Have you felt like a misfit in your career?
Your alarm goes off on a Monday morning and you pull the pillow over your head and groan. The last thing you want to do is get dressed and head off to work. You will give yourself some excuse why you can stay in a bed just a little bit longer…you didn’t sleep well that night or maybe it’s cold in your room. But what you’re not admitting to yourself is that you haven’t been feeling it when it comes to your job.
I’ve been there when I was questioning whether financial supervision was the right line of work for me. I was wondering if I should continue down this career trajectory considering I got a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics and spent the last 7 years building my career in this field. It felt like I was going to waste all that investment, but I also wasn’t feeling connected to what I was doing at work.
Please know that my feelings and thoughts had NOTHING to do with my place of employment, my managers or the work itself.
I had lost my sense of purpose in my career and was trying to figure out what to do next.
If you can relate to this experience, you are NOT weird. Part of being human is being in the question of what your purpose is and that purpose can change several times over the course of your life. Sometimes this may require a career change, and sometimes not.
“But How Do I Know When to Stay In or Leave a Job?”
If you are in the question to stay or go, trust your intuition and follow your path. You CANNOT do it wrong (as I discovered in the last two years).
I felt stuck in my career. I was telling myself that I wasn’t making a meaningful difference in the world sitting behind a desk in Corporate America. It was this fiction that led me to go soul-searching.
I began doing personal development work in 2014 and have become more or less a junkie on growing. It started with yoga and yoga retreats, then a 4-month group coaching program and finally I went through life coach training and launched my career transition coaching business and quit my full-time job, much to my dad’s anguish.
Quitting my job felt right and I was trusting that this was what I needed to do to determine if coaching was my next long-term career.
What I didn’t expect is that this whole journey was going to bring me back to Corporate America with zeal.
And at first, it seemed like coaching was going to be it for. After moving to Florida, my business began to grow quickly, almost faster than I could handle. It was a great problem to have. I had told myself that moving to Florida would include taking care of myself again—working out, yoga, seeing friends, painting.
But that wasn’t happening. I was consumed by my business. And this was completely my own creation. I was the one withholding my self-care.
At the start of 2018, I vowed that I would return to taking care of myself as a form of loving myself. This meant going to the gym and yoga, eating better, getting back into painting and crocheting, seeing friends and spiritual exploration.
It was through spirituality that I chose to return to Corporate America.
Michael Singer Opened My Eyes to My Next Career Move
After reading Michael Singer’s (Mickey’s) books, The Untethered Soul and Surrender Experiment, my friends and I decided to take a trip up to Gainesville, Florida to check out Mickey’s temple. While there, we met members of the community that attend the temple and one woman and I hit it off after she found out I lived in DC for the last 10 years. She grew up in the DC area and she asked what brought me there. When I mentioned my economics and banking background, she encouraged me to speak to Mickey directly about it.
I felt really sheepish. Why would he want to talk to me about my career or economics? The woman explained to me that Mickey doesn’t necessarily meet lots of people with an economics background like his (read the Surrender Experiment for all the details). I was still feeling shy so I chose to leave it alone. I thought that this spiritual man left the economics field behind just as I had so why bring it up?
But the next day, she took it upon herself to talk to Mickey about my background. He bee-lined it for me. Oh no…what do I say now?
I confessed I ditched economics for career coaching after feeling burned out working in risk management after the financial crisis and I wasn’t sure if I would want to go back.
That’s when Mickey encouraged me to see my talent as my spiritual gift to share with the world, that God had blessed me with this gift so that I can help our financial sector.
A warm energy washed over me as my mind flashed back to when I was first hired on the Senate Banking Committee after Lehman Brothers fell in October 2008. I started down this path to help the everyday person be able to live with peace of mind that they can access their money in a crisis, that they can get access to credit when needed.
I had lost touch with this purpose some years ago and in a hot minute, Mickey had helped me remember myself and appreciate the talent I have for financial risk management.
Don’t get me wrong. I have felt tons of passion and purpose with my coaching business. Serving people to help them create careers they love has been an honor and a blessing, and I can honestly say that coaching may be another spiritual gift I received. But what really hit home for me is that I do not need to choose one gift over the other, and even more importantly, I don’t have to choose my gifts over taking care of myself.
Ultimately, it’s become clear to me that at this point in my life that my calling is in Corporate America where I can use both the gift of my financial mind and my coaching abilities all while taking care of my body and mind.
As this is my last blog post, I hope you discover what your spiritual gift is in your career and honor it as a blessing from God. Not everyone can do what you are capable of. It is what makes you unique and special in this world so if you haven’t felt that level of connection or meaning in your career. I hope this blog post inspires you. I hope you find joy and fulfillment, and if not, I encourage you to hire a career coach to help you discover what that is because it will seriously change your life.