You’ve paid your dues. You’ve worked crappy shifts, dealt with horrible bosses, put up with catty office gossip, and coworkers trying too hard to get ahead--sometimes at your expense. You need a better job.
Maybe it’s your salary that’s got you down, or the lack of real benefits. More importantly, you come home from work drained, angry, and dreading each morning. When you were little, you heard that you could be anything you wanted--what happened to that dream?
I’m Leah Murtagh, #thework4joycoach, and owner of VLA50. I lead frustrated employees and small business owners to professional freedom and personal power through revolutionary coaching.
Contact me today to find out more about my sliding fee scale--it’s an easy “yes” for every budget, and you’re worth it.
A better job begins with clarity
If you want a better life balance, more pay, another couple of weeks of paid vacation, flexible hours, a remote position, or something else, you can have it.
You’ll have to do some homework, though. Here’s what I mean.
You can’t have what you want until you define who you are. And, that’s hard to do when you’re 20-something, and sometimes even 30-something.
During those years, you’ve likely said “yes” to the first few jobs that made you an offer. Or, they are the jobs you “fell” into after college or tech training.
Maybe you’ve been stuck in a role for which you’re skilled, but also can’t stand. It’s surprising how often we burn out or are ill-matched for the jobs our education prepared us to do.
Seriously, no one knows anything about anything in their 20’s, amiright?! We learn so much in those early decades on the job. Now, it’s time to get intentional about who we are professionally, and where we want to go.
Learn about yourself, so you can ask for what you want
So, now that you’re ready for a change, you may still be challenged to find the role that fits you best. How do you start looking for new work that sparks creativity and makes you feel alive each day?
Here’s the answer: Look first in the mirror, and answer this question: Who are you now?
As it pertains to your career, answer these other questions to find out who you are professionally:
How do you like to do any sort of work? Some people love being part of a team. Other people prefer to work alone in their solitary bubble. Or, maybe you fancy a blend of working on your projects, but in an office with other people to keep you company. Some people love physical work; others thrive in front of their computer screens.
When are you most productive? Be honest about this one. Don’t answer this question with what you want to be the truth. If you’re not a morning person, claim that and own it. For example, sometimes (like now), I have a bee in my bonnet to get as much done before 9 am as possible. Other days, my best work occurs after lunch or later in the evening. I’ve chosen roles that allow for the flexibility to work when I am most awake, engaged, and motivated.
With whom do you want to work? One of my clients asserted she wanted to work with other intellectuals who enjoyed discussing books, sci-fi, spirituality, and more. Because she got clear on this desire before looking for a new role, she could vet her prospects accordingly. My client found a team she loved because she took the time to discover the types of people with whom she worked best.
What are your strongest work values? I’ll use myself as an example to show what I mean with this question. Part of my work involves copywriting for a digital marketing agency. Some of the content I write for various clients doesn’t interest me much personally. However, I know and enjoy my agency teammates and supervisors, and they value my writing, reliability, and willingness to help out. I want to ensure they have quality work turned in on time. In other words, the teamwork or “helping” aspect of writing makes the job enjoyable even when the content itself is not always my cup of tea. If I know I’m making a colleague’s life easier with the work I do; it’s more fun to do it regardless of the task. My values in this example are service and appreciation. I work well when I’m in service to others, and they verbally appreciate what I give.
What broad terms describe the tasks you most enjoy? As you think about getting a better job (or making your current one better,) clarify the type of work you do. For instance, if you do bookkeeping, your best type of work might be analytical. Do you enjoy creating new things or concepts? Building strategy? Leading others? Learning and sharing new information? Testing and experimentation? Gathering data? Seriously, what turns you on from a task standpoint? The answers to these questions can help you explore sectors or companies you may never have considered.
Get help and feedback as you define who you are
Finally, do the work of professional identity discovery with help. If you’ve never contemplated your work identity before, having a few trusted outsiders offer their perspective, observations, or the right probing questions can enhance your clarity of professional identity. Plus, you’ll likely do some productive networking along the way.
Hiring a career coach is a wise investment in defining your professional persona and opening doors to exploring new roles that fit like your comfiest pair of jeans. And, we all know there’s nothing like putting on pants that not only fit your body but also make you feel good--more like yourself--in general.
As #thework4joycoach, I’m here for precisely the kind of support, feedback, and inquiry you need to get clear on your professional identity and land a better job where you feel inspired, engaged, and joyful.
Fill out my contact form today and set up a free call to see if we’re a match for coaching. My sliding fee scale makes coaching an easy “yes.” You’ve done what you should, now do what you want.