You are feeling stuck in your current job and you are ready for a change, but you don’t know what you want to do next. It’s so frustrating!
Sitting there at the same old desk in the same old office, watching while everyone else seems to move on with their lives guided by some inner vision or idea of career advancement. You have a sneaking suspicion that you could achieve so much more, make so much more of a difference to the world, if only you knew what you really wanted to do with your life.
This is a feeling I know well! I was very focussed early in my career, I knew that I wanted to work in the environment sector, I even did full time voluntary conservation work for a year in order to get the experience to get my first paid job. I also knew that I wanted a certain lifestyle, one where my work was meaningful and made a difference, but also one where I could spend time outdoors, time with friends and family, time to be creative, time to just be. And then, after a few different environmental jobs, I was ready for something else, but I couldn’t figure out what that was. I started to drift around and lose my focus and momentum. It took me a long time to find it again.
But it doesn’t have to take you as long as it took me.
So how can you get out of this ‘what should I do next’ phase and start moving forward?
When I start working with clients who are feeling bored or stuck and don’t know what they want to do next, the first thing I encourage them to do is to suspend judgement and really dream big. It’s important at this stage not to worry about whether your ideas are realistic, first you just need to get them out in the open.
This can involve a bit of excavation, as dreams and ideas might be hidden, pushed into the background by years of work and compromise and making a living. However, they usually come to the surface pretty quickly. Here are three ideas to help:
- Think about your current job. Make a list of what you enjoy about your work (things you really love doing at work, not things that are just ‘OK’). Make a list of what you don’t enjoy. As well as what you are actually doing in your job, think about the physical work environment, the people you work with, the hours you work, work life balance etc. Do the same for your previous jobs and voluntary work, including those that might not be related to your current career, eg summer jobs, jobs at university. What themes are emerging?
- Time travel – imagine yourself aged 80. What did you do between now and aged 80 that you enjoyed? Be very specific. Now, write a letter from you at 80 to you now. What would you tell yourself? What interests would you encourage yourself to pursue? What dreams would you encourage?
- What did you love to do when you were a child? Are there any dreams you had when you were younger that you left behind?
This is just the start of figuring out what you want to do next in your life, I’m sure I’ll return to this subject in other blog posts. But hopefully these exercises will get you thinking, and give you some inspiration to move forward.
So, are you starting to uncover some ideas? Let me know in the comments below!
If you feel stuck or bored with your current job, and you want to figure out what to do next, arrange a Discovery Call with me so you can find out how coaching can help. Fill in the form below to arrange your Discovery Call.