What Happened When I Decided to Own My Career

I used to think I had it all together.  I had figured this career thing out without having to plan out my career path. Who needs coaching? Not me! But oh how wrong I was.

Everything looked great on the outside. I made good money, I did work that was interesting, and I was leading a team of great people.  But something wasn't right.

You know that feeling when everything seems to be going well but something is just off, and you can't put your finger on it?  You're working hard but aren't sure that the work you do is making a difference the way you'd hoped?  You feel like you're missing out on something in life, in your career, but you're not sure how to define it or go get it?

I had all of these questions running through my mind, and I got stuck in the loop of trying to change the wrong things. And when I considered that I might be in the wrong job it brought massive resistance of my own making. 

I worked hard to get to this point in my career. But I had mostly let my career path just happen instead of creating my own. I took it as a point of pride that I had become this successful without a plan. 

But the real problem was that I didn't think I was worthy of having a plan because I didn’t have the right education, experience, presence, ability, or personality for anything other than the job I had. And I was too busy surviving the day to put much thought into it.

What I Wish I Knew Then

Eventually, I found my path and made my way into this work that I previously had never imagined myself doing. It wasn't easy to get here, but the hard work I do now always feels like the right work. And it's because I finally chose to do work that I love

I've learned so much along the way that would have served me well back in my old job. And maybe these things will be helpful to you now.

I wish I knew about the small changes I could have made to reduce my daily stress and improve my productivity.

I wish I had understood the importance of having a learning mindset about myself instead of just to the technical aspects of my job.

I wish I had asked for help sooner and started working with a coach before I became desperate for solutions.

I wish I had believed in myself enough to take charge of my life sooner.

I wish I had known that I was not the only one who felt this way.

What's Your "Maybe Someday" Idea?

I know you’ve thought about what else might be possible in your career and your life, even when things are good these thoughts of "what else" will enter your mind.

You can be both grateful for what you have AND want more.

In fact, I think that combination is the best combination for living a full life. If we weren't always seeking to change, to improve, to be more, we wouldn't experience all the fantastic advances we humans have created.

Maybe you’re thinking about small changes like not having to do email at home, or not feeling anxious on Sunday night as the work week heads your way.

Maybe you’re thinking big and want to take your career to the next level or change jobs entirely.

Or maybe a change has been forced on you, and you’re struggling to figure out what’s next.

We all think about what could be, but we aren’t always prepared to do something about it. I know I wasn’t.

If I had known then what I know now I probably could have made it here a little sooner. Or at least reduced some of the pain and anxiety I experienced in the last year of my job.  

And yet, if I had known then what I know now I wouldn't have the first-hand experience of the work, struggle, and joy that comes from owning your career. I wouldn't know how to help my clients tackle each obstacle to change. I wouldn't have these stories and ideas to share with you. I wouldn't be able to help you reduce the pain, deal with the fear, and honor the struggle.  And I wouldn't have the stumbles and falls that have made me stronger.

I know how hard it is to imagine doing anything new when your days are jam-packed with things to do. That was me for far too long. But if you want more out of life you must to do something different. Nothing good comes from sitting in your comfort zone or putting off change until tomorrow. The only perfect time to start is right now.

One Small Step is All it Takes

You don’t have to make crazy big changes or have the perfect plan. You just have to want to make things better and commit to small steps. A small change can be just as impactful and meaningful as the big ones, if not more. The most important thing is to take action.

So, go read some more blog posts, listen to an inspiring podcast, test out a new time management tip, or just do something that fuels your soul. Just take one small step in a new direction. The first step can feel like a doozy, but then you'll take another, and another, and pretty soon you'll find yourself walking along a new path, and this time it'll be the one you chose.

Here's to you and your amazing small steps!