To the Uninspired Woman Who Is Miserable in Her Job
I am thinking of you today. I used to be you. I totally feel your pain. Today is Friday, and I will be working through the weekend … and I couldn’t be happier about it. The thing is, I love my job. I absolutely adore my clients and the work we do together. But it wasn’t always this way for me.
I used to fantasize about a minor car accident on my way to work each morning. Nothing too serious but something that might take me out of work for a few days. Maybe even a few weeks. Of course, I would be the only injured party and would make a full recovery. I just wanted a break from the stress and monotony. Sustaining physical injury seemed more appealing than spending the next eight to 10 hours in my dark gray cubicle. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that this type of dread might have been a strong indicator that I was moving in the wrong direction.
Fortunately, I don’t feel that way anymore. But if you do, we need to talk. Here’s the thing: you are too important to dim your light and deny your purpose. Your life is way too valuable to just let the days pass you by feeling empty and uninspired. If your job leaves you feeling overlooked, undervalued, full of dread, or on the verge of tears, you are in the wrong place. (Please know that it is absolutely possible to change careers—no matter your age, education, financial situation.)
I have been in that dreadful place where you are now. In fact, I lived that life for more than 14 years. I saw people around me enjoying the job that I despised. I wondered what was wrong with me. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t get excited about the steady pay check and generous benefits. I never felt motivated. I just couldn’t fit in to a corporate environment. All of the rules and bureaucracy did not resonate with me. I never could get it quite right. I managed to do my job, but I was miserable.
No amount of money could numb out my feelings. I didn’t respect the practices of the organization that employed me. I was under constant scrutiny that was causing me to become paranoid. I was waking up in the middle of the night wondering if I had missed something or said the wrong thing. I thought about my education and how many years I had prepared for the “real world.” Sometimes, I would be so bold as to question, “Is this really it?” I would then immediately shove that thought out of my mind. I didn’t know that it was okay to want more. I dragged my ass to work every day because I knew I should be grateful for what I had. I was an adult with responsibilities and this is what responsible adults do. Right? Wrong. The truth was that it was not for me.
Eventually, it became too painful. I could no longer deny that I needed more. I knew that a pension and 401k were nice, but neither could satisfy the longing that I had to live a purposeful and meaningful life. I didn’t want to spend my entire adult life pushing papers. I wanted to feel like I was making a positive contribution. I wanted to feel excited and inspired by my work.
And so I walked away. It was the best decision I ever made. It was very hard, and it was so scary that I even tried to go back a few times. I had a few moments where the miserable yet familiar seemed like a better option than the unknown. Lucky for me, the Universe was having none of it. I continued on my path that has led me to a job I love.
There’s no shame in letting go. None. Life’s too short to be miserable doing the one thing you spend the most time doing. If you are feeling stuck, uninspired, disrespected, and below your potential, I need you to know that it’s okay to walk away. As someone who has been there, I also know all of the reasons why this is terrifying. Change is scary. We are comfortable with what is familiar. I also know what years of being reviewed, audited, and compared to a matrix of standards (created by someone who has never done your job) can do to your self-esteem and confidence. When you decide to do what you love and go for it, there will be a million reasons why you shouldn’t, why you aren’t good enough, and why you don’t deserve it. All lies.
Inspiration is right in front of you if you can allow yourself to go for it. You are supposed to love your job and do work that inspires you. It is absolutely possible. I would have never believed that 10 years ago, but as someone who has lived it and come out on the other side, I know that it exists. I also know that if it was possible for someone as anxious and fearful as I was, then it is definitely possible for you!
Are you in the process of shifting careers or maybe in the early stages of contemplating it as a possibility? Then check out our Career Transformation healing program, designed to help you focus on your strengths and goals, clarify what’s been holding you back from having a job you love, and provide practical business advice to get you moving forward.