What does professional satisfaction look like for you beyond the pandemic?

 Over the past 18 months, many women have been reflecting (or in some cases catapulted into reflecting) on how satisfied they actually are with their professional lives.

This reflection has brought varying insights… for some it may have brought them to question what’s important to them and what would bring them all-round satisfaction. Others have found themselves with an involuntary change in role, redundant or forced to step out of their career for pressing personal responsibilities as a result of the pandemic.

 There are also women who  felt stuck, overwhelmed, frustrated and unfulfilled at work even before Covid played having with their careers and may have been putting off doing something to change these circumstances until they were magnified due to the pandemic.

So if any of the above resonates with you, you may be asking.. Where do I start?, Do I have the energy to take this on? Would it be easier to just stay with the familiar for now?  For many the latter may be the choice they feel they have to make for now, however if you are one of those women who feels ready now to re-design your career through careful consideration around what is important to you, here are a few pointers to get you started:

  1.  Begin with the end in mind; I regularly refer to Steven R Covey’s seven habits of highly effective people when facilitating or coaching those who want to enact positive change in their lives, but don’t know where to start. Begin with the end in mind is one of these seven habits; however what I have seen work well for my clients is to look at a few endings when doing this… you can look at the ultimate end goal… what would your utopia look like?– what would be different for you professionally?  However its always useful to look at what the end might look like in the short and medium term also.
  2. Knowing what you don’t want as well as what you do want; if you haven’t already started deep reflection into what you do and don’t want you should now! Using a journal to track events at work that motivate you or gives you job satisfaction as well as tracking the days where you are feeling dissatisfied, disengaged or overwhelmed and pinpointing the cause of this will provide you with the facts you need to draw on when working on point 1 above.
  3.  Where do you get your energy from to sustain you at work? If you are regularly wrestling with knowing you need a career change v convincing yourself you are better off to stay put you may be putting constant energy into mental gymnastics.   Over time the impacts of the constant ruminating over your situation without experiencing any positive change (on top of perhaps other environmental, structural or relationship challenges in the workplace which are contributing to your career dissatisfaction) will become detrimental to your energy levels. If this is true for you, one small step may be to begin drawing up some sort of action plan to help break the cycle of rumination, whether that is engaging in the activities of point 2 above or deciding you need to engage some external support to help you “see the wood from the trees”

For women, career change (depending on life circumstances) can often be a much more complicated process that it is for men. Work and family life and their respective demands will inevitably intertwine , however with a commitment to dig deep, uncovering perhaps through the points above what it is you actually want and need as well as checking in with your reality you can find what will give you more professional satisfaction going forward.

If you are ready to make your ambition a reality, why not check out my upcoming 4 week group career coaching exclusive to female professionals. Our first virtual session commences on July 15th. For further information and details on how to register, click this link : https://bit.ly/3gQcyYi

References

Covey, S.R. (2004). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Restoring the character ethic (Rev.ed.) Free Press