When a dream job becomes a nightmare
For many, that perfect job has evolved into a trap. We are used to the security of the job, and we’d rather stay with the ‘devil you know’ instead of venturing out into something else. But we no longer experience the joy of it and this doesn’t bode well for our long-term job satisfaction nor career progression.
Dennis had dedicated a large part of his working life to a high-stress role in a tech company. For the best part of a decade, he had thrived on the challenges and was very proud of the groundbreaking solutions he and his team had created. For a long time, he thoroughly enjoyed everything about the job including the pay and perks. But lately he realised he was coasting on autopilot, barely in touch with that previous passion. Where did it go, he wondered and what was he still doing in this job?
There are many reasons why we can remain ‘stuck’ in a role that is no longer rewarding to us. But ignoring our feelings of being stuck can lead to malaise, lack of fulfilment, stress and even burnout.
Maybe our interests have changed, or values shifted slightly, or this stage of life no longer fits with that career choice. Our building discontent may mean that we need to re-evaluate our role, organisation or even career!
But first, let’s look at what keeps us trapped after the passion is gone
- Financial habits – we become accustomed to good money and the lifestyle it affords. It can be difficult to take a financial hit or decide to invest in alternative training or development.
- Lack of conscious goals – it can be so long since setting specific goals that we ended up on a completely different path without realising it.
- Comfort zone – after developing expertise and success in this field, it can be scary to push ourselves out of that comfort zone and into something where we are more of a novice.
- Infrequent reflection – with an all-consuming job, it’s likely we haven’t taken the time to consider what life could be like if we broke through the current constraints.
OK, maybe this is me – so what now?
If you take the time for some honest self-reflection, you may be able to identify what aspects of your current role brings you joy and what no longer serves you. It may be helpful to explore other options:
- Perhaps speaking to a coach/mentor who can help you identify transferable skills or industries that align better with your interests.
- Evaluate your values – what is most important to you now? What kind of work and workplace would give you an opportunity to express those?
- Give yourself time to explore possibilities before you jump into something else.
- Recognise and explore the importance of ongoing learning and skill development.
- Develop a financial plan that allows for a period of transition, allowing investment in the future.
The most satisfying jobs are ones where:
- Your values align with the values and principles of the organisation you work for, and you believe in the work you deliver.
- You enjoy developing and using the skills needed for this job.
- Your colleagues are on the same page, and you enjoy working with them.
- You are motivated by the challenges of the job.
It may take time to define and develop these, but it’s well worth the investment so you can find the feeling of a dream job again.The power of attentionTrust role play – it works!