“I love you darling”
“I know but…something’s not the same. I can’t do this anymore”.
Were you once happy in your career, but now you wake up in the mornings and wonder what you’re doing there? Have you passed the honeymoon phase?
Yes, your relationship with your career can be just like any other.
The initial excitement phase, when everything is new.
The honeymoon phase, when you experience expansion and fulfillment.
Then the post-honeymoon phase comes when you start to notice the rest of the picture.
Some people try to stay in a career ‘sweet spot’ by juggling employers or jobs – but this isn’t always possible or beneficial. If you find yourself questioning your career, it can help by having an honest look at your needs and asking “what works and what doesn’t work for me?”.
As adults, we come to accept that hard work and doing things we don’t enjoy – at least some of the time – is a part of life. Yet, we must know where the line is between too much of what we don’t want and too little of what we do. Too much drudgery and our happiness plummets. Too much hard work and we get sick.
At the post-honeymoon phase of your career, your experience reveals the not-so-great parts of it, as well as the things-you-could-do-for-the-rest-of-your-life-regardless. You know the ones. The responsibilities you hoped your career would be full of, but instead, are often overshadowed by tasks you don’t like.
And just like a human love relationship, if you reach this point, you have to discern whether it’s worth it. Dissatisfaction may push you towards change, but what kind? Are you at the wrong company or would you benefit from pursuing something different altogether?
If these questions resonate with you, consider talking to your line manager to explore internal development opportunities. Alternatively, career coaching will help you to drill down on your yearnings for change.
Some key questions to ask yourself are:
- What gives me satisfaction at work?
- Does my job cover my basic needs?
- What are my priorities at this point in my life?
- When all is said and done, what would I regret not doing, if I didn’t do it?