Do you actually remember when you were a child, back at the beginning of your journey, and what your dreams were back then?
Do you remember those fantasies of yours that kept you awake at night? Who did you imagine to become as you were growing up? And do you remember how excited you felt making these plans for the future?
If you are like most of us, you most probably dreamed of an exciting future where you were passionately engaged in life, living it by the day, being a traveler, detective, athlete, artist, a doctor or just a fire-fighter.
And how does it feel today? Have any of these plans become a reality for you? Do you indeed feel that you are a “player” or just a “worker”? The chance is that you feel more like a worker’.
It may be a luxury to ask yourself such a question, especially because the cost of living in India is high and you are likely to have a pile of bills to pay.
However, it would be unfair to dismiss the question in the first place. So, be frank with yourself and ask the question.
The skinny truth is that most of us associate “work” with something that we would rather do less of or something that we have to do but would rather do something else.
In fact, according to some estimates close to 70% of us experience work, and career in general, as something rather unpleasant.
This also explains why more than 70% of the workforce feels disengaged from their daily professional activity and environment.
And this is not the only negative consequence of feeling dissatisfied with work. Other negative symptoms of feeling discontented with your work include:
- You feel you struggle at work,
- You engage in clock-watching,
- You feel resentful and often resigned,
- You feel you don’t use your abilities and talents,
- You feel stressed and this might have a negative effect in your relations with others,
- You feel that in your free time you must recover from work,
- You feel a lowered self-esteem or even powerless,
- You are motivated by need rather than choice,
There is a very good reason why the vast majority of today’s workforce feels the way it does, and it has to do with how career choices are made when we leave colleges and universities.
What happens is that we are told to start thinking about what we want to do but get little or no professional support in making up our mind.
And so, in the end, we choose a career that feels right at a particular point in time but which may bear little relationship with our interests, values, skills and talents.
And when we relocate abroad, be it to USA or elsewhere, we find ourselves in an environment which is rather alien to us and where we feel out of our comfort zone unable to speak the local language, struggling with cultural differences, and possibly even feeling marginalized.
These circumstances only aggravate the way we may feel about our careers.
“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you are still a rat” – Lily Tomlin
And if you do have work in other countries, but feel it is out of tunes with everything that you dreamed of as a child, than you are obviously carrying a burden that is difficult to put down. And in this sense, it is an equal or even larger predicament to handle.
“We are what we repeatedly do” – Aristotle
Does this sound familiar?
5 Reasons why it Matters to Have a Great Career
Let me share with you couple of reasons why you might want to put real effort into finding a career that fits you.
You will enjoy a better and healthier life
Doing work that is out of sync with our interest and passions brings up conditions of stress, anger, frustration, fatigue and even depression…to name just a few.
And it goes without saying that such adverse mental conditions and experiences not only decrease the quality of our life but they actually shorten it.
If you are in mid-career, and enjoy a well-paying job in Mumbai or a job in Delhi with one of the countless Indian companies established in these largest Indian job hubs, you must know of somebody in your age bracket who suffered from burn-out, cardiac arrest, or even death…and I can assure you that 9 out 10 times these grave health conditions are work-related.
You will experience better personal and professional relationships
If you are enthusiastic about what you do, each day and every day, you will project it to the outside world in everything to do and say.
Your enthusiasm will become contagious and will become a source of satisfaction and increased self-esteem for your and for the others, driving positive influence in many areas of your life, including how you relate to others.
You will be simply a great deal more fun to be around.
You will be infinitely more successful and more effective
There is a saying that if you do what you have been born to do, the money will take care of itself. And while money is not the only measure of success, it is certainly the most common one.
And without a doubt you will achieve material success if you put your heart and soul into your career, something that is totally condition on doing the work you love.
But there is more to success than just the money. Ask anybody who is passionate about his career and they will tell you that they never think of it as “work”.
In fact, these people often manage to get into the state of permanent flow and never engage in ‘clock-watching’ or feel ‘work-beaten’.
And this to me is an ultimate measure of success i.e. feeling the rapture of being alive, leading the life that counts, and looking forward to each day.
You have an increased sense of self-esteem
You spend at least 8 hours per day engaging in your professional activity. If this activity is something you grumble about and which drives you to feel angry, frustrated or complaining incessantly, it is only natural that your self-esteem suffers as the result.
You become a role-model for your children
Whether you like it or not, your children will grow to be quite similar to you. It takes many years to sculpture their minds but in the end there is a great chance that your sons and daughters will model themselves after you.
And because you become what you do it is only normal that your career, and how you feel about it, will impact on your children.
“Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on… children than the unlived lives of their parents” – Carl Jung
If you want to be proud of your children, make sure you are proud of yourself.
It is an undisputed fact that the vast majority of professionals and/or career-changers are fearful of asking for any sort of help with their job search or career change.
And I must say it is totally crazy and something I struggle to understand. Would you try to pull out your own tooth out if you had to? No, you would call your dentist, right?
Finding a career that fits you is not an easy task, I am not exaggerating. Hundreds, if not thousands of books have been written on the subject and more are being published every day.
It is not only hard digesting all that materials. You will find everywhere a thousand smiling, white-toothed experts of all stripes telling you a zillion things that you do wrong in your job-search.
You can surf hundreds of comment boards to see fellow job-seekers decry “the bad employment market and arrogant recruiters”. You can peruse dozens of job blogs, groups and forums offering you hundreds of get-hired-quick tips and advice.
No wonder that an average career-seeker feels…confused!
But, with some luck and perseverance you may end up reading ‘the right book’. And if you have enough courage and common sense, you may even end up working with a professional career coach who will make a great difference to you, your career and your life in general.
Here is the list of benefits that you can enjoy by working with a qualified personal coach.
Your relationships are likely to improve
There is a study that shows that professional coaching has a very positive effect on relationships and teamwork.
The study says that recipients of coaching saw a 77% improvement in relationships, 67% improvement in teamwork, 61% improvement in job satisfaction and 48% improvement in quality.
You will experience more positivity in your life.
Professional and skilled career coaches are trained to focus on favorable outcomes and to be a source of motivation for their clients.
They strive to help you find greater satisfaction in life and in career and in doing so they focus on your wants and on your needs, because not two individuals are the same.
This focus on positive outcomes becomes a lasting influence in your life, and it often takes just one coaching session.
You release your full potential
Coaching is often associated as something for people who under-perform in some aspects of their life, or who are otherwise troubled. This is a totally outdated and incorrect view of career coaching.
Most successful individuals are sufficiently self-aware to realize what their strengths and weaknesses are and when it is that they must ask for help.
And it is these same individuals who resort to coaching to sharpen their skills and create additional leverage in their careers.
By choosing to work with a coach, such individuals invest in themselves and are saying to the world that they believe in themselves.
Coaching takes very little time and brings high rewards
Most people think that a coaching program is like going on a massive diet, and that it takes an enormous amount of effort and time before you see the results.
Quite the contrary!
A good coaching program is developed around the schedule of working professionals and will take just few hours a month, typically 2-3 sessions of maximum 60 minutes. This is a negligible investment of time, effort and money.
Professional coach will tell you not what you like but what you need to hear
You pay your career coach not for being your friend but rather for helping you initiate a change in your life.
And in doing so, your coach will look objectively at all the facts you share with him/her and will then offer the necessary support to identify the required actions to achieve your goals.
In this respect a coach is very different from everybody else you surround yourself with. He or she will not tell you what you want to hear but instead strive to be honest with you in every respect.
And only such honesty can put you on the right path.
A good coach will help you identify and break your “bad habits”
An experienced coach never tells you what to do and instead helps you identify on your own the things that hold you back.
They then coach you to take the actions that will help you master new and better ways to achieve your objectives.
Coaching has a quick payback and brings long-term benefits
Coaching not only brings quick benefits, by removing the roadblocks to success, but it also has a lasting effect on the person coached.
As has been said, you deserve better in your career which in turn is likely to bring several benefits to you such as healthier and happier life.
But it is you who should make the first step of asking for help. Give yourself some well-deserved support that will get you what you want and what you deserve.
Remember, you spend a third of your life at your job so isn’t it the time that you start feeling good about your career?