So maybe you know exactly what you want in your life. Or maybe you need to figure it out still. I was really of the latter group in my career at one point (well, several points, but we’ll talk about one of them today). I was absolutely miserable in my job, but resolved myself to the fact that I probably couldn’t do better for that salary, and just stayed in that miserable place.
It was the job, the client, and some of the people I was working with. There was no love there. I dreaded getting up in the morning on a work day, and I lived for the weekends. My work days were very long and very stressful for me. So why did I stay? I felt trapped really. Not knowing what I really wanted to do, I just felt lucky to be making the salary I was. And I never took the time to even think about what else I could do. I just went along being miserable.
The Shake Down
The Universe wasn’t going to let me live like this though. As many of you already know, when we need to be woken up, the Universe does just that. It was a Thursday afternoon at the beginning of May, and suddenly my Director and an HR representative set up a call with me. I was being laid off, effective immediately. I was calm, polite, and brief on the phone, but I was truly in shock in those first moments. When I hung up, I cried. I felt devastated!
I just lost my job with the great salary – how would I survive? And then it hit me. I don’t have to do that miserable job for even one more day! YES!!!!! Haha! But it’s true! Suddenly I was like, “thank you Universe!” I was celebrating, because the Universe forced me to re-examine my life – specifically my career and my happiness around that. I didn’t have to be miserable anymore! It was all meant to be. As many would say, it was “a blessing in disguise”. And yet, it was scary as shit! After all, what did I want to do now?
While many aren’t forced into finding a new career path like I was at that point, we all need to fully assess this before the Universe finds a need to kick us to the curb in some way to help us to re-think things. Mind you, I’m thankful for it – but hopefully you can figure this out and find what you want before this is needed. But these steps I’m about to take you through can be applied to anything you want to change in your life really.
These are some of the key elements and steps here that should help you to move forward to the life you want and deserve:
- Get clear on what you want and be intentional about it. Once you figure out exactly what you want, write it all down – every detail. Know how it will all look and feel. If it’s a new job, what do you want your co-workers and boss to be like? What will a workday look like? How about the work environment and location? What will your salary be? Your hours? Your responsibilities? The dress code? Get clear on it all so you know what you’re looking for – and so does the Universe. 😉
- Be patient – don’t settle for less. When I was job hunting that summer after being laid off, I was looking for a whole new job (a new career path). However, headhunters were calling me and offering me jobs that were like my old job that made me miserable. If I had let myself get fearful or anxious about getting a paycheck again soon, or locking down a job, I would have taken one of them. Heck, even my family thought I was crazy to be turning them down, especially when it was months into my job search. But I forced myself to say no and be patient for that job that I wanted. So the bottom line here is don’t get impatient (in any area of your life) and settle for less. Don’t think you can change someone in a relationship because they aren’t what you want. Don’t take a job that sounds horrible because you’re worried that you won’t find a good one. BE PATIENT. Don’t settle for less!
- Self-educate with everything you need to know, and ask for help when needed. While I was laid off, it was a scary time in many ways. But I did what I could to ask for help and get the information and resources I needed. I reached out to everyone I knew on social media to let them know I was laid off and then described the job I was looking for. Not only did I get extensive help from one person on filing unemployment and everything I needed in that realm (so many resources I didn’t know about), but I also got 2 solid job leads and one that led to the job I wanted! So whatever you are looking at doing, reach out to everyone and anyone (as appropriate) about it. You might be surprised by who is able to help you. Use the tools, resources and network that you already have. Seek out help, information, answers, support, education, connections, and opportunities!
- Don’t get locked in on one perfect vision, as it may come to you in a different way. So my perfect job didn’t come to me in an obvious or even an easy way. It was actually a recruiter that decided I was appropriate for a higher level position (which I wasn’t really sure I wanted, but it was in the general area I was looking at). It’s a long and funny story about this one, but they finally decided later to offer me the position I wanted, though it was a bit different than the one I initially was going for. It was actually a much better fit and a position I didn’t even know existed! So stay open, as things sometimes come to you in a very different way or package than you might envision, but it might also be better than you imagined.
- Stay motivated and don’t lose faith. During that summer of being laid off, some days felt pretty hopeless. No responses on job applications. Not hearing anything back on interviews I did, or just not wanting the jobs I interviewed for. Having to go to mandatory unemployment classes with the city. Watching my money dwindle away. It wasn’t fun. And it would have been very easy to just give up and give in to something that once again made me miserable but gave me a paycheck. It was actually pretty crazy, because the job I got (that I wanted) I started interviewing for in May, and didn’t get the offer until mid-August. It was a bit of a roller coaster ride with long breaks between the interviews, interviewing for one position but then being told I was being considered for another one, and interviewers and recruiters going on summer vacations while I was left to wait. All of it was enough to make you go a bit crazy. But I worked hard to stay calm, stay enthusiastic and positive, and not lose sight of the vision of what I wanted. I think that’s all you can do. Have that motivation to keep going and yet be patient when nothing is happening yet. If you can keep the faith that it will – you will get there.
The bottom line is that if you want to live that life you deserve, there are clearly things you need to do when you feel inspired, or when the Universe inspires you to action in some way. Be mindful of this, and proactive and intentional about it, and watch the planets start to align for you. You can get through it. You can make big changes in your life. Just get clear on what you want and start moving forward on that path.
I would also suggest these blogs – Why Aren’t You Living the Life You Really Want? What are You Waiting For? or 7 Actions to Get Your Life Back on Track
You may also enjoy this book – Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed