People often feel unfulfilled in their work though, they are not content or satisfied with their direction, their job is not connecting with their true self, and they do not feel aligned with the position they find themselves in as an adult.
But what happens when you are actually working in the job you dreamt of, and yet the dream is to leave?
Dream jobs are exactly that, unless your job is made to measure and you can delegate the rest, there will always be a part of the elephant we do not want to swallow, but it isn’t until we find ourselves in that position that we realise this. The job is great but the team are tedious, your boss is bossy, and the higher up you go, the more you earn and the less you see your life outside of work to spend that hard earned cash. You like being busy but you don’t like admin, you enjoy presenting but hate people, you want to be your own boss but can’t afford to boss anyone… the list goes on. But you can’t possibly leave your job, there’s security, comfort in the uncomfortable, you know it here, and anyway, this is your DREAM JOB… so this is just how it is.
Goals should be flexible
It is easy to believe that there is one fixed path for us all – I work with young people and I see it unfold, starting with the question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’
I recently asked my eight year old step-daughter this same question; she said she wanted to be herself. What a perfect answer. Wouldn’t it be great to just know you are being your true self?
Our unconscious mind is yearning for direction, so giving ourselves something positive to aim towards is essential, as is being flexible around the goal we set. Life evolves and so do we, we learn new things, have new experiences, meet new people and go to new places, and we become a newer version of ourselves with every waking moment. Realigning with those changes and adapting our goals accordingly is part of the career path – it is no longer a straight line, a choice between Boots or the bank, it is a learning curve of life, and more often a total squiggle to whatever your definition of success is. Quite possibly the dream you had aged 5 is not the dream you have aged 45.
Goals need to align with your deeper values and beliefs
The problem with a job that is unfulfilling is often the feeling of fulfillment, rather than the job itself. A job alone cannot have sole responsibility for giving you a sense of fulfillment, the whole picture should be taken into account. Is it really the whole job, or just a part of it, or perhaps you are simply not living the life you imagined, perhaps you expected this ‘dream’ job to give you a complete happiness that you have never fully felt? And what if this job matches all your skills and interests, and perhaps you even have all the necessary qualifications and experience, and yet this sense of anxiety that you’ll mess it up, get it wrong or simply aren’t good enough for it is eating you up inside on a Sunday night and giving you dread on a Monday morning.
90% of what we do is done unconsciously and essentially, habits are created by repetition, so as we grow up we learn; we learn our language, and acceptable behaviours in the society and culture around us, we learn how to walk and how to talk, and we form values and beliefs, sometimes taught by others, always learnt by us…somehow, from somewhere, our own experiences or from the experience of those around us.
There are many skills tests and personality to career matching tests, my personal favourite for quick, fun yet scarily accurate results is this one - https://icould.com/buzz/ (if you decide to do it the career sector matches are to the right of the results page, and I’d love to know what you think!) but whether starting out at thirteen or realigning at thirty these are merely an indication of where your personality could thrive.
Without the belief that you can you may lack motivation to try (and that includes getting up again if it doesn’t work out the first time), and without that you may never reach your full potential or experience that fulfilment you are chasing. And so you are unable to see that your dream job is everything you wanted it to be (with a bit too much admin that will teach you organisation and a bossy boss that will teach you inner strength) and you think that the only way to change is to change your job.
As Gandhi once said ‘your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny’.
If you think your job is unfulfilling then it will be. This concept can of course be applied to life and relationships too.
So before you run or take a leap, really check in with yourself.
September is ingrained in us as a start of a new year because of our many years in education (note; repetition), and autumn is truly a fantastic time for change, but before you create that change, ask yourself ‘what will quitting give me, and can I find this some other way?’ If you can come up with some exciting answers then start putting your plan in place, create some side goals and make your move if this still appears to be right for you, but listen to your inner voice, is it supporting you or holding you back from what you truly want now that you are today’s version of you?