When Your Dream Job Becomes a Nightmare (And How To Change it!)

By Christie Mims
December 10, 2012 • comment(s)
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Remember that first day of school, when you wore a new outfit, new shoes, and were excited about learning and playing with your friends?

And remember that first day on the new job at work, when you put on your high heels (or your nice tie) and showed up eager to see how you could make an impact?

And remember sitting at your desk in that same job, looking around, feeling exhausted, looking down, and wondering what happened to you. Asking yourself “When did I get so...resigned?”

“and ... tired.”

“and...frustrated.”

“and plain ... bored. I’m bored. *Sigh*”

And then you start to feel guilty. Guilty that you want to be doing SOMEthing else. ANYTHING else. And guilty that you spent so much time, and energy and money putting so much into your education, your career, and yourself just to get HERE.

How did you end up wanting to leave?

How do you walk away from a good salary? 

How do you justify staying when you are miserable?

And these thoughts spin inside your head, and you keep thinking that you should just be able to FIGURE IT OUT ALREADY.

It’s a terrible feeling, isn’t it?

Lonely, and sad, and frustrating. And nails-on-a-chalkboard annoying.

I felt that way. I can remember sitting at my desk - looking around, and being so SO lonely when I felt like I was trapped in my suit. I felt like I was slowly drowning, but I could not open my mouth to scream. I felt like if I left, I would never figure out how to pay my rent, or make a change. And I was waiting for my life to start.

And then a colleague of mine died - he was my age, and he was healthy one month and then dead of brain cancer several months later.

And I realized - I’ve got to try and swim. I’ve got to try and do SOMETHING different. I can’t just let myself drown and stay in the wrong place because I’m afraid. I can’t simply hope that things will change (though - it allowed me the space to watch bad tv and complain, which was comforting). I’ve got to at least try.

So I did.

I tried and failed a bunch of side projects - and I learned that to be successful, I’ve got to try, not worry about failing, and believe that I can do it. And feel connected to what “it” is.

And I know - that can be the hardest part. If you knew - you’d be doing it already, right?

Right.

Here is an exercise I want you to try (and suspend your disbelief and know that a

solution is now on its way to you, but it may not arrive on your schedule. It’s a process -

but one that works!).

1. Take a deep breath. Breath in and out through your nose, on a five count, and keep

your hand on your stomach.

2. Think about the top three work things that make you smile. Anything that really

brings joy to your face (working with people? Writing reports? Figuring things out?

What?)

3. When you are finished thinking and breathing (good job!) write them down.

4. Grab a friend and a glass of wine - brainstorm how you can do more of these things.

Be fun, be silly, be free.

5. Now take a look at this list - what appeals to you that also seems like something you

can take action on? Start there!

Ok this is a process, but sometimes all you need is momentum to move forward. One

step, even a baby one, is still a step, right?

Christie Mims is The Radical Fairy Godmother to the Woman Trapped in Her Suit. She’s a career coach who focuses on helping people find their passion in work (don’t worry men, she’s equal opportunity!). If your career needs a drink, and you have career questions, join her for a free Career Happy Hour call - and get answers. www.911careercall.com

 

 

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