Direction, you either crave it or you question it. You may never know which way is up when you are traveling on the road towards career happiness. What you don’t realize it that everyone you know at one point or another in their career journey has passed through a “job phase.” For some it lasts a minute, for others it seemingly lasts a lifetime. What defines a job phase is the pattern of uncertainty and self-reflection you face as you gather enough courage to determine if the job you have is the right one for you. What you do should not define who you are as a person but for most of us, it does. That doesn’t mean you need to stay the same way your entire life. Change, after all is inevitable under any circumstance whether you force the change or not. You should not panic if you feel you are going through a job phase whether you have a job or not. The key word to remember here is it is a “phase” which implies it will pass and you will come out on the other side, better, stronger and more resilient than before. So before you spin yourself into a career frenzy, here are a few telltale signs you are experiencing a job phase:
- Question Everything, Trust Nothing: You might think it’s just your quirky personality or inquisitive nature but when most of what you experience gives you cause to pause and question the outcome or the motive, you might be on a quicker course to self-discovery than you imagined. Being able to discern the difference between fact and fiction means you are no longer in a position to rely on what others tell you is right for you. Trusting in yourself and learning to experience work in the way you imagined is a skill and quality that will help you grow in your career. You may feel like you are a negative-Nelly, or a doubting Thomas, but questioning what is right for you is a way to harness your ability to be discerning and trusting of yourself and to truly know what is right for you when it comes to the choices you make in your career.
- Learning to Say No: Accepting a job, a promotion or working for a new boss maybe out of your control, but following your instincts and trusting in yourself is the number one skill you need for self-preservation. Just because someone asks you to do something, may not be right for you. Learning to say “No” does not mean you are being insubordinate. It means you are self-aware and evolved to know with whom and how you want to spend your time. If something does not feel right to you, it probably isn’t right. Understanding the difference and not feeling like you are moving with the wind sets you on a course to understand that the job phase you are going through is helping you to be more discerning in your choices. It’s important to not feel like you are being forced into a corner.
- Like & Dislike: You may feel like you are a malcontent and that nothing that is happening in your career is pleasing to you. You may have even got a promotion and for some reason you are not thrilled by your prospects. That’s ok it’s all part of your job phase. You first have to know what you don’t like in order to know what you do like that is after all, part of the job phase process. This can mean you may like your work but not the company. Or you may like your boss but not your coworkers. There is always something to every scenario that is not in balance. This should not be a cause for concern but a reflection on your ability to weave in and out of the process and prioritize what is important for you. Learning how to communicate not only to others but also to yourself, about what you want in your career is an important component in your job progression no matter what stage you are in your job phase.
You are not alone when you feel that nothing is going your way or you are not pleased with the direction your career is taking. There is nothing wrong with you for feeling or thinking that things could be different. The good news is that if you don’t like where you are, you can move someplace else. After all the best thing about a phase is that it ultimately passes with time.
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