Image: Christin Hume
I want you to find fulfilling work. Supporting you to figure out what you want to do, and to make the shift – it's why I do what I do every day. But this process frustrates me beyond belief. Here's why.
If you're reading this, you're probably doing so for one of three reasons:
- You're bored, or procrastinating, or you've got nothing better to do, and you'd rather read an article than do what you're supposed to be doing. Or,
- You're an armchair psychologist: anything to do with personal development fascinates you, so this is a welcome dive into something you like. It's like eating a doughnut – you're not deeply invested in it, but it feels really nice. Or,
- On some level, you're hoping that I'll say something that will change everything for you. You're feeling lost and you don't know what to do, and maybe, somewhere in this article, there's a sentence or an idea that will part the clouds in your head.
The only problem is...
Thousands of people read hundreds of thousands of articles like this one every single day, and for 99.9% of them, not a damn thing will change as a result.
Libraries are full of books. The internet is full of blogs and quotations and pictures of mountains.
We consume lovely, well-meaning ideas like spiritual amphetamines, and then we wait for the world around us to start shape-shifting accordingly.
Surely, once you've been adequately pep-talked, some of it will have sunk in? If you are what you eat, surely chomping through reams of career advice will have you magically metamorphose into someone with a fulfilling career?
Yes, I'm being flippant. But there is a serious point to this.
It's not a case of laziness, per se. And it's not because you're explicitly dodging responsibility.
It's simply that with so much information out there, and so many opinions to read, you can get stuck in a state of passive consumption instead of active exploration.
And that's pure career-change quicksand.
Gorging yourself on advice isn't too dissimilar from gorging on doughnuts.
You end up bloated, and heavy, and in exactly the same chair you were in when you started.
You don't become someone who's further down the line toward a fulfilling career.
You just become a very well-informed person who doesn't enjoy their work.
I'm not saying ideas aren't helpful, or powerful, or even potentially game-changing – but you've got to be on the pitch, playing the game, for it to change.
Nothing I can say will make your life different.
It's what you choose to do with what you learn that counts.
Every second of every day is a chance to take action on your career change.
To ask for support.
To do something you've never tried before.
To reach out to someone who inspires you.
And, sometimes, opportunities arise that are screaming for you to take them.
They're calling for you to choose: are you going to be one of the ones who act?
Or are you going to self-soothe with another blog post online?
Who do you choose to be, today?
If you're truly unfulfilled at work, please – don't use what we write each week at Careershifters as a form of escapism.
Don't become one of the square-eyed masses, spouting Forbes statistics and Rumi quotes at one another from the bottom of a pint glass at 5.05 p.m. on a Friday evening.
It's a waste of my time, and of yours.
Get into action. Do something with what you know. Find the people you need to have around you.
You deserve it.
And for goodness' sake, close this browser window and do something about it today.
Because this article will not change your life.