Quite often I hear the perception that one would need to leave the job in order to follow the dream, be happy or however you want to call it. But as the job is paying the bills – and in some cases quite well – leaving the job is a high hurdle. In turn, these people feel like not being able to live their dream. Somehow the feeling stays that they would be happier at another place.
If you are at this point in your career, I would like to challenge you a bit.
Let’s assume, you will not win in the lottery and you need your regular income to provide for your life. Your week is devided in work days (which provide for your income) and leasure days (which help your body recharge and in which you enjoy life).
Let’s focus on your work days first:
- How would your ‘perfect’ work day look like?
- What kinds of problems do you want to solve?
- What kind of people do you want to meet?
If you have taken some notes on these points, compare it to your current job. What aspects already fit to your ‘perfect’ day? What aspects need to change?
Most likely, your current job isn’t bad at all aspects. There are certain moments, people and to dos that are unpleasant. Some of these elements, you will be able to change. At this point, it is crucial not to think ‘this is impossible, because’, but ask yourself ‘how is it possible?’.
I recall a conversation that went like this: “Taking calls all day with the camera on, is draining my energy. I don’t move anymore, I feel stuck at my desk and overwhelmed in the evening.”
The question at hand is simple: Why don’t you change the status quo? Pick the meetings you own, write in the invite ‘this is a walking call with no cameras on – happy to hear birds singing while you are talking’, and off you walk. And even if you don’t own any meeting – you know which calls can be made while walking. Call the owner and propose the change.
Most of the things you ‘hate’ in your job might come up in your next job aswell. For example, if you hate doing repetitive administration tasks and your dream job is running a vibrant coffee shop with interesting customers, don’t forget that the tax needs to be done on a regular basis, which is a repetitive admin task, too. Rather find ways to either delegate or get those tasks done quickly – focussed on certain appointments which you can also put as ‘crap stuff to do’ in your calender.
So you see, it’s more about owning your current situation than changing everything but ending up with the same small aspects that feel like you need to leave again.
Let’s now focus on your leasure day(s):
- Do you know how you regain energy?
- What does it mean to you to live your life to the fullest?
- How does the ‘perfect’ day of leasure look like?
The principle is quite the same as for your workdays. If you need a change of scenery, leave your home to explore your sourroundings. If you need time off your screen, leave your laptop off your agenda.
You don’t need to switch into some perfect life all at once. But it might be helpful to challenge if you really live your life, if you like what you are doing and finding new ways to do things.
Especially if you are extremely busy all week, you need a day that somehow has a different speed. If you are a parent, this may include a non-perfect home for a day, leaving the self-cooked menu aside and enter a different routine. This one day is there for you – and not you for mastering the day in a perfect way.
Coming back to the question in the beginning: maybe you really have to leave your job and current routine to follow your dream. But chances are high that you can change a lot by making actively different choices, find new priorities and question the status quo.
I wish you a lot of fun exploring how this works for you.