Some time ago, like many people who’ve operated in the same career for a while, I started to wonder if I was on the right path. I got to a place where I began to second guess every career choice I’d ever made. I had hit my wall. I was officially burnt out, completely disengaged and didn’t even know it. All I knew was that I was emotionally and mentally disconnected from my craft.
I thought, “Maybe I made a mistake.” “Maybe I shouldn’t be in HR.” “Maybe I shouldn’t be recruiting.” I would “maybe” myself to death. I took every disagreement with a colleague, bad day and annoying meeting as a sign that I needed to make a change. At one point, I thought, “my career is over! I never want to recruit again!”
Thankfully, before it was too late, I understood that this was complete crap. It wasn’t the end of my career. I hadn’t made the wrong choice or anything like that. I had hit my stagnant wall. That was it! Once I grasped this, I focused on breaking that wall down.
Stagnation has always been my #1 fear so I knew I couldn’t stay behind that wall. I took stock of my career, the decisions I’d made and my emotions from beginning to end. I asked myself: How did I get here? What was I afraid of and why?
I did a complete self-assessment and came to some horrifying revelations. I had an archaic mindset toward my job and was lost in a web of fear and self-consciousness making it impossible to push forward beyond my wall. As I began to come face to face with my issues, I challenged myself to make new decisions, made some radical changes and step by step figured out how to break down that stupid stagnant wall brick by brick.
I know I’m not alone in this and there are many still trying to get beyond their stagnant wall so here’s what I did:
#1. I took stock of MYSELF
I took inventory of my emotions and the internal and external factors affecting them. I also took responsibility for my part in what was happening to and around me. I definitely wanted out of my current role but every job description I read disgusted me. They all sounded like the same hollow empty role I was in at the time. Every interview I’d sneak off to would bore me to tears. I really thought I was done with HR and Recruitment. Thankfully, I wasn’t. My problem was more internal than anything. I subscribed to the ancient notion that you keep your head down, keep your boss happy, always order the salad, keep your game face on, don’t come off like an overly emotional woman and be strong enough to hang with the boys without being viewed as the B*&$#.
I’d spend my entire day jumping through hoops, trying not to allow what was happening on the inside to show on the outside. Eventually, I figured this out and knew something had to give. I had to put a stop to the foolishness so I got smart and made some new choices in an effort to develop better, more productive habits.
#2. I got smart
Once I identified the unhealthy patterns that had formed in my mind, I started making different decisions. I made the deliberate choice to see situations differently and not allow counterproductive outlooks to have their way with me. I started to fight back!
First things first, I resolved to be honest with myself and admit that I was burnout and needed a major transformation. Denial never fixed anything so I had to get real. I welcomed comfort from those around me who I knew truly cared and gave myself permission to vent every now and then. I opened up and found some colleagues I could go for a walk with, grab coffee or some frozen yogurt with on crazy days in the office. I took advantage of opportunities to rest and reminded myself that the job I had was NOT my life. I made time for exercise because I knew it would make me feel better. I stood up to my boss…. a few times. I did what I needed to take better care of ME and felt a sense of peace that words cannot describe. I knew I was ready for whatever was coming next.
#3. I shook things up
Forget all you know about right or wrong when it comes to your career. There is no “wrong.” There is only “right for you.” I made some radical career choices and these choices continue to bless me to this very day. I decided to work for myself and created Offer Stage Consulting. Now I could focus on helping people find the satisfaction in their careers I was finally finding in mine. I also began to shift my energies to things that made me happy and quit trying to turn around a situation that never worked to begin with. Soon, I shook off that old job and antiquated mind-set that was draining the life out of me and took some time to adopt new mentors, educate myself and recharge my emotional batteries. This was my rebirth and it was AWESOME!
I made up my mind. I was done worrying so much about what people thought. If I had something to say, I was going to say it. If I wanted to eat fries instead of a salad, I was going to eat them. I wasn’t going to waste time comparing myself to anyone else. I chose to celebrate my voice and be comfortable with being powerful.
I was (and AM) going to be joyful and fulfilled by any means necessary.
#4. I made the commitment to ME
One thing I’ve learned is this: just because you confront and make the decision to remove certain fears, issues (whatever) doesn’t mean they’re going to stay gone. These pesky annoyances love to resurface and haunt you in an attempt to pull you back to your stagnant place. Make the commitment to keep the fight going for your own sake. Make the commitment to yourself and your career. Train yourself to recognize those counter-productive thoughts and unhealthy habits.
When you see fear, self-consciousness, apprehension or any of those old behaviors coming on – take NO prisoners! Be ruthless about sending them right back where they came from!
Hi, my name is Pamela Shand and I want the best for you in your career. I started Offer Stage Consulting to show job seekers how to overcome the most annoying challenges and get where they want to be in their careers. It is possible to actually be happy at work!
Let me show you how.