Be Careful What You Wish For …
A few days ago, I met a colleague after 14 years and we began to talk about our lives and career paths. I choose to become an independent consultant, while my colleague took on a number of challenging roles in the corporate world. However in-between corporate roles, my colleague mentioned the need for mini breaks or sabbaticals. Even as an independent consultant, I also had the need to take some time out to reboot and contemplate life. It is a great time to consider your life and career goals as well as make some life changing decisions.
During a recent sabbatical, my colleague decided on some crucial career requirements that would form the basis of deciding on a future corporate role. After a few months, my colleague was presented with an opportunity which aligned completely to the career requirement and so began an exciting corporate role. It really got me thinking about how we can to some extent have an influence on our destiny.
Over the years, I have met many people who were unhappy with their job, career, boss, employer, etc., and when asked what would make them feel better or happier, many people could not really answer the question with any certainty. How can one expect changes, if you have not defined what that change will look like. I have realised that many people are so caught up or consumed by the pressures of daily life that they make little time to reflect on their own lives. In some cases people are almost scared to think about their wishes, desires and dreams.
I also recall a time when life was all consuming and my own desires were pushed aside while dealing with the pressures of my career. It was only when I decided to pursue a career as an independent consultant, did I realise that I needed to define what I truly wanted to achieve. Without a clear definition, I tended to react to consulting opportunities and sometimes asking myself why am I doing work without truly adding value to my client. Once I began the journey of defining what I wanted to achieve, what consulting work I found rewarding and how I wanted engage with clients, I started to enjoy the work I engaged in.
I believe the discontent many people feel can be attributed to them not doing what they are truly supposed to do. This unhappiness translates into low productivity, low quality output and lower level of service which ultimately leads to internal conflict. If you find yourself in such a situation consider changing what you do, not based on monetary rewards but based on what is more fulfilling. Begin to define what you want and don’t be too surprised when you get it.