I know I’ve been sort of MIA lately. To be honest, I’ve been all over the map (literally and figuratively). Since I’ve been back in Houston, I’ve started the introspective process of what to do next career-wise. And let me tell you, reflecting on what the next chapter of your professional life should hold is far easier said than done.
Books, podcasts, vlogs…I’ve scoured them all. I’m currently in the middle of Julie Jansen’s “I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This” – y’all, if that’s not my life motto, I don’t know what is. It could absolutely be my Real Housewives tagline one day. What I’ve found through my research, though, is that I’m nowhere near alone in my plight.
Research shows that more than half of Americans were unhappy at work in 2014. This unfortunate fate isn’t reserved for those in the midst of a midlife crisis either…more and more people in their 20s and 30s are looking inward to figure out just what they truly need and want from their 9 to 5 (by the way, can we even call it a 9 to 5 anymore?).
I’m no exception, which is part of the reason I’m considering going back to my communications roots and taking a deep dive into digital media, content development and the like. I love storytelling, all things related to personal growth and inspiration/motivation, and the ability to be more creative than finance roles tends to allow. This is also why I’m interested in pivoting to a role in HR, as I love helping people with their professional journey and career development, as well as being a part of culture building in an organization. As the saying goes, “Working hard for something you don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.”
Speaking of stress, anyone in the working world knows about burnout. Despite sometimes being brushed off, burnout isn’t just about needing a week suntanning on the beach. In fact, burnout became an official medical diagnosis in May of this year. A study published in in the online journal PLOS ONE, and discussed in my current read, describes three types of burnout:
- Frenetic = Feeling overloaded with work’s demands of commitments
- Under-challenged = Feeling a lack of development
- Worn-out = Wanting to neglect or give up one’s tasks or responsibilities
I think many of us have experienced all three of these types at one time or another. I feel like the hardest for me personally is feeling under-challenged, which is why I’ve set up two DBAs to take on freelance work while I figure out the next step (more details on these in future posts) – or, depending on how it goes, maybe forever! I really enjoy the idea of having complete control over my career path, who I work for, and how much money I can ultimately make.
Decisions, decisions!! The bottom line is that there’s just no easy way to figure all of this out. So that I don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis and keep myself motivated to move forward in any and all directions, I’ve decided to relay this process in a little series I’m coining Work It! The Career Chronicles. The most exciting thing about this is that nobody knows where it will lead – not even me! No matter where this journey takes me, I’m excited to have a forum to share updates along the way. So, look forward to at least weekly reports on the professional front. Here we go!