Are you stuck in a job you don't love? Have you heard of the three C's? They are choice, chance, and change. Will you make the choice to take the chance to make a change?
Francesca Battistelli released The BreakUp Song, last year. In it she tells a story about a person sick and tired of being sick and tired. She talks about fear and being over being afraid. I sang this song out loud one day and realized it was fear keeping me chained to a job that I had grown to hate.
My situation didn't get there overnight. To be honest it was a culmination of events that opened my eyes to where I was. That is a story for another time. What's important is listening to this song helped me realize I had become the victim of my own tale. I felt weak, hopeless and helpless. That's how I got stuck in a job I didn't love anymore.
Giving in to the reality that I am strong and free to make my own choices I decided I was going to write a story I wanted to live. Don't live in frustration. There is always somewhere to turn and options to choose from. To see my options I had to give up the fear that convinced me I was stuck in my job. I had to make a choice to take a chance to make a change. So I did.
Without fear consuming my heart I had the energy and inspiration to get to know who I was, what I loved, what I was good at, and how I could get paid for it. I had to literally envision cutting the chains that bound me to a place that I didn't want to be. What can you do to get past your situation? Try this:
- Realize fear is a liar. All of the reasons we tell ourselves to keep us in a job we hate are lies. You are good enough, you can learn new things, there is something better out there for you, and other peoples opinions of you don't matter. You know what happened when I did this? I changed my life. I fired my job. I took a month off. I fell in love with myself again. It took some heavy lifting and unpacking of my issues. But I got there once I made up my mind to do the work.
- Make a plan. You don't have to know where you are going just plan how you are going to get there. People keep asking me what that means? My plan was to find a job. Notice my plan wasn't to find someone who can find me a job. I had to overcome how much the job search had changed. I built time into my plan to learn to hunt the new way. You get to decide where you want to land and create a path to get there.
- Leverage the power of LinkedIn. I knew I was going to be looking for a new job so I started building my network a year before I started looking. Until August of last year I didn't really understand how important that would be to my plan. With a strong network and egoless self promotion you can uncover opportunities that are right for you too. This too takes work. Initially I spent eight hours a day watching how people most effectively interacted on the platform, researching companies, and identifying people that could help me in my quest.
- Implement ideas others seeded. I embraced the fact that I didn't have to figure it all out on my own. When I allowed myself to listen my LinkedIn journey started to bare fruit. Opportunity began knocking at my door. My job search gained traction. I even got to the point where I could start turning down opportunities. I took control of my destiny with the help of my LinkedIn network. No longer was I just hearing, I began to listen. I didn't just see, I had a vision.
- Be different. Be the change. The process was painful. I was frustrated by how long it took to move through recruitment processes, it stung when my calls weren't returned, I hated it when I got ghosted. At the end of the day, none of that was in my control. I learned I had to stop dwelling on all of the things I had no control over. When that happened and I flipped the script, I started to see the path that was meant for me and just me.
I prepared my financial situation to allow me to be out of work for as long as it took to find a new position. I set a very aggressive goal of finding a new role in two weeks. Two weeks later I was no where close to finding a new job. I reflected on what was working, what wasn't, and I made the adjustments. In other words, my plan changed as necessary.
Also, I decided to pay for the LinkedIn Premium account. It gave me access to data that I would not have otherwise have. It also allowed me to reach out to people outside of my network. This was so valuable in the beginning.
Some people think I had an inherent advantage because I was in HR. I didn't. I knew how to find people to fill jobs... that was part of my job. I heard the horror stories of what it was like to search for work in 2018 but the reality slapped me in the face just like it does for everyone else. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. In the Army they say "embrace the suck". That's what I did. I learned to embrace the fact that finding a job is hard work and it's a skill that we don't use often. I was rusty and I needed help.
I got really comfortable with the uncomfortable. Make sure you make time in your plan to write, research, and rehearse. Before I knew it I was scheduling calls with strangers. I even posted for the first time... initially about my job search. It was scary. I was worried about what others thought. I didn't know how to find my voice. I had to take a good hard look at the fear that was holding me back and tell it goodbye.
You know what else? When I really got honest with myself I realized I needed to find my value. I needed to learn how to translate that into actionable things I could do in a new role. I learned that I had to tell every single person I encountered that I was looking for a job. But who wants want to sound desperate? That's just fear talking again. Let it go. Pro tip: let other people talk you through this and use their feedback to fine tune your message. Before you realize it your words are full of confidence and self worth instead of fear and panic.
I got very intentional about what I was doing and how I showed up. My mind opened about the process of looking for a new opportunity. I needed that openness to be effective in my search. I needed to discover the reality was, I did have nonnegotiables. What were they? I needed to find an inspirational boss, an emotionally safe and healthy work environment, and I needed opportunity to grow.
Before I realized LinkedIn, and the people I met through it, helped me discover strengths I didn't know I had and how I could use them to enrich my job search and my life. The door that was closed when I left my old job led to a door to my soul that had never been opened before. The people that were attracted into my life by this newfound confidence challenged me to push myself in ways I didn't know where possible.
That's when I started to accept invites for coffee, meetings for lunch, I learned how to utilize Zoom and Calendly. I had all of these fears that vanished because these people were only interested in helping me help myself. They had nothing to gain from these interactions. Then I started helping them too!
Gone are the passive days of waiting for employers to find you. HR departments are stretched thin. The workplace is changing quickly. When you demonstrate how you are able to add value in the new workplace you will find your right fit position.
Here's the secret. What worked for me might not work for you... that's ok. Make the choice to take the chance to make the change that is right for you. Cut your chains. Build your network that believes in your value. Embrace your imperfections because you are the only you and that is awesome. Your tomorrow has everything you need. Believe in the power to be more and do more.
You have to stop trying to make life fit into your mold. Stop demanding answers and start asking questions. Get really comfortable with being curious and honest about what you don't understand. When you do you can't help but love what happens next. Where can you start? Have you figured out... What is your "it"? What does it do? Why does it matter?
Put in the time to figure "it" out. Thank you to all of the people who told me "you got this" along the way. Thank you for teaching me to reach out for help when I needed it. I wish for others is that they learn to highlight their superpowers and take the driver's seat of their lives. If you think I am crazy... I went from no offers and a feeling of hopelessness to multiple offers and a new life in a little over a month. Find you path and love your journey. You got this.