When Work Feels Like Groundhogs Day
Remember Phil Connors, a fictional weatherman played by Bill Murray in the movie Groundhogs Day? Phil Connors wants change in his life, yet wakes up to continually discovering that he is reliving February 2 OVER and OVER again. Welcome to Groundhogs Day!
How do you cope when you feel like your career is permanently…. blahhhhhh? Maybe you feel stuck in a job where nothing changes but you also can't seriously consider leaving. You might have thought about switching companies and fantasize about launching into a new career. However, you don't know where to go or if anything new would bring greater fulfillment.
Before the feelings of despair really run you over, allow me to share some hope with you. Many have experienced Groundhogs Day in their career before and answering the 5 questions below have helped them gain clarity and take new action steps.
Studies show that we spend more of our lives at work than on anything else except sleep — and for some of us, even sleep takes a back seat to hours logged in the office. So yes, a satisfying professional life will impact our overall happiness. Sometimes trying something new can be as simple as altering your perspective. Other times, it may involve considering making changes where you work or launching your career in an entirely new direction. I hope the questions below help you get started.
5 Questions to Help You Get Out of Groundhogs Day:
1. Am I in the wrong JOB or in the wrong CAREER? I addressed this topic further in an article I authored in Willypoint Kids. After many years of doing the same work it is normal to outgrow the role or company you are in. But don't forget, something made you initially choose your career. Go deep and look at what inspired you to make the choices you did. Ask yourself when did you last feel excited about your work? When did you start questioning your job (maybe your career)? A trained professional can help you really look and get to the source of your frustration.
2. Does my work make a difference for others?
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at the business school and the author of Evolve! Succeeding in the Digital Culture of Tomorrow, says that the happiest people in work situations tend to be those facing the toughest—but most worthwhile—challenges. Studies have shown that when workers are aware that their work makes a difference to others—even in small ways—their job satisfaction rises. So does their productivity. Regardless of what profession we are in, I believe we each can contribute and make a difference in our own unique way. Making a difference doesn't need to be anything outlandish. It just needs to be something that inspires you and has an intention of ‘doing good.’
3. What is happening in my personal life?
Sometimes we aren't always upset about what we think we are upset about. What are you hoping that a more fulfilling career will give you? Is there a way to bring forward greater inspiration, excitement and fulfillment outside of work. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. I invite you to look and see how your personal relationships might be impacting your mental health.
4. How is my relationship with money influencing my career choices?
Finances are often a very big factor when making life decisions, especially career choices. Quite often starting over again doesn't feel possible due to the expenses of going back to school and/or taking a pay-cut in a new field. It is important to assess risks and then ask yourself ‘What will ultimately cost more, the risk of staying where I am or the risk of trying something new?’ I invite you to look closely at your relationship to money and ask yourself, ‘Can I trust myself to be responsible in managing my finances?’ Consulting with a financial planner and people you respect, trust and can help you plan is always a good idea.
5. Am I (for real) willing to commit to making a change?
We can talk about a lot of things we want and plan to do. However, I assess what people are really committed to by looking at where they spend their time and money. If you want real change, it will only happen if you invest in yourself. There are many ways of investing in yourself and I am happy to have a complimentary phone call to help you get started.
What is one NEW action plan you can commit to today? Remember, nothing changes unless YOU make it change. Sending good thoughts your way! I look forward to hearing how everything is going.