When money’s no longer the dangling carrot you’re reaching for, what can you do to seek out a career beyond “chasing the money?”
What’s the real cost to you when chasing after money?
When I remember back to the time I chased “the money” in my career, not a day went by that I didn’t think about getting promoted and how I compared to my peers. Performance bonuses each year were given based on being top of your class. Achieving that meant you earned more than your peers and may walk home with a bonus of something like an additional $8-10K.
I chose projects that were highly visible and challenging. Did they see me do that? Will that get me ahead? Is that a career-making role? I worked long hours in the office, sometimes after the central A/C was turned off and your arms start to stick to the desk. I convinced myself to work ahead on the weekends too. A part of me felt I had to work this pace, and there was no other way. It was exhausting.
And to further add pain to misery in working so hard to earn more and be on top (of what really?) was the fact that the work itself didn’t matter. It rarely motivated or inspired me. By the time I ignored the warning signs and burned out, I realized I wanted work that mattered to me. With the help of my friends, husband and coach, it was time to ask myself some tough questions.
Try asking yourself these 6 questions
If you’re in this predicament, here’s a quick way to begin articulating your new mission and goal for career success. Take a deep breath and jump into your responses. There’s no right or wrong answers here. Try these six coaching questions to create a career that matters:
- What personal values are most important to you?
- What’s the relationship between what you value and what you want in the future?
- What’s the cost to you to continue on a path that’s not in alignment with your desired future?
- What’s the lifestyle you want to create?
- What if you bring your future and passion forward each day?
- What’s the truth that you’re ready to face?
What if the answer is right in front of you?
The shortest route to defining the career you want starts with studying yourself. When these answers come easily to you and with strong emotions, maybe it’s time to listen to your inner wisdom. It’s OK if you feel upset or frustrated. What matters now is what you’re going to do with this new insight. Talk with a friend, mentor or coach who can help you see a new perspective and set new goals towards the future you want.
What if you had the career of your dreams?
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JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, speaker, and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.
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