I felt like I was going around in a circle aiming to find that motivation when I thought I was working in my dream job. I was destined to be in this position for a long time, however I just didn’t feel as fulfilled and my expectations had started to loose value. How did this change?
I think my natural motivation levels, which I had trained from a young age, had pushed me to achieve my career goals. When I quickly reached my next position at a young age, I was surprised to find that the challenge was now to 'find the next purpose' in my professional career. I had to make some brave choices and changes, before I fell in what I call ‘career depression’ with a tunnel that really screws with your head! I was not going to allow myself to wake up and go to work and be that person which has only a JOB, give 40% effort and then go home. I wanted to achieve a lot more, enrich myself and wake up with a new drive. Was I scared? No not scared, I would describe this feeling I was carrying around with me, as guilty, insecure and TERRIFIED!
I felt alive and free with so much to offer! In 2012, I made the bold decision to remove myself from my position, pack my bags and take my long service leave. I decided to work voluntarily with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) and two months later, I was fortunate enough to be offered a job. That passion I once experienced returned immediately, my happiness was embraced, my stress disappeared. The sense of purpose was restored and I felt confident and motivated once again. Ahhh.... that sensation is empowering and it really is one that is addictive. What do you think? Have you had that sensation before? Its called PASSION.
Photo: Ted van der Hulst
So how do you stay true to your own personal values during times of making serious and sensitive decisions around your career path? Here are my ‘Top 5’ tips to help restore, identify and reignite your passion.
Go back to basics – What do you like to do? What drives you to be happy? Where do you see yourself in 12 months? To find that passion, you need to re evaluate what you need to do everyday to inspire yourself emotionally. Stop doing chores and volunteering for activities that you don’t really want to do, but are filling a void that is wasting your time, because you don’t know where to go.
Love yourself – Emotional turmoil and changes will occur frequently within everyday life and you need to be in the right head space to make any career changes that impact you. Do not make rash choices when you are in a negative mood or you are finding yourself emotionally unstable. Do this when you feel in control of yourself and then decisions you make will be have greater value. I find meditating or a spiritual cleaning process will help you feel refreshed, balanced and humbled by any newly formed decision you will make about your career path.
Get clear on your goals: Where do you see yourself in 6-12 months? What do you want to achieve? How will you get there? If you have made that jump to do something about finding your passion, then its time to get clear on how you you are going to make this work. Spending quality time on your development plan and the steps you will implement is a very important part of the process. Be open to new opportunities and engage in actions that bring you one step closer to the decisions you have committed too. Don't waste your time on unnecessary additional responsibilities that have no value. Work out your plan and spend time to really get this right. This is your personal contract you have signed up for!
Prioritise: Start reviewing your time management and what you do each day. Perhaps you are stuck in the same routine and you have not had someone objectively review the way you are managing your time. Now is the time for this review and there are some great tools available to help your prioritise and focus on time management.
Volunteer actions: Imagine ending up doing something which inspires you just from volunteering. Perhaps a shift in your approach may be the way to go about it all, or activating your mindset to think outside the box. Research some groups that you have always wanted to support and reach out to them, volunteer some time and join a new social network. Its always refreshing to do something which is a win:win for both parties.
Truth is, throughout your career you will have highs and lows and nothing is ever going to be 100% perfect everyday. When you start to loose motivation, try and work on the root cause. If you are dissatisfied with your current position and nothing currently inspires you anymore, then start to identify positions that you would like to work towards and define some key personal goals.
Most importantly, you are not alone! Its hard to do this all by yourself and vital to surround yourself with a fantastic, trusting and motivating mentor. I am here to help support you and really encourage you to define a training program that will support and push you along your career journey.
This blog identifies and briefly informs you of my 5 home truths for re-motivating yourself. But to get more depth and develop a kick ass action plan towards success, providing you with a pivotal sense of purpose, you can join me on a 1:1 mentoring session.
How? Reach out and contact me so we can really shape your next career step and help find the passion that you are missing. Investment into your career happiness is priceless and incredibly motivating when you start witnessing results.
I hope to meet you soon and cannot wait to see you embrace a new motivated YOU!