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Do what you love, don’t settle

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

I refuse to stay in a job that no longer serves me or does not add value to my life, says career coach Eunice Asante. She explains how you can adopt ways to ensure you follow your career passion.

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‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.’ I love this quote by Steve Jobs because it rings so true.

As you progress throughout your career, it’s important to do more of what you love and move away from the type of work that drain you. Work that energises and excites you often does not even feel like work but how many of us get to make this vision into a reality?

As I continue in my career as a career coach, I realise that I have come across three types of clients.

Type 1:

Clients that are successful because they pursue careers aligned with who they are.

Type 2:

Clients that struggle through their careers because they have no vision for what they want.

Type 3:

Clients that straddle types 1 and 2. They successfully secure the jobs they like until one day they don’t and they then struggle to have a clear vision for their long-term career goals.

The key to success boils down to deciding what you want from your career and being courageous enough to take steps towards it.

I know this is easier said than done. It took being made redundant while pregnant and during a pandemic, for me to step out and walk towards the vision I had always had for my career.

But despite the fear, I decided to look at my redundancy as an opportunity to realign myself. And I am so grateful that I did.

If your career goals are not aligned with who you are and your unique offering, consider the points below as prompts that may help you in your thinking process.

Study your manager

It’s impossible to predict the future and know if you are making the right career choices. And there is nothing worse than looking back and feeling like you have wasted time in a job role that had no real future prospects. One of the best ways of clarifying what your future career choice may look like is by looking at your managers.

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Take some time to study the career choices they made and what they have achieved, and ask yourself if you like what they are doing and if you’d like to do the same.

Does their job role excite you, and can you see yourself in what they are doing? If the answer is no, and there is not anyone else within your department or team you would want to progress up to, then take what you need from the role and move on quickly to the next.

Start with the end in mind

‘Start with the end in mind,’ is another excellent quote – this time by Stephen Covey.

When I’m coaching clients to think through their career options, I often quote these words.

As you move closer to the end of your career, it’s important to explore what that looks like. How much money do you want to be making and retiring with, and how far up the career ladder do you want to climb?

If we are truly starting with the end in mind, asking these types of questions will help you to become more intentional about our choices. Work backwards and explore which career choices will best help you to achieve your overall career goals.

Trust your gut

There’s a reason why the gut is referred to as the second brain. With over 500 million neurons that line the gut walls, these neurons allow us to feel, respond and connect to the world around us.

When walking into a new situation, take a moment to notice how your body reacts in that space. If you embark on a challenging career path, take notice of how the different options available to you make you feel and why. We tend to override our gut feelings but they are there for a reason - don’t be afraid to listen and connect with them.

Take stock of time

Time is one of my most important resources available to us. But it is not limitless and we don’t have control of it. As I have matured in my career, I have become increasingly conscious not to waste time, which is why I refuse to stay in a job that no longer serves me or does not add value to my life.

If, for whatever reason, you are in a situation where you need to stay in a particular job, be intentional about what you need to do to get out of the job and start planning your next move.

As I look back over my career, the biggest regrets I have was staying in job roles that depleted me, devalued me, or were just not aligned with who I am as a person. As a coach, I have found that people tend to regret what they didn’t do or the opportunities they were too afraid to try.

If you are happy with your amazing career, keep going and aim for even better. If not, what will you do differently to achieve the career you actually want? In the words of Mahatma Gandhi: ‘the future depends on what you do today. Choose wisely.’

If you want to find out more about career coaching contact me here (link to the contact me page on The Workers Journal website)

Your Career Coach

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