The C Word

How do you feel when you hear the C word?

I'm talking about your capital 'C' Career

Are you excited by it? Do you love getting up in the morning? Do you feel inspired?

Or, are you indifferent to it? Do you think of how much you don't want to go first thing when you wake up? Do you feel stuck?

Maybe you're somewhere in the middle, a combination of conflicting feelings?

It doesn't matter if you head to an office downtown, work from home in your jammies, or spend your time as parent-in-chief at home. We all have thoughts and feelings about our career, how they are, and how we feel they should be. 

I was objectively on the right career path for years. 

But I always questioned it. My jobs felt like a distant second or third place to something else I should be doing instead. 

  • I was always unsure if I was in the right place.

  • I would look around at my co-workers (many awesome, some not so awesome...), convinced that I was meant to be somewhere else.

  • For a while, my Sunday Scaries started on Saturday night.

  • For a while, I would cry behind my sunglasses on the subway platform, waiting for the train to take me downtown.

The root of this was that I couldn't see a way out. I had a lot of ideas but couldn't choose just one. I imagined the worst-case scenarios for all of them. 

All of these thoughts did nothing but keep me where I was. 

I felt stuck. 

And then when I became pregnant with my son almost 4 years ago, things started to shift. 

I remember thinking very clearly that I wanted to be an example to all of my future children. I didn't want them to see their mom dread going to her job. I didn't want "work" to be a negative word.

I started to change how I thought about my career and what I wanted:

  • Instead of thinking "It's not realistic", I started thinking "It's possible."

  • Instead of thinking "I don't know how to do it", I started thinking "I can figure this out."

  • Instead of thinking "How will I make it work", I started thinking "I can learn."

Rather than just imagining things I wanted to try, I started taking action because my motivation to change was strong. I didn't know exactly where our how the actions would lead. But I believed they would lead me to a career reality that was truer to me than were I was.

  • When my son was 7 months old, I enrolled in and completed a yoga teacher training.

  • I hired a coach to help me work through my mind drama and plan out my next career steps.

  • I re-enrolled in a coach certification program and started coaching women in my spare time.

  • I started to address and undo years of being a "yes" person at work. I took fewer things personally and found more fulfillment in a career that had felt stagnant.

Change has come from the commitment to make hundreds of small shifts and decisions to take action, one after the other. 

So, how do you feel about your capital C Career? How do you want to feel?

Do you believe it's possible?

Or are you resigned to feeling stuck? Or good enough? Or "I'll think about it when the kids are back in school?"

Who would you be if you didn't think these thoughts?

It won't happen overnight. But if you don't start, it won't happen at all. 

Catherine FergusonComment