Career Identity Crisis

This first week I’ve kind of been all over the place in terms of my posts. I would like to get back to the Wednesday – professional, Friday – weekly reflection, Sunday – personal. Since on Wednesday I posted about my minimalism, an outside of work development, today I’d like to do a professional post.

I feel like ever since I quit my job last spring and up and moved to Oregon with no job lined up and no solid plan, I’ve become more aware of others going through job crises.

Honestly, I can’t say that I’ve found some incredible solution that every one can turn to when they realize that they too have followed a path to a career that makes them unhappy. I don’t think that there is a one-fit-all solution.

That being said, I’d like to give you guys one piece of advice that I’m trying to drill into my head this year. Wherever you’re at, use it as an opportunity to explore.

When I was unemployed, I looked into several different paths taking both product development and user experience design classes. I also took the time to start looking into jobs and companies that I was passionate about. Though I wasn’t as busy as I would be working a full-time job. Instead of spending the time moping (I spent some of the time moping), I tried to the best of my ability to see it as an opportunity.

Now I am still not 100% satisfied with my job. Now some people are ok with that. I, honestly, am pretty in awe of these people. They realize that their job is just a tool to get the money that they need to live. They don’t feel a need to be 100% ok with their jobs. For some reason, I can’t get on this page. I wish I could though, honestly, because I never want to be someone that puts a job ahead of other things in life. Still, when I wake up in the morning, I’d like to be excited to go to work. So, I’m taking this opportunity to explore.

I, personally, am going to be exploring shifting into project management. This is something my boss has been aware of since he interviewed me when I told him that a year or two down the road I would like to move into this team. Luckily, I work at a company that very much supports moving around within it. So I’ll be taking some time out of my workdays this year to train in some project management skills and talk to people that work in this area. If this is something that continues to interest me, I will pursue it further. I have also been talking to coworkers about their previous jobs at the company and have a few other teams that have piqued my interest.

My boss is aware of all of this as it is a major component of my development plan for the year. When you’re working on yours, be honest. If you’re feeling stunted in your job, odds are your boss would be supportive of getting you out of the rut. People do better work when they are passionate about what they are working on. And if it doesn’t happen at your company, you are allowed to continue looking for work elsewhere. Don’t let yourself get stuck. Your life is entirely in your hands. If you’re unhappy, change something!

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