After eights weeks leave, my brain is slowly switching back to work mode.
To help myself prepare for the transition, I sat down to write a list of everything I could think of to reconnect to my go-and-get-em game face. You know the kind of thing:
- Reorganise kids schedules
- Email and/or call clients
- Clean desk
- Empty inbox
- Organise calendars
- Schedule social media & prepare editorial calendar
- Brainstorm ideas for resources; etc…
During the process, it dawned on me that I wasn’t in a panic. My hands weren’t shaking and the normal career-inducing lump in my throat was wearily absent. It seemed; I was actually looking forward to returning to work.
When this penny dropped, I felt elated. I am building a business from the ground up that not only brings me joy and suits my lifestyle, but it has the genuine ability to make a difference to others – and that’s the kind of career I want to have.
While this situation works for me and my family, let me stress you don’t have to start your own business to cultivate the career of your dreams. Starting a business is not on everyone’s to-do list, and nor should it be, however this experience had me thinking about all the ways we connect with our jobs on a more meaningful level and the signs we are on the right path to professional fulfilment.
Here are 8 signs you’re cultivating the right career for you:
1. Your life vision and values are paramount
Early on in your career you may have been a ‘yes’ woman. Applying for any job you think you could easily do in order to put money in the bank. Fast forward a decade or more, a husband and few children, and you realise you need a job to suit your lifestyle and values – not the other way around and you wont settle for anything less.
2. You Understand The Impact You Can Have
Your values, attributes, skills, personality, knowledge and life experiences all combine to create the unique, gorgeous person you are, and it’s these beautiful traits that you no longer want to hide to fit in. You know how to serve others and create work that makes a difference, and this is more important to you than a six-figure salary, the corner office or super long title.
3. You Give Yourself Permission To Say No
Pleasing others isn’t on the top of your career check-list. You no longer feel like you have to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity to be noticed or get ahead. You have no problem turning down an assignment or client if you don’t believe it’s a good fit for you. And what’s even better, you have no urge to apologise for it. Thanks to all this space, you’re now open to say yes to more important things.
4. You Follow Your Intuition
When a thought strikes, you don’t hesitate to follow your gut instincts. Experience has shown you know when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em and when to walk away, and these days your head listens to your heart – which rarely lets you down.
5. You Know Work Is Work And Life is Life
I’m guessing you’ve had your time burning the midnight oil, working 60 hour weeks and testing the limits of your balancing beam. Today you allow your self to switch off, spend time with family and return to life because work will always be there tomorrow.
6. You Know You’re A Survivor
When a rejection lands at your feet, a client dumps you or you don’t score the next big gig – numbing your sorrows in a tub of ice cream (or bottle of wine) isn’t your default coping mechanism. You know in your heart there will be other opportunities that are right for you. You dust yourself off and keep going.
7. You Can Handle Co-Workers
When you’re serious about cultivating your best career, concerning yourself with a co-worker’s gossip or a Manager who’s ‘out to get you’ isn’t on your radar. You let your work speak for itself and have expert skills in distancing your personal life from your professional life. Refer point #5.
8. You Put Yourself First
At the end of the day, you know any decision you make regarding your career comes from a place of love and purpose. You’ve been through too much in your life to worry what others think and you’re happiest striving for a job that is both meaningful and financially fruitful.
Your career means freedom more than it once did and you’re happy to take risks, create opportunities and give yourself permission to do what you love more than ever, and you have every right to do so!
Interested in learning how to cultivate a career that’s right for you? Check out our workshop ‘How To Create A Business That Lights You Up’ by Business Coach & WRN Guest Presenter Kate McCready here.