How you feel about work matters. How your work makes you feel matters too.
This post is dedicated to a friend. He's looking for a job right now and trying to make sense of his career at the same time. This friend has been through a run of bad luck recently. But he's still wise and courageous enough to know that his luck will change and that he's the most likely one to change it.
He's still learning from recent experiences, some of which he'd rather not repeat. In fact, he's aware and smart enough to know that he's still learning from all of his career experiences. And at no time is this more true than when you're looking for work.
Old decisions, old situations and past conversations often come back to haunt you. You can easily find yourself getting caught in loops of "If only", "What if", 'Should've' and 'Could've'. And if your career has ever been somewhere similar, you'll know this leads nowhere.
[By the way - I'm sure I sat next to the Shouldves or the Couldves at a wedding. Lovely couple, if a little hard on themselves.]
Reaching High, Courtesy of Rosa Say on Flickr
So what message did I want to send my friend here?
You know more about your career right now, than at any other point in the past. You'll know even more tomorrow too because every day you're learning something new.
This time around, you're also making discoveries for yourself. Sure, there are people who can and will help you, people whose opinions matter, people you need to take care of. But most important right now is the understanding you're building for yourself around work. The figuring out that focuses on your personal relationship with what you choose to do for a living.
Only you can know what work has made you happy in the past. You're the only one who can get excited by new work you could be doing right now - whether it's out there in your community or in a place you've not even visited yet.
You're the only one who'll find the work that puts a smile back on your face and the right sized pay-check in your pocket. You're the only one who can understand where your own desire comes from and how it keeps you going. You are the only one who can make yourself feel more secure in each step, as you get your career moving forward again.
As you probably already know, there's no magic bullet when it comes to careers. No easy answers. But there are plenty of questions. And if we're courageous, determined and willing enough to face these questions - as I know my friend is - the absence of easy-rides, short-cuts and quick-fixes all becomes worthwhile.
Hope this helps in some small way :)
All my best for now,