Right now, where are you?
In our personal lives, we operate following a certain rhythm dictated by the life choices we’ve made. Our social lives, our hobbies, our domestic arrangements, all beat to a drum constructed of factors we’ve chosen as the infrastructure of how we wanted to live. And every now and then, we stop. We think about where we are at, what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs to change. That thought process can be spontaneous or planned, sporadic or frequent. But it happens.
If we didn’t stop, and didn’t ask ourselves these questions, it’s highly likely it would result in some sort of unhappiness. A manifestation that could create a bigger problem at another time.
Our professional lives, follow kind of the same path, but with different influences.
By means of explanation, the work we do is as a result of a choice we made to follow this career path, either temporarily or permanently, whether by design or by luck, we could have moved out of it and tried something else – we chose to keep doing this, for now at least. Whether we work for a large business or SME, whether we’re self-employed or operate as an employee. Whether we want to operate in managerial roles or whether we don’t. Whether we generalise or specialise. We have made these choices.
And as in our personal lives, so too should we stop and reflect on our professional lives.
“Without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people”, Albert Einstein.
It’s too easy to get caught up in the minutiae of now and use the “i’ll think about that later, i’m too busy at the moment” excuse to avoid self-reflection. We may be consciously avoiding self-reflection because we can immediately jump to a conclusion that requires effort on our part to do something about, something that we would prefer not to, like ask for a raise, look for alternative employment, or try something else altogether. Or we might not self-reflect, because we don’t appreciate the important value to our lives that our professional existence offers. It might just be ‘a job’.
So where are you, right now? In your professional life, on your career path, or professional development? Where do you want to be? What do you want to change? What are you absolutely loving? What is driving you into the ground? What work have you done recently that has made you feel something? What task are you really avoiding and what is it about that particular job of work that you don’t like? Are you where you expected to be by now, and if not, does it really matter?
If you’re off track, how can you get back on track? If you are on track, is your plan achieving what you thought it would achieve. Are you happy? Are you unhappy? Are you simply content – and for where you are at this point in your life, is being content good enough?
All of these questions are just examples of some of things it’s good to think about every now and then. The thing is, we work in the “people” trade and do you know what we are really awesome at? Asking other people to ask the above questions of themselves. Taking the time to do it ourselves on the other hand, no – my experience is we’re not that great at that.
It’s important to look after ourselves. It’s important to self-reflect and it’s important to make changes when the time comes.
Or else, we’re probably existing, or at the very least, not fulfilling our full potential.
Either way, without evaluating ourselves and taking steps to make us happy, unhappiness is almost a certainty, or a dull niggling boredom, at the very least.