Career and status are so deeply intertwined, that it can be challenging to distinguish between status-driven pursuits and finding happiness in your career.
Relax to Find What Career is Right for YOU
A couple of years ago, I offered a Relaxation Mini-Retreat to a group of bus-drivers. One of the participants, Bob (not his real name) was considering a career change at the time, due to the stress and pressure he felt exposed to as a driver. Bob signed up for my newsletter and continued soul-searching for the right career path.
Last fall on my way to leading a Career Clarity Retreat at Royal Roads University, I saw Bob again, as he was the driver of the bus I took. I asked Bob how he was doing. Bob shared his gratitude for the relaxation techniques he learnt from me.
Since taking the course, he had incorporated relaxation Mini-Retreats into his work routine. It helped him reduce the stresses he felt on the job significantly. He went on to share: “Once I reduced the impact of stress at work, I realized that I really like my job. That’s why I decided to stay.”
Let Go of “Should” to Find Happiness in Your Career
I congratulated him on finding career clarity. Bob responded: “Yes, it’s not that easy to stay the course.” His friends and family had urged him to go back to school to pursue a more prestigious career. At work, he was encouraged to move into a managerial position with a higher salary. Everyone around him was suggesting that being a bus driver just wasn’t good enough and that he could and should do more with his career.
Bob had to work through all the options and possibilities that were offered to him and that he thought he “should” act on.
Just like Bob, you may be considering several career options. It can feel a bit overwhelming. Take a moment now to jot down all the career options that are on your mind. Even just getting them down on paper, can feel very freeing.
Choose one option that you want to explore first. Take time to sit with this option with curiosity. Notice how you feel as you imagine yourself pursuing this path. Do you feel energized and inspired or bored and frustrated? Is it easy or difficult to imagine yourself pursuing this path? Write about your experience and put it to rest for now.
Take a moment to clear your mind, before you experiment with another option in the same fashion. Once you have explored all the options you jotted down initially, take note of the differences and the similarities in how you perceive each option. Which of these options (if any) makes you feel alive, energized and inspired? The more playful, relaxed and open you can approach this experiment, the easier it will be to tap into what’s true for you.
Reconnect with Your Inner Truth to Find Happiness in Your Career
After exploring all his options, Bob came back to his inner truth. He realized that he really enjoys being a bus driver.
Some of the potentially prestigious job opportunities seemed appealing to him at first. However, when he imagined himself working in an office setting, he felt the energy drain right out of him. Bob loves being on the go and in contact with a wide variety of people each day. He truly enjoys his work and feels good about the service he provides to his passengers.
There are of course stressful moments involved with being a bus driver, such as dealing with angry riders. However, as Bob puts it: “There is stress involved with every job.” The question is: “Do you like your job enough to deal with these stresses?” Bob’s answer to this question was a resounding YES.
I congratulated Bob again on finding his clarity and staying the course when tempted by status and pressured by other people’s expectations. Just like Bob, you too can find your inner truth and you don’t have to do it alone. Book your free career clarity consultation now. Together we will explore what makes you come alive and how to pursue happiness in your career with confidence and joy.
Julia James is a certified life coach and award-winning author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution. With over ten years experience coaching people through positive career transformations, Julia is passionate about helping people connect with their true calling.