Recently I’ve heard a lot about the ‘great resignation’ on Australia’s horizon. With lockdown burnout ripe, it’s no surprise many of us are considering a change in professional scenery. A new job is the modern post-break-up haircut.
Like many, I’ve also used the downtime to reflect on my 27-year long career. My professional calling has pivoted several times, and before landing on my current gig, feelings of discontent were not foreign.
In fact, when I was 26, I had already changed my profession and my studies twice. Working an average 80 hour week, living on a diet of stress and immediacy to please everyone that I served except for myself, will do that to you.
While it’s easy to say change is disruptive, I think there is great value in pivoting to find happiness. However, there is a difference between seeking new because it is right versus being totally exhausted; the latter will likely continue to brew in a new job if it’s only a band-aid for something deeper.
Reasons for change
Good reasons for changing jobs include:
- Increased flexibility
- Better work-life balance
- Working for an inspiring leader
- A more enjoyable team environment
- Experiencing the personal satisfaction of making a difference
However, burnout from a period of deep unrest may not be one of the best reasons.
Work should complement your life
It’s only natural for times of difficulty to reveal what we really value. Often our greatest challenges become the catalyst to reinvention or choosing different career paths. Of course, as life evolves, so do our priorities. Work after all shouldn’t be a chore but a place of energy that compliments your life.
Over the last two years, for many of us, our well-being and mental stamina have been pushed to the limits. And we’re feeling it.
Our brains are social organs. They require connection and stimulation through others. They also require downtime and exercise and good food to function properly. When locked down, only a few of the needs we require to function at an optimal level are met.
Changing jobs can feel like the solution. However, once the adrenaline of a new gig passes, the underlying neglect that drove us to change things up will return unless that decision is also accompanied by a purposeful focus on wellbeing, as well as better professional outcomes.
Finding your life’s work
Helping people understand their brains to achieve more in the workplace, I’ve learnt that abrupt decisions and moves can often be a reaction rather than a deep need. This I know to be true!
The good news is, the latest in neuroplasticity research shows that we never stop learning. When enabled to succeed our brains can build new and lasting behaviours that improve wellbeing and performance regardless of age.
The key to satisfying your brain is to carve out space for a daily routine check-in, even when you have a lot on. This allows you to better face known and unknown obstacles, and to let go of behaviours that no longer serve your purpose.
- Good diet
- Social connection
- Relaxation and mindfulness are also important energy ingredients in fuelling the brain adequately
For me, I was able to let go of the expectations of other people that lead me to be a perfectionist. The trials of my pivoting taught me to be resilient. That resilience led me to find what I love most, helping others to navigate obstacles in brain-friendly and healthier ways.
Finding a rewarding career is not always a walk in the park and there can be challenging times along the journey. As scary as it sounds, there is nothing wrong with admitting that your needs aren’t being met. I encourage you to first consider what those needs and your purpose really are.
‘The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.’
One of my favourite quotes by Joseph Campbell
Questions to review before you make a big move and change your job consider;
- What is your WHY (purpose) and list your strengths?
- What are your top 3 values and why are they important to you?
- WHY are these strengths valuable and to which organisations and industries?
- Do you know and understand what you are missing from this current job role?
- What type of culture and environment would you thrive in?
- Are some of these issues within your control and are you taking them with you to the new job?
- Do you have a manager or support person you can clearly address these issues with….who has a track record of listening and acting in your interests?
- If you take this new role how can you be sure the new role will address the change you need?
Tips for understanding what you need and where you want to go next is key to making a positive change, consider the following;
- Tackle these issues first whilst you are in a calm state
- Create a clear plan and approach before searching or applying for new jobs
- Find experts to talk with and reflect on to validate your plan and ideas
- Take this clear knowledge into your interviews – knowing what you want with conviction makes a difference with gaining the right role and company you are seeking.
Are you looking for proven tools to help you or your organisation? Contact Vannessa @ Link Success today.
Vannessa McCamley is the Founder of the neuroscience of leadership and performance consultancy Link Success. Her first book “REWIRE for SUCCESS” is a digestible simplification of neuroscience strategies designed to help everyone get the most from their brains, improving creativity, critical thinking and emotional intelligence.