While most people come to a Career Coach due to their lack of clarity, all are crystal clear on at least one thing, their movement in the wrong direction!
Not only do people tend to know they’re going in the wrong direction, they tend to keep going down it, many are still applying for the wrong type of jobs, keep themselves in a job or workplace that’s at best draining them or at worst causing them illness, or in a work relationship that is abusive / toxic, usually because they don’t have any better ideas. The most alarming thing, is that most people stay in these types of situations for years! And there are really good reasons for this.
A client recently described how he’s been on a certain career trajectory for the past 4 years and it’s been nothing but difficulties, inconsistent and dissatisfying work and even used the word ‘heart-breaking’ when describing his continuous applying for jobs. It’s clear from an outsiders point of view, that he’s getting very clear red lights and that he’ll never get any joy from his current job. Another client is barely qualified and couldn’t be in a more ill-fitting environment, industry or role for her, having known all through her training that this is not for her, her family’s expectation played a major part in her continuing with it and is now in the security-comfort trap.
The surprising thing is in both instances, but not exclusive to them, we all do it, continued down this path long, long after realising this wasn’t for them. One other client, spoke to me on the phone consultation and clearly said, ‘this is the wrong job for me’ and shortly after emailed to say she was interviewing for more of the same roles and needed to delay the career coaching as a result. Yes, crazy I know and in other ways, totally understandable.
When our work is tied into our basic security and sense of identity, it’s a very challenging thing to deal with. Often, people are literally blinded by the stress of it all. When we’re blinded by stress and feel threatened or upset emotionally, otherwise very intelligent, practical, creative people can act in not so intelligent ways.
Why we keep going, when we know it’s wrong…
- Fear of the unknown
- Avoiding the discomfort of admitting we don’t have all the answers
- Pride – not wanting to loose face to those around us or appear vulnerable
- Security – financial, physical, emotional
- Comfort – the devil you know
- Identity – who am I without this role/ company/ career?
When we’re going the wrong way, things are hard, nothing works out easily, we don’t operate at our best, it feels like a slog, moving forward in wind resistance. Continuing down the wrong path can be very damaging to our confidence, to our sense of self, can really affect our perspective and what we see as opportunities around.
When we’re working in a work environment that fits our personality, doing something that plays to our strengths, that we have a passion for, it just flows, opportunities comes easily.
So what can you do if you find yourself here?
Usually I can only suggest one thing and that is STOP. Wherever you are, just STOP. Stop applying for jobs, stop looking for jobs, stop talking about applying for jobs, stop searching for your purpose in life, stop talking about how many jobs/interviews you didn’t get, stop talking about how unhappy you are in your job, stop analysing all the reasons why, just STOP.
You can, however, take a step back, take stock, reflect on why you’re where you are. Essentially, get some head space and get honest. Ask yourself why are you not hearing back from the jobs you’re applying for, why are you not getting offered the job you interviewed for? Another question that is really helpful to ponder is why did you choose to go into the industry/role you’re in? Usually there’s really practical, fair answers that will help you to stop beating yourself up and be more accepting about where you’re at.
Whenever I ask career coaching and life coaching clients, why they think they’re not getting the job, landing the interview, getting noticed for promotion, getting the promotion – the answer is universally the same, something along the lines of ‘Honestly…..My heart isn’t in it’ ‘If I’m honest, I don’t really have any interest in X’ ‘I did it for my Dad’ ‘My family expected me to go into X’ ‘I thought it would give me security’
If you can relate to anything in the blog post above and think speaking 1-to-1 to a Career Coach could help you. Book your free phone consultation today and speak to one of our Career Coaches about how we can help you.