At a party recently, I found myself in several conversations over the course of the evening about work. In each of these separate discussions, I heard people describing their work with a certain degree of blerg – even for those with new jobs, or those who’ve been quite successful for a while.
We all have to work. We are expected to work, to provide, to contribute.
And yet, more and more people I’m talking to are feeling mildly dissatisfied with how things are. That there’s something missing, and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is. Especially those in or approaching mid-career, in our 40s, are reaching a point of having checked off many accomplishments and benchmarks – titles, certain salaries, teams, projects.
These same people, having achieved things their parents would have been satisfied with, are left wanting more. (But, we don’t want a mid-life crisis…)
Often, that nagging feeling of dissatisfaction translates into saying yes to a headhunter’s call, or scrolling through job postings for one that seems just a little better than the office politics or crazy CEO they have to deal with.
A few months into that new job, after the initial buzz of excitement wears off, the malaise creeps back in. What happened? And why did it come back so quickly?
The problem is – you don’t necessarily need a new job.
The job isn’t always the problem. Instead, it’s about finding more meaning in your work. Looking at what’s underneath all those perks and accomplishments to answer some deeper questions.
Why do you work?
Certainly, there’s a degree of practicality about it – we all need financial resources to live the lives we want. But for you, that’s not quite enough.
And chasing another job isn’t going to fill that hole you feel going to work every day.
You need to go further: What really matters to you? How can you bring that into the work you do (whether the 9-5 part, or outside of that)? How can you create more meaning in how you spend your time? And ideally, also in how you get paid?
These are questions I’ve wrestled with myself in the course of my career – in addition to coaching clients to figure out the right next step for them.
Why does this matter when you could just click the “apply” button on the latest job hunting site?
In my work as a recruiter, I want to hire people who have a hunger to do something bigger with their time and gifts than just check some boxes or find the easy way out.
Because I know those are the people who contribute more and stay longer, who really care about the place and the people they work with.
If you are one of those people – and you want to dive into these deeper questions to find more meaning in your work, schedule your career inventory with me now.