1st July 2014 - that's when everything changed for me.
It was the beginning of my birthday month, turning 30 and of course - reflecting back on the last decade of my life.
It also marked the 10 years for me being in the Marketing industry - specifically the FMCG industry. It is a niche in itself, a small group of professionals - most of them know each other in one way or the other (You think Australia is small? Brisbane is a village!)
Being this small also meant that everyone I knew and did business with was in the same industry - maybe slightly different profession but still - working in the same field.
I remember the feeling when I realised that - being in that industry which I worked so hard to get where I was for a decade - is not what gets me excited anymore (which is the nice way to describe that I was burnt out, lost confidence in my abilities, got anxious and put myself into a very dark hole.)
It wasn't until later that I realise that it was the combination of being with the wrong people (totally misaligned with my beliefs and values) and being in the wrong role (totally misaligned with my strength) that threw me out of my bubble that FCMG marketing was my life.
Well - it was my life. Until it wasn't anymore.
It's not a rosy situation when you realise that - all you have worked so hard for, have made sacrifices for and invested a lot of time, money and energy for - is all of a sudden not what you actually want anymore.
Not sure what was worse though - realising that I ran up the wrong mountain or not knowing what else I could do, given all my experience and network was in this niche area of Marketing.
Plus - I didn't have any knowledge on the digital side of Marketing either which was - back then - starting to get in high demand and I couldn't do.
The feeling of not having options because of the responsibilities (mortgage, family, age, guilt feeling because you have invested so much in it ...) you have whilst going down the dark rabbit hole is certainly not something I wish anyone to go through.
Which is why, now - 4 years later, I have made exactly this my mission:
Helping companies and their professionals to not only pivot in their career but to initiate change on their terms, innovate themselves by creating opportunities where they can align their strengths and values so they can be in their high performance flow zone and make money doing what they love and are great at!
However, it is not always a complete career pivot that is necessary for you to get back on track and excited about work again. Sometimes it only requires a little tweak here and there and everything can change.
Rather than focusing on the symptoms, it's about realising the problem.
So before you leap off the job cliff, try to answer a few questions first:
If you could do your role in a different environment, would you enjoy it?
Take a minute and realise if you’re unsatisfied because of the work you’re doing in your role —or because of where and with whom you’re doing it.
I found myself 2x in toxic environments which led me to hate my roles.
Reflecting back on it now, it wasn't the roles or tasks that got me in this miserable state. It was the culture and backstabbing people in the environment that made the roles dreadful.
The Take Out:
If it’s pretty clear that it’s the people, places, or environments you are in and with —and not the actual tasks, it might be time for a new hob, not necessarily a new career.
If you were told today that you couldn’t work in your field anymore, how would you feel?
This question gets to the root of what you’re passionate about. Do you feel that what you are doing is what fires you up, what gets you up early and stay up late? Or is it a means to and end and you are thinking of how else you could pay the bills?
Go back to the beginning - why did you get into your field in the first place? What got you excited about it and why did you progress in your career since then?
Maybe you realise that you never were passionate and excited about it. Or you realise that it was a shift of responsibilities that has made you lose the interest in it.
In my case, the last role didn't play to my strengths at all anymore. It was a very different role because of the seniority of this role. Everything fell like hard work and whatever I was doing, I didn't seem to excel in it which I used to.
It made me lose all my confidence that I built up in the first part of my marketing career which made my think that I had to do a 180C change.
The Take Out:
If you were excited once, but now only feel exhausted, bored, not capable of doing it anymore or worse, it is probably time to consider new possibilities that play on your strengths and experience but maybe in a different field.
Do you know what your ‘perfect promotion’ would look like?
Think about your ideal average day:
What is it that you would do?
Where would you do it?
With whom would you do it?
How would you feel when you are in this environment?
Often people are unhappy in their current role but at the same time, can't think of what they actually want.
When you can't ask for it, you can't get it.
The Take Out:
Clarifying your goals and your bigger picture plan can help you create environments and opportunities that align with your strengths, your beliefs and values.
It will also help you determine whether you are on the right track when new opportunities arise and you will be able to make decisions quicker because you know exactly if it's the right fit or just another bandage.
If you want to learn how to create a career that aligns with your strengths and values,
check out our new
which helps you to
determine your flow zone and how you can commercialise your strengths!
Petra Zink is a Coach, Speaker and Educator on all things Career & Personal Development, High Performance and Innovation.
She works with Companies and their Leaders to bring Entrepreneurship in-house and build intrapreneurial High Performance Cultures.
Petra helps Companies to initiate Change, innovate and make an impact - on their Terms.
Petra also works with Senior Professionals in a 1:1 Coaching Program to accelerate their Personal Brand Development. Click here for more information