What exactly are you looking for from your career at your current stage of work and life?
I’m curious. Have you stopped to ponder this question? Perhaps you have and don’t even realize it. This is a coaching question that I’ve been asking a lot lately.
If you feel restless, dissatisfied, frustrated, undervalued, on the edge of burnout, and are looking for a way to resolve those feelings, I suggest that you ask yourself: “What does my work mean to me? What else am I expecting from it other than earning an income?”
And it is REALLY important to consider the stage that you are at in your career and life, as you are asking yourself these questions.
Why is My Current Stage of Work and Life Important?
Your current stage of work and life are key because what work means to us when we are 21 is very different 10, 15, or even 20 years later, whether we realize it or not. That is why I am asking you to take a moment and consider it.
At the beginning stage of work, work is the place, whether we consciously knew this or not, where:
- we first looked for validation of our worthiness and to be valued for our contribution and that the years of education and hard work that got us to that place were all worth it.
- we made friends whom we then socialized with outside of work.
- we found roommates to share an apartment with or looked to our work friends for referrals for just about everything that could be going on in life outside of work.
- we might have met boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, or even spouses because, after all, we spend more time at work than anywhere else.
For quite a long time, because it is where we spend most of our time and look to it for so many other things, work is the “center of our universe” so to speak.
And I am intentionally not talking about work as a means of earning an income to support oneself and have the life that you want to have. That is obviously a huge component of work but, it isn’t by any means, all of what work means to most people at the beginning of their careers, or even later on for a lot of people.
Now fast forward 10 years, 15 years, 20 years and all elements of work have shifted and evolved significantly because you have evolved significantly over time. There is now a lot going on outside of work: relationships with a significant other whether married or not, children and all that raising a family entails, a mortgage, car payment, saving for college, an aging parent that you have to care for…or perhaps you are at a point where you have gone through all of that and are going to be an empty nester soon.
At that later stage of work, say between 15 and 20 years into your career, with all the stresses and life stuff that is now also there– along with your work— the restlessness, dissatisfaction, and frustration, and feeling undervalued, or on the edge of burnout has started to creep in.
Over time, your work has evolved, you have grown in your career, but so has your world outside of work expanded and grown.
And it is from that perspective that I ask again—what does work mean to you — other than to earn an income, and what else do you expect from it at this stage of your career and life? When you have done the work around that, and it is a process, you will have more clarity regarding why you are feeling restless, dissatisfied, frustrated, undervalued, or burnt out and the beginnings of an idea of what you really want next in your career and your life.
I welcome your sharing your thoughts on what you’ve come up with in the comments section. Any ahas?
Schedule an Introduction with Sandra Hughes Coaching to Dive into your Stage of Work and Life Evaluation
I invite you to reach out and schedule an introduction, so together we can do a deep dive, explore what work means to you and from that place, what could be next for you in your work and life and map out a plan to get you there: https://sandrahughescoaching.com/survey-form/.