I’ve confronted this concept many times in my coaching practice. Sometimes it is from folks who recently retired. After the big trip, they planned to celebrate this huge milestone. They arrive home and are wondering- what now?
Or from middle-aged clients who are questioning whether their job is fulfilling enough for their soul. Now that they find themselves looking deeper and focusing more of their attention on the tasks at work, whereas previously, their attention was being spent on their children. Or from recent graduates who are now wondering if they made the wrong decision by getting a degree in a field that doesn’t have a lot of upward momentum.
Wherever you are, when you come to question your career choice, it’s important that you are not using the fuel of regret to make your next move. And instead, it’s time to evaluate your self-care. Are you unhappy in your job or questioning your life stage because you aren’t taking the time to care for yourself? Have you been looking for external validation of your worth?
The concept of having a career or job that fulfills us or that defines us is a relatively new way of thinking. My ancestors probably didn’t find complete joy in working the fields, and if you look back at your own history, I’m pretty sure you’ll find a similar storyline. As Toni Morrison so eloquently points out: “You are not the work you do; you are the person you are.” – Toni Morrison.
The very first step to take is to do an internal observation of your own body and mind. Simply sit with your thoughts for a minute or two and allow yourself to feel all the emotions around this topic. Then quickly jot down a bullet point list of what appeared for you.
Now, rather than thinking of your next career move, I want you to think about moving towards yourself. How can you show up for yourself differently today? Maybe that means that you nourish your body with healthier food choices. Or perhaps you move your body more today than you did yesterday. Choose an activity that makes you feel good and benefits only you. Here are some ideas:
- Read a magazine
- Spend the extra time to style your hair differently
- Plant some flowers
- Search for a recipe that reminds you of a loved one’s signature dish
- Visit a thrift or antique store
- Take photos of the things you love in and around your house
- Pull out your old journals and read a few pages from various years
Readjust your energy to focus on your food, movement, and mental and emotional self-care before you go down the rabbit hole of researching your next career leap! You deserve to be a priority in your life and are worthy of spending time on yourself.