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My Favourite 5 Posts Of 2013 – #3 “QuickSand”

bigstock-Hand-on-a-beach-sinking-or-dro-30529991

I have been lucky enough to work out of a home office for 11 of the last 13 years. The two years that I had an office to report in to, I would get stuck in traffic daily. It gave me many opportunities to look at other people’s faces, as their days were off to very “slow” starts too.

Some looked sad; others looked angry or frustrated, some had blank stares or even looked dazed. On occasion, some were smiling, while others where actually singing! It blew my mind how many people looked unhappy though. Is it realistic to believe that all of them looked that way because they were unhappy going to work? Of course not. Some must have been dealing with other issues too (some were of course frustrated by the continual traffic jams).

Most studies report that 7 or 8 out of 10 people do not like their jobs! One study in the sales profession showed that more than 50% of people should not even be sales at all! Are you one of those people getting out of bed dreading the next 8 to 12 hours every day?

Internet marketer Gary Vaynerchuk changed his entire career path because he was only 99% happy in his situation at the time. To me, that was an incredibly powerful statement. As people become more and more unhappy with their jobs over the months, years or even decades, it is like they are sinking further and further into quicksand. The more unhappy they get, the deeper they sink. On the odd occasion that they try to change jobs, they try a bit, then just stop trying all together.

People typically want to make the switch, but “life gets in the way”. A job search gets put on the back burner. Others lack confidence, and don’t feel that they are good enough to have a shot at “career satisfaction”. Too many people settle for the status quo, and don’t take action. Some stay in a career that they just don’t like, becoming a “work robot” completing the same repetitive tasks at nauseum, for what seems like an eternity.

The next thing they know, five, ten or 20+ years have passed, and then wake up one day saying, “What the heck am I still doing here?” I can tell you from experience that being comfortable in a role that “pays the bills” does not equal happiness. Not even close.

When you are in love with your career, you should rarely be counting down the minutes until the end of the day, week, or until holidays start. I had a manager tell me that you should be excited to go to work, from the moment your feet hit the floor each morning. So many people over the years have said that “every day should feel like a Saturday”, or “your work should not feel like a job”.

It can be a good practice to check in with yourself now and then.

  • How happy are you with your career?
  • Is it heading in the direction you would like it to?

If you feel “sunk”, the good news is you can always change your path going forward.

Remember, “You don’t drown by falling in water. You only drown by staying there.” – Zig Ziglar

  • What does your perfect job look like (yes, you can have the perfect job)?
  • How does that list compare to the job you’re currently in?
  • What one step can you take today to move towards loving your job?

 

 

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Career Quicksand – How Deep Are You Sinking?

bigstock-Hand-on-a-beach-sinking-or-dro-30529991
I have been lucky enough to work out of a home office for 11 of the last 13 years. The two years that I had an office to report in to, I would get stuck in traffic daily. It gave me many opportunities to look at other people’s faces, as their days were off to very “slow” starts too.

Some looked sad; others looked angry or frustrated, some had blank stares or even looked dazed. On occasion, some were smiling, while others where actually singing! It blew my mind how many people looked unhappy though. Is it realistic to believe that all of them looked that way because they were unhappy going to work? Of course not. Some must have been dealing with other issues too (some were of course frustrated by the continual traffic jams).

Most studies report that 7 or 8 out of 10 people do not like their jobs! One study in the sales profession showed that more than 50% of people should not even be sales at all! Are you one of those people getting out of bed dreading the next 8 to 12 hours every day?

Internet marketer Gary Vaynerchuk changed his entire career path because he was only 99% happy in his situation at the time. To me, that was an incredibly powerful statement. As people become more and more unhappy with their jobs over the months, years or even decades, it is like they are sinking further and further into quicksand. The more unhappy they get, the deeper they sink. On the odd occasion that they try to change jobs, they try a little bit, then just stop trying all together.

People typically want to make the switch, but “life gets in the way”. A job search gets put on the back burner. Others lack confidence, and don’t feel that they are good enough to have a shot at “career satisfaction”. Too many people settle for the status quo, and don’t take action. Some stay in a career that they just don’t like, becoming a “work robot” completing the same repetitive tasks at nauseum, for what seems like an eternity.

The next thing they know, five, ten or 20+ years have passed, and then wake up one day saying, “What the heck am I still doing here?” I can tell you from experience that being comfortable in a role that “pays the bills” does not equal happiness. Not even close.

When you are in love with your career, you should rarely be counting down the minutes until the end of the day, week, or until holidays start. I had a manager tell me that you should be excited to go to work, from the moment your feet hit the floor each morning. So many people over the years have said that “every day should feel like a Saturday”, or “your work should not feel like a job”.

It can be a good practice to check in with yourself every now and then.

  • How happy are you with your career?
  • Is it heading in the direction you would like it to?

If you feel “sunk”, the good news is you can always change your path going forward.

Remember, “You don’t drown by falling in water. You only drown by staying there.” – Zig Ziglar

  • What does your perfect job look like (yes, you can have the perfect job)?
  • How does that list compare to the job you’re currently in?
  • What one step can you take today to move towards loving your job?

 

 

Your “Indefinite Unsettledness” Will End – Mine Did!

Do you ever not feel quite right? Things just aren’t as they should be? Maybe it only lasts a day, perhaps a week, month or possibly even years. I had these feeling about my career for a little less than 3 years.

It was October of 2009 that I lost my job, and it sucked. It sucked big time, but I shook it off and was back to work two months later. But that job did not work out, nor did the second, or the third! I had worked for one company for almost eight years before that, and had never categorized myself as a quitter, but I became quite self-conscious with all the changes. But I kept fighting, and believing in myself that I could do whatever I wanted with my career and life.

I stayed in touch over the past three years with a manager at an account during that time period before I was fired. I would stop by, catch up, try to sell him products and services that I was representing at the time. He was never far from my thoughts. We had discussed me coming to work with his company on several occasions, but the timing was never right.

Well that time has finally come and I start my new role on November 1st with that organization. A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I can look forward to work again every day from the moment my feet hit the floor each morning. When you change jobs every year for three years, you start to feel a little lost and temporarily forget what made you successful in the past.

Whatever “indefinite unsettledness” you may be feeling, it will go away, I promise you that. But only if you work at it. I had some horrible days; weeks for that matter over the past three years, but I never gave up. In fact, the best thing that came out of these past three years was picking up a note pad and pen, and starting to write. Now I have this blog, I am in Toastmasters, and I look forward to writing a book, possibly training, teaching and speaking to others somewhere down the line.

As abrasive as it sounds, you need to have that moment where you say something like “screw it, I know I can do this“. And keep fighting for what you really want.

Good luck and remember, if I can get past my “indefinite unsettledness”, so can you!

Sarah has a wonderful blog going here, and I encourage you to check it out. After I read this post yesterday, I found myself contemplating the message several times. Enjoy, and take a moment to really think about it. Are you doing what you really love?

Find Your Dream Job

Lizzy Bell changed from an unrewarding life as an accountant to her dream job as a photographer and was interviewed recently by coach and journalist Suzy Greaves (during a bike ride from Lands End to John O’Groats!).

Lizzy’s story is such a great one for anyone stuck in a rut and wondering what business to start, I wanted to blog about it.  Especially following a recent survey that said being a photographer is No. 4 on the top 10 list of dream jobs.

So how did she do it?

Lizzy originally trained as an accountant and got a ‘proper job.’ “I’m not even that good at maths’ she laughs. “Like many people you end up in a career, you earn this money and you get channelled and things don’t maybe feel quite right and you just keep going and going.   I got to my mid to late 30s and…

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