I did, what was to me unthinkable a few months ago. I hired a career coach.
I didn’t start out by seeking a coach. I happened to meet a friend of my girlfriends at her birthday dinner and felt an immediate connection with him. After doing some internet creeping I decided that this was someone I could learn from. He just happens to also work as a career coach.
After staying with the same company for over 10 years I realized that I need some guidance. If I was honest with myself I had let the various jobs I’ve had over the years “happen” to me, rather than seeking them out. What I mean is that life circumstances forced me in new directions. If I was unhappy with my job I simply stayed until I either got fired or finally got to the breaking point. This was a very difficult realization for me. It’s not fun thinking about how your current place in life is a direct reflection of the choices (or lack of choices) you’ve made throughout your life.
As an example; I should have left my last job years ago. I was miserable. There’s a reason why terms like “golden handcuffs” exist, it’s a very real phenomenon. I was well paid and had amazing benefits. So why was I so unhappy? I’ve only had a few sessions but one of the questions he asked me was:
What do I value most from a job?”
I thought about this and came up with two things:
- Creative freedom
- Control over my work
Any time I’ve felt content, happy, or satisfied with my work, these two things have been present. I love working with small teams that have autonomy over their work and the freedom to try new things. My previous job did have that for the first five years or so, but as the company grew, more red tape and micromanaging crept in. It started slowly at first, then in the last year, it really started to change for the worse. Instead of looking for new opportunities, I let the grip of my golden handcuffs hold me firmly in place.
Looking for work during a global pandemic has been…interesting. I’m trying to keep things in perspective and play the long game.