Are you feeling stressed or anxious about your current studies or career direction (or lack thereof)? If so, you might want to ask yourself an important question.
Are you living in line with your values?
This question might not seem like an obvious one, but answering it will help you get clear on why you are probably feeling unsatisfied, anxious or frustrated with your current life and/or career direction.
Many young professionals go about choosing what area of study to focus on in university or what career to pursue based on what they think might land them stability and security in their future. I am all for stability and security, don’t get me wrong. What I often see in my business as a Confidence & Direction Coach for Young Professionals, however, are women and men in their 40’s and 50’s who have decent, well-paying jobs, but are feeling frustrated, unhappy and even slightly depressed because the job or career they had chosen for themselves gives them little, if any, fulfillment or satisfaction. These feelings of frustration trickle in to other areas of their life, causing stress on not only their professional life, but their personal lives, as well.
I recently met with a woman (let’s call her “M”) for a complimentary consultation. “M” is an accomplished lawyer in her late 30’s who is married with children. In our meeting, “M” explained that she felt she did “all the right things and went down the right career path” and wondered why she was so unhappy. “M” admitted that although she felt satisfied with her decision to marry and have children, she was feeling regret and guilt that perhaps she jumped into making all of these “right decisions” too quickly. When I asked “M” what inspired or motivated her to pursue a career in law, she simply stated that “it was what everybody expected of me. I was a good student and good students either went to law school or medical school.”
“M” is a good example of a person who had lost touch with her inner voice along the way of pursuing what she felt was expected of her (an Outside-In Approach.) “M” recognized in our consultation that she wished she had taken the time to explore more of who she was and pursue a career that was more in line with her passions, values, and goals. With hesitation in her voice, she wondered whether or not it was too late for her to do so.
It might be a challenge for “M” to make the changes she might want to make in her life: to stop what she is doing and pursue a career path or life that she is more satisfied with, but it is possible, especially is she is committed and receives the support that she requires to do so.
If you, too, are feeling anxious, unhappy, unsatisfied or frustrated with your current life, studies, or career direction, ask yourself these important questions to help you get clear, focused, and confident about what career path would best suit you:
1. What are my values?
Make a list of your top 5 values (you can add more if you like), then put your list of values in order of priority for yourself. This list will clarify for you what is most important to you.
2. How am I living out my values?
Ask yourself what you are doing with your time to live out the values you hold by. If you value respect in your relationships, are you treating the people in your personal life or the professionals you work with, with respect? If you value integrity, how do you express integrity in your life, job, or your relationships?
3. How can I bring my values into my life or to the work that I am currently doing?
If you are finding that you are not living your life according to what you value, think of ways you can start practically infusing your values into your life, relationships, and/or the work that you are currently doing. Doing this is likely to increase your feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction in whatever it is you are doing.
4. What jobs or career choices are in line with my values and personal goals?
Make a list of the jobs or careers that are in line with what you value. Think of different things you can be doing in order to be able to express and actualize your personal values and goals.
This values-based Inside-Out Approach™ is more likely to help you get clear about what job and / or career will bring you most satisfaction. It is also an approach that will help you proactively bring more satisfaction into your own life, no matter what it is that you do.
As always, be in touch with any questions or comments or to set up your complimentary consultation. You can contact me here.
Have an incredible week!
In support and admiration for all that you are,