IF YOU WANT TO STOP BURDENING YOUR LOVED ONES WITH YOUR CAREER COMPLAINTS, YOU'RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE.
If it's not too much energy, raise your hand if you're aimless and dissatisfied at work.
Either “work is fine” (the international sign for “work is not fine”) or your body technically shows up to work every day... but that's about it.
Normally you're hardworking and engaged but you can't find the energy to be either. You’re tired of being the person who complains about their job.
Being unhappy at work and not knowing what to do about it is the worst.
Scratch that. Being unhappy at work and not knowing what to do about it AND both your manager and colleagues calling you out on it is the worst.
I hit career dissatisfaction rock bottom in 2014.
I was feeling disengaged and undervalued and couldn't shake my negative attitude. Turns out, my manager and colleagues calling me out was the kick in the butt I needed.
The problem is, I was hyper-focused on all the negative parts of my job. What I needed to do was understand why my current role wasn't a good fit for me and discover what would be a good fit.
By learning about myself and what I wanted, I could understand (and communicate) what would be a good fit.
I started doing any exercise I could find that would help me reflect on what was important to me and what I needed out of a job. I started finding the common threads between all the pieces of my background that felt all over the place (engineer, technical support, career, etc). I put together a framework and I emerged with direction, confidence, energy and a plan.
I knew I had to share with others who were also struggling so I’m here to help you do the same - and this line from the book, Do Over, by Jon Acuff sums it up nicely:
"For some people, rock bottom is a trampoline. It springs them up from the depths, back into the light, fueled by a decision never to experience that low again. Or to help make sure other people don't end up there either."
WHAT'S IT LIKE WORKING WITH ME?
If my clients had to describe me in three words, it would be empathetic, positive and practical. I’ve also been described as “calmly energetic”.
"You're a very good and empathetic listener, which is different from what I would expect from a more "no nonsense" career coach who I expect to be more focused on rigid labels and deadlines. I think your balance of empathy and practicality is definitely a unique asset for this kind of work."
"You are incredibly positive and reframe things in the positive in a genuine way. It's hard to strike a balance there and you do it well."
"You were always very empathetic about listening to my past experiences and drawing out my reflections on the past, as well as guiding the discussion toward practical steps for the future."
WHAT'S IT LIKE BEING ME?
I've lived many places.
Melbourne, Australia. Woodstock, NY. Austin, TX. Liege, Belgium. Needham, MA. San Francisco, CA. I sadly do not have an Australian accent (and can't even fake one properly) but I do periodically use some words/phrases that get me blank stares (esky, "rug up", etc).
I am obsessed with learning.
It's out of control. My most recent classes include hand lettering, making pho, floral arrangement, and a weeklong intensive pastry course. While studying engineering, I also took classes on finance, French literature and the history of American education and spent a semester doing trapeze. As you do. Also, the TV channel that plays nonstop 'How It's Made' is my all time favorite (and the most dangerous).
I want to experience everything.
DO ALL THE THINGS. So far I've acted in a professional play and a pilot for a kids cooking show, co-authored a patent for an endoscopic device, worked at a sewage treatment plant, spent 6 weeks on the Natchez Trace with the Student Conservation Association, watched gastric bypass surgery, run my own arts and crafts summer camp for kids, and experienced someone's cochlear implant being turned on for the first time.
I've had 3 careers and two internships and not one of them has been BioEngineering related (my degree from the incredibly awesome school, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering).
My future careers may include being a teacher and running a bakery that somehow does not require me to wake up at 4am every day. If you have suggestions to add to this list, I'd love to hear them.