When is a Job Not a Job?

There is a saying that goes something like this… “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” But how many of us can honestly say that we have found this job, this ideal career path?

I often meet people struggling with this very topic. I’m not talking about people in their teens or twenties who have still yet to realize their dream; I am talking about people in their thirties, forties, and fifties still trying to find their path, their true “calling.” So many of them tell the same story… they go to their 9 to 5 jobs and put in more effort and energy than it seems worth. They come home feeling exhausted and unfulfilled. The money may be good, and the job may be familiar, but the days are monotonous and there is a constant tugging inside them that keeps whispering that there must be so much more. Recently a woman said to me, “I come home exhausted and unfulfilled thinking I have just wasted a whole day of my life that I cannot get back. The day was productive and I accomplished many things… but I just feel like something is missing.”

So why do people stay in jobs they aren’t content with or that they straight out hate?

There are several reasons why someone chooses to remain in a place where they don’t belong. The main reason is fear. Even though the individual may be unhappy in their current job, their insecurities make them question whether it is worth making a move. They create their own roadblocks and they find excuses and reasons to stay. Holding the person back are questions and rationalizations like, “If I change jobs what kind of work will I do? I am getting older so who will want me? There are a lot of people unemployed so maybe I should just be happy I have a job. I have not updated my skills so maybe it is best for me to stay where I am.”

What we must understand is that there are times when we outgrow a certain job or career. We also must understand that we are 100% responsible for our daily happiness. Our daily jobs take up at least 40 hours of every week… so it is very important that we enjoy what we do during this time. If you don’t like your  job, or the people you work with, complaining about it only makes it worse. We have all met someone in the workplace who complains the whole day long… this only makes their job more stressful and them miserable. If you don’t like where you are, or what you are doing, take responsibility and take action; make a plan and find a job that is right for you.

When we were kids everyone asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. 9 out of 10 times a child can answer this question immediately and yet if you ask an adult what job they would love to do, they hesitate or can’t answer the question. Why is this?

When we were children we answered through innocence, through dreams and possibilities. Unfortunately as we grow our family, friends, teachers and society influence us. Other people’s ideas and beliefs begin to be imposed upon us and we try to please others. If we can learn one thing, it is to listen to our own instinct. Our instinct tells us what we are good at and what we love to do. If we follow this inner instinct and apply it to our careers we all would be doing exactly what we should be doing—following our calling. If you do what you love, you will always be successful.

If you believe that there is your ideal job out there… then there is. There are no shortages of jobs and your ideal job does exist if you truly want it. There are opportunities around every corner if you choose to be aware.

We are given signs every day if we pay attention to them. We cross paths at the exact right moment and opportunities are presented to us at every corner and in every conversation but the question is, do we clue in and take action? Do we turn right when we should have turned left? Do we pay attention? Do we know what our passion is? Do we know what we were created to do? Do we acknowledge our calling?

We all have a gift that comes naturally; whether it be organization, administration, hospitality, design, sales, painting, wood working, writing, hair styling, health care, child care, teaching, counseling, cooking, baking, banking, creating, flower designing, veterinary, plumbing, electrical, technical, artistic, legal etc. etc.—there is something that each and every one of us is great at and that comes effortlessly from within. If we have a job where we can apply these gifts and natural skills, work becomes a pleasure—this is when a job is no longer a job. Our age or situation does not matter, we can always set aside fear to make positive change and follow our dreams!

If you have questions about this article or need help taking the first step towards change, please contact our office at 905-684-1717 or visit our website at askflavio.ca

By Flavio Iammarino, Ph.D, SW, C.Cht

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