Some of my biggest lessons came from my 19 year career working in corporate. It wasn’t all sunshine and daisies and there were times I just wanted to quit. Even when you experience pivotal moments like I did in college overcoming depression, it doesn’t mean that you follow your own rules for life all the time.
Me= human after all.
Believe me, sometimes we want to take drastic measures like quit but those steps don’t always resolve the deeper seeded issues. Us humans can be so hard-headed sometimes and situations can rise again to test the lessons we’ve learned and bring some variety to life. Often with a bigger twist to help guide your next steps and get you out of old mindsets.
Sometimes it may seem like a place is just wrong for you, I know. After graduating college I worked at two of the biggest tech companies in the Industry. Gold right? At first it definitely felt like I hit that jackpot especially in light of everything I experienced in college. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a big and fine establishment where growth and opportunity were at every turn. I have to say it definitely was and felt that way in the first 7 years I worked. But after the 8th year of the same types of environments where the biggest goal was the bottom dollar you made for the company, it got really old. In that year, I was soul searching for meaning because work was clearly the devil trying to take my soul for money.
I felt at a loss.
Not wanting to leave the gig I’d worked hard to make a name in, the friends I’d made, the salary and benefits, plus guess what? Disappointing my family at landing such great jobs! That emotional pull from my family was something I’d felt several times before. It would be so easy to stay but my heart and soul felt it was time for a game changing move. Remember your current situations and how they come up are often a reflection of your past experiences and current beliefs. Sometimes things have to come up again to ingrain that lesson and test the other beliefs that aren’t serving you any more.
So this time I actually made the bold move of taking a 3 month sabbatical in order to be present for my dad who at the time had a medical scare, but to also figure out my true desires and future. During the time I had so much physical pain from trudging in to work 5 days a week with a laptop that I swore had 10 bricks built into it from how heavy it was. I had incredibly shoulder pain from it but also from the stress of carrying my own guilt on my shoulders. What if I leave, what if I stay, what does it all mean anyway?
What I realized is that work wasn’t the devil, we are our own devils because we make it that way with our thoughts and beliefs. That 3 month sabbatical taught me a lot about choices and freedom and about how much my life was in my hands. I ultimately decided to go to a Massage School open house after having tons of health related conversation with my chiropractor who helped my back. He’s my friend to this day and a big supporter of my work. I even opened up my own Spa and after a while realized that coaching would give me the depth and longevity I needed to help others and bring deeper joy to their lives. I had found the meaning!
You remember when I said we are our own devils right? Well it didn’t end there for me. I proceeded to find my exit plan from corporate while hating every minute I was there. Can you imagine leaving your job angry and misplaced then going to help people in a Spa? I was still a bit lost and here’s why. Even though I found a passion in the work, I failed to see the beauty in my history. Growing up I had so much appreciation for everything I had because I grew up poor and in the projects. Well similarly I had to learn appreciation for everything I learned and was given in corporate.
This is probably the biggest mistake people make at work.
They decide they found something they truly love and then thumb their noses at the opportunities they’ve already had as if they learned nothing. I didn’t mean to disregard my corporate history, but when you’re so impassioned about what you think you’ve found that’s the next best thing you forget how you got there. It’s my own stories of pain and then triumph that ultimately lead me to become a coach today but I was so disgusted with corporate and their money hungry ways that I lost sight of how much I’ve learned and could still learn.
So to recap, the biggest mistake people make at work is thinking that their current job can’t teach them anything, or they haven’t learned anything that will help them in their actual mission. Also let’s not forget that you take yourself and that bad attitude with you to your next job. Even though I was doing meaningful work when I opened my Spa I still had the same attitude of feeling boxed in, repeating the same old techniques, on any given day. I stopped seeing the joy in the work and it started becoming actual work, hard and boring work.
Not until I started to see the joys the work had, and how I was constantly learning, plus the joy in people’s faces as they felt relief and even happiness in many chronic cases, did I understand that there were jewels in that situation. You just need to dig a little. Part of this journey is tapping into your own gifts and the better I learned myself and my desire to connect with people, and truly contribute to their lives, the more I saw meaning in everything I did even if it wasn’t my ideal job. Sometimes you can’t see the very best that’s available in front of you but at the very least it teaches you what kind of work/energy you don’t want to invest in. Seeing everything as a potential gem in my journey turned an incredibly sour situation into icing on my everyday work cake.
I was so inspired by this concept that part of the Purpose with Passion training I created is about deprogramming your thoughts around this very topic. You’ll get to realize how many hard and soft skills we’ve learned and use at work day to day that are teaching you, serving you and sometimes even guiding you toward becoming the person you want to be and the purpose you are headed towards.
And get ready because the Purpose with Passion training is about to relaunch in September so you can continue your motivation and get revved about bringing more meaning and joy.
In the meantime grab a chapter of my new book on the homepage. Enjoy!
See you on the passionful side,