How to Get Out of a Career Rut and Start Living
Do you dread going into work in the morning? An incredible half of us in the UK believe our choice of career was a mistake.
Given the fact that half of Britons spend their days doing something they describe as "meaningless" and “too stressful", there's a heck of a lot of misery out there. All too often the dreams we harbour of running a tea shop, changing careers or writing novels, fall by the wayside because the bills won't pay themselves. What's more, re-training is hard, changing track is risky and sometimes it feels like we're better with the devil we know. However, doing nothing about following our true hopes and dreams could be damaging our mental health.
According to health and confidence expert, Rhona Clews, “The point of life is happiness not duty and drudgery. Depression is a sure sign that something authentic and important about our identity is not being expressed. When we turn our back on our dreams and passions we feel depressed as it's a denial of who we actually are". So why don't we let ourselves prioritise our dream projects? Think of the opening sequence of the film UP, says Rhona. It's a great example of how many of us have dreams, set savings aside for those dreams, and then have them constantly blighted by the everyday. “By their very nature we often do not think our dreams are possible," says Rhona. “And so we unconsciously keep them out of reach".
Believe in your right to be happy
“We also tend to ask ourselves 'Who am I to want to travel the world/write a book/buy a house in the south of France?' rather than 'how will I feel if I don't do this?" says Rhona. To go for our dreams takes risk and guts and often we are worried that we just don't have them! “But I regularly see people achieve their dreams, receive happiness and fulfillment and then set new and bigger dreams. Setting out to fulfil our dreams and achieving them increases our self confidence." Rhona also argues that extra help from a professional can enable you to let go of emotional obstacles and pursue your dreams.
Get the right support
We need help to get out of our career rut and realise our dreams but it takes courage to ask for it. “We fear judgment and tell ourselves if we were strong enough then we should be able to accomplish this alone". Sharing your plans with like-minded people can be a game-changer, says Miisa Mink, co-founder of women's network DrivenWoman. “Women discover that it's easier to understand what they want for the future when they hear other's stories. They reflect on their own feelings and hopes out loud and use the group as a sounding board. It's often difficult to create change when you are alone, as thought patterns will get repeated and that feeling of being stuck gets prolonged without fresh perspective".
Take small steps
Moving from the stuck in a rut situation towards living the way you want is not something that can happen instantly – it's a process that involves taking small steps every day. “So-called 'failed dreams' drain our energy and keep us stuck," says Rhona. “So often my initial work with clients involves clearing these blocks. I then support them in creating new, fresh dreams and putting them into baby steps with a realistic and manageable timeline." It's vital, says Miisa to focus on the process, not the outcome, so you recognise your progress towards your goal. She says, “It's easy to loose track of what success is really made of. Women start comparing themselves to others, or feel demotivated by reading about successful women who seem to have it all. Success is actually built brick by brick".
Don't make yourself bankrupt
Those bills still aren't going to pay themselves. As well as doing some 'blue sky thinking' to explore what you truly want to do, remember that you must also consider how you will earn some money from it. Is there genuine demand for what you're offering? Can you create demand? For a while you may need to do your dream project alongside your day job until you're up and running – and that could take some time. DrivenWoman regularly run a Wealthy Woman Workshop where you can learn how to gain the right mindset to start improving your financial situation and even achieving financial freedom. Of course you may decide your true calling has to remain a hobby, not a career. But do it anyway – don't live with regret. According to Rhona, “If we abandon and neglect our dreams we will wind up not only resentful, but also bitter and miserable. Hire someone to help you follow them instead."