Guest Blog: No Time to Find a Job You Love? Try These 3 Simple Strategies for Meaningful Work
Here's the inside scoop from, Career Development Strategist Emily Perron, confirming what I've already told ya.. PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN!
Here's her insider scoop on why limiting distractions can INCREASE joy and successful career ventures:
All too often, I hear people complaining that they just don’t have time to figure out their next career. And I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve stuck it out at work when I knew it was time to move on because I didn’t want to deal with it. At one point in my career, I spent two years feeling stuck, bored, and frustrated.
A few weeks ago, I listened to Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis on Audible. Because it seemed like all of my friends, and everyone on Instagram, are reading this book right now, I was avoiding it.
But I finally caved. And you know what? They’re right. It’s pretty awesome. And here’s why: Hollis tells us what we need to hear regarding creating lives we love, like, “Our society makes plenty of room for complacency or laziness; we’re rarely surrounded by accountability. We’re also rarely surrounded by sugar-free vanilla lattes, but when I really want one, I somehow find a way to get one.”
I don’t want you to waste years of your life at a job that isn’t meaningful to you, so I put together a few of my best tips for finding meaningful work. (Psst! Another valuable way to discover your path to a career you adore is by taking this free quiz the path that’s right for you.)
1. Turn off your phone.
The distractions we face are endless, especially on our phones. I know it’s easier to scroll Instagram for an hour than it is to spend time working on your resume or searching for jobs online. But here’s the truth: If making a change and finding work that actually means something to you is important, you would do what it takes to figure it out.
But hear me out on this. I recently learned that most people spend an average of 3 to 4 hours on their phones a day. That’s upwards of 28 hours per WEEK. Just a handful of hours short of a full-time job, this stat is incredibly eye-opening. But not quite shocking, is it?
We know we’re addicted to our phones. Accidentally leave it at home once, and you’ll realize your utter dependency. But how would your career—and life—look different if you put it in another room, shut it off (or at least put it on airplane mode), and committed just one hour a day to more productive tasks?
2. Flip the script.
Instead of telling yourself you don’t have the time, start saying, “I have plenty of time to figure out the next move in my career.” See, the things we tell ourselves regularly become our realities. And, in my opinion, “I don’t have time” is equivalent to saying, “It’s not important enough to me to make time.”
Your narrative, whether it’s full of excuses or empowerment, will dictate your future. A good first step to switching the narrative if it feels stagnant or negative is dialing down your complaints. If you verbally complain about work or relationships all the time, you’re placing blame elsewhere, instead of taking responsibility for the course of your own life.
Notice when these negative thoughts begin bubbling up, and ask yourself, “How can I feel better about this situation?” Usually, your emotional and mental approach is the first thing you can modify. Your thoughts will begin to shift to a place of I can, instead of they should.
3. Commit to just one thing.
I went from teaching preschool to event planning to marketing to career coaching. Believe me when I say I get it… Changing your career to pursue something you care about can be entirely overwhelming.
When it comes to choosing an occupation, there are thousands of options. In fact, there is a whole field of research within psychology around this called the paradox of choice. According to the theory, more options are only good up to a point. This point is where we have too many options and end up staying stuck where we are because we’re afraid of making the wrong choice.
My best strategy for dealing with this is to make a list of all the things I want to do and careers I want to have. And, then, pick just one to investigate. In fact, I usually advise my clients take this a step further by picking one thing they can commit to this week that’s in their control, such as asking three people for informational interviews or finding 10 new connections on LinkedIn.
Bonus Tip: Get out of your own way!
I loved Girl Wash Your Face so much that I want to leave you with a quote from Rachel Hollis:
“Know this one great truth: you are in control of your own life. You get one and only one chance to live, and life is passing you by. Stop beating yourself up, and dang it, stop letting others do it, too. Stop accepting less than you deserve. Stop buying things you can’t afford to impress people you don’t even really like. Stop eating your feelings instead of working through them. Stop buying your kids’ love with food, or toys, or friendship because it’s easier than parenting. Stop abusing your body and your mind. Stop! Just get off the never-ending track.”
She’s got it. Changing your career starts with changing your mindset and getting curious about your options. If you’re trying to think of what your one thing this week should be, try taking this quiz to discover your Career Path to Meaningful Work.
Emily Perron is a Career Development Strategist with a Master’s Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology and English. She has experience in all aspects of the hiring process: as a manager at a Fortune 500 company, as a consultant on high-profile hires, and as an applicant. Which means, she gets what employers are looking for when selecting people to interview. And it means that she knows exactly how to help you land an interview for the job you’ve been dreaming of. Follow her on LinkedIn for more fabulous guidance and fantastic resources.
P.S. If you liked this, you'll love Kicked Out of Therapy.