4 Tips to Get you Back on Track!
Between April and June of this year 11.5 million workers have quit their jobs as part of The Great Resignation (according to MSN). There has been a massive voluntary exodus from workforce since the start of the pandemic.
If you are one of these numbers in the midst of a career change or are a job hopper there are 6 words that will help you. “Soul search before you job search”!
My Story in the Tech Industry.
In the job market, I was either a contractor or consultant but I may have been referred to as a “job hopper”. As a former project manager in tech, I spent my career moving from project to project. I viewed most companies as never really good enough to be committed to the long term so I bounced. The Covid-19 trigger of the “Great Resignation” was merely another excuse for me to move on.
The Job Hopper Pattern.
I didn’t get ahead in work or make a lot of advancements, but I did keep a roof over my family’s head and food on the table. Some relationships with employers were better than others. Sometimes I felt valued or had a good manager, and sometimes there was flexibility with working from home and I enjoyed connecting with teammates but once it ended, I was quickly onto the next project with a different company and new problems to be solved.
Job Hopping and Traveling Have Some Things in Common.
I viewed projects the same way I viewed my vacations and traveling. I don’t like to go to the same places or relive the same vacations over and over again. I wanted new adventures and new people to meet. Plus it was fairly easy for me to find another project, I didn’t have to spend much time looking because I was getting calls and emails daily from recruiters whether I was looking for a job or not. It was easy to rebound and so I did.
But then this career lifestyle started to get old. I realized I never really stopped to think if this was the career that enabled me to really grow and live my full potential. I felt a lack of depth and purpose. I didn’t feel a strong voice coming out of me that resonated with my true self.
After each job ended, I felt guilt and shame. Sometimes I wasn’t a good fit for the company and other times I was just selling myself short and doing work that didn’t challenge me in the right way. I’d quickly get burned out and tired of the toxic environments.
To override these feelings, I would go right back to the crazy frenzy of getting the next gig without stopping to think and ask myself bigger questions. Instead, I would rebound.
I wasn’t this way in my relationships. I wanted long, strong healthy relationships and would do the work with personal development to make it happen. I felt successful in this area of my life, so why couldn’t I get there in my professional life?
I always had a hard time understanding girls who would rebound from guy to guy and sometimes even go back to old boyfriends. I didn’t see them make much progress in finding real love and they experienced lots of unhappy endings. I’d barely heard of one relationship ending before they were with some new guy.
Is a rebound any different in our personal relationships than professional relationships? Is there any value in pausing before moving on to looking for the next job or partner? What is the best use of our time when we are in between relationships? How do you tame the anxiety and fear that is coming from our primal needs for survival and acceptance?
I eventually did pause, to discover the answers to questions like these. By giving myself the proper amount of space and time to ponder, I finally found the best career for me. Today I am a full-time career coach. There were so many clues that pointed me in this direction but I needed some headspace to ask the right questions, do some research and give it a test run. Now I help other people take a career pause and go through this same process so they too can be confident in their career change.
Eventually, I concluded that I needed some sort of meaning beyond laboring to help support my family.
Here are the top 4 things I learned that got me back on track.
The purpose I gained from work that enabled me to support my family but had little meaning beyond that eventually wasn't enough to keep me interested and engaged in the job.
You should listen to the alarms that are going off in your head when they are saying this is not a good fit, that you are bored, or have no interest in upskilling in your current profession. If this is a nagging thought and feeling pay attention.
Give yourself time to pause and ask bigger questions like the following. What kind of person do you want to be remembered as at the end of your life? What would you love to do if money was not a factor or the world was a perfect place? How do you want to live your life based on your view of life and work? What would life look like that aligned with your core values?
Pay attention to the urging to follow where your passions, talents, and interests are pointing you to go. Try to find the common thread amongst all that you are good at, interested in, and what people come to you for help with. Then find a way to serve people with what you discover.