In times of intense stress, like after losing a job or a loved one, survival mode is triggered and we do our best to just keep our head above water. But I've spoken with quite a few people who feel like life just happens to them and they are perpetually in survival mode. This could be because they were raised in unstable conditions and never felt what it could be like to be safe to dream big, or because a series of unfortunate events happened that made life feel too out of their control or pointless to bother to shoot for more. Regardless of how you get into survival mode, it's uncomfortable yet familiar at best, and keeping you from living a life you actually enjoy at worst.
Sometimes nothing is outwardly going on in our lives that could trigger survival mode, but because there used to be something going on, we keep up that lifestyle of responding to life instead of creating a life we'll truly love. I'm guilty of this at times- I've heard myself think that planning exciting things is pointless because anything could happen in the meantime to derail my plans. Other variations you may have heard yourself think or say:
Just keep your head down and make it through life.
You should feel lucky to even have a job.
Why rock the boat?
Things could be worse.
You can do what you want when you retire.
All of these thoughts and feelings do a great job of keeping us small, the infant version of who we came here to be. If you're going through a survival-level situation, these thoughts make total sense and sometimes you do just have to make it through something for a little while. But if you feel like it's been years, or even your whole life of survival mode, and you're technically not experiencing an emergency.... it may be time to train yourself to dream a little. To embrace your birthright as a creator. Just. A. Little. Just like learning any skill, learning to create your life will start small and get bigger and more daring with experience.
If you don't know what to dream, think of what isn't working about your life right now. What would be the opposite of that? Start there. Let's pretend you have some control over things. If you allowed something to change in your life, what would be a really nice thing to change? If energy shifted in one area of your life and just seemed to start flowing better, in what area would you like that to happen?
Most things we want to be, do, or have are within the realm of possibility. But we shoot ourselves down before we can even start to break our dreams into manageable steps, or are so accustomed to not having good things happen to us that we simply stop dreaming. Sometimes I see stuck energy like a bottleneck of creative resources that are simply getting stuck in old beliefs or fears that aren't even our own. A baby step to take might be to imagine a switch, a bottle opener, or a dam breaking that allows energy or ideas to flow safely out into the world.
It's worth noting that creating a life you love doesn't have to mean creating vision boards or mission statements or SMART goals (although I love all those things and they have their place). Sometimes it means being able to just be and enjoy life without fear or constant to-do lists of obligations. It could mean allowing yourself to be, do or have something that you know would increase your joy, like allowing yourself to live alone after a long period with roommates. Something bigger than a bubble bath and Netflix, as nice as that is. I like the word “allow,” because it doesn't force something into your life; it goes with the flow of what you already know on some level would work better for you.
There's a game called “Have you heard about (your name)?” that can be really fun to play, even just by yourself. Basically you gossip your own dreams about yourself as though they are already happening, to get used to the idea that a new version of your life is possible. I'll go first. “Have you heard about Gracie? She bought a houseboat off the coast of Valencia and spends every January there. Her business is so successful that her waiting list is a year long. And she's in perfect health!” Your own version of this could be less dramatic, but the idea is simply to tell yourself (or have a friend tell you) a new story about you. A story that helps you see or allow a life you might really enjoy. Sometimes just hearing a new story about yourself can help unclog old beliefs that stop you from what's possible.
Life can be overwhelming and sometimes we simply shut down. That's fair. But if you're tired of feeling like you operate at less than what's possible, it is okay to allow a new story about your life to form. Let's try something else and dream a little dream.
I do an exercise with many of my clients where we identify a motivating force behind their lives- a mission statement just for them. For many people, they read the finished product and feel like, yes, that's me and that's what I'm doing here on earth- that's my purpose. For others, the mission isn't all-encompassing- it describes one aspect of what they're doing on Earth, but not the whole mission. It would be a little odd, for example, to include your role as a parent on your Linkedin profile.
But many people have a mission to parent well. It's probably not less important than doing their job well, or being a good spouse or friend. On any given day we are living out multiple purposes.
One of the ways to determine what a calling or mission might be for you is to think about what comes naturally to you that you also enjoy. Do you find yourself mentoring others whether you're at home, work, church or a sports team? Do you effortlessly break down difficult concepts that others are struggling to communicate? Are you always the one planning vacations, meetings, outfits, oil changes and anything else because you love to plan and organize?
Looking for patterns in how you operate life is one way to see what gifts you came here to share. Many times that purpose won't seem to correlate to your job. For example, a colleague of mine had a client who felt his purpose involved sharing love and wisdom with others. His career was in IT, so he had a hard time seeing how he could possibly be living his purpose. He eventually realized that he led his team with compassion and wisdom, which fulfilled part of his life purpose. He just hadn't recognized his style of leadership as sharing love and compassion because of the IT environment.
For many people, how you live and work is much more important than what you're technically doing. The “what” could be law, education, fitness, construction, e-commerce... you name it. If your work allows you to act in accordance with who you feel you really are, and allows you to share your many gifts, you could be happy no matter what your title is.
So what are some things that come naturally to you? Do you feel that any of those things might be what you're here to share? All of us have different skills and gifts that complement each other. When those around us are fully living out those skills it's a huge gift to those who don't have them. I am so grateful to those who love work that involves analysis and math around tax time! As banal or unimportant as your talents may seem, by doing them you are making a difference. Maybe it's not how you thought it would look-- but you may already be living on purpose.
Has anyone ever said to you, “You should be grateful!” This gratitude policing is usually said after you make some minor complaint about something that is clearly not working in your life. But because so many of us are socialized to take what we can get, to settle and be grateful, we admonish and are admonished by others for suggesting we might deserve more.
I have a client whose perspective on changing jobs perfectly illustrates this:
“I was often told “you should just get your foot in the door at a good company.” Based on this I was thrilled to get my foot in the door at (a large retailer). I wound up on a career path that felt stable and pushed me to learn new things. I often felt “grateful” that I could have such a good job with a great company. This has plagued me throughout my entire career. Whenever I have thought about going somewhere else, I wonder if I will regret giving up such a well-paying and somewhat stable job, even though I haven't been truly happy in my career.
I had also entered the workforce not long before the recession and felt thankful to be employed as I watched friends lose jobs.
I wish I would have done what I am doing now to discover careers that would help me provide for my family and fill me up. I wish I would have had the confidence and courage to try new things that may have scared me but would have led to longer term happiness.”
She recently made a major career move and is very happy with it. It just took some exploration together to determine what direction made sense for her so that she could stop settling while still acting in her best financial interest, but now she's doing something she loves and sees ever-expanding possibilities instead of a life of “well I guess I should be grateful.”
Another one of my clients just quit her job after only 6 months. Yes she had felt gratitude for getting the job- especially because it came after a 3 year career break to care for family. But then it became obvious that she had no real power and worse, everything she was told in the interview was lip service. After trying and trying to get things accomplished, she was tired of banging her head against the wall. Sure she could've stayed for the sake of her resume. But she was going crazy. At some point mental health must be considered ahead of a job. She knew her gratitude for having found the job was no comparison for what she was giving up in terms of her sanity. So she quit. And now she's already interviewing for other positions that are a better fit. While some people may see this as short sighted or impetuous, I see it as brave. It would be different if she didn't have many skills or wasn't a catch, professionally speaking. But she is. She (and many others) can afford to make a “crazy” decision like this from time to time in a long career.
We aren't prisoners of our jobs. But we often act like prisoners of societal or familial expectations. Who really suffers when we “stick it out”? Society? Our family? Not really. It's each person toiling away at something that makes them unhappy and unfulfilled. The world is waiting for you to own up to your gifts and shine your unique light on us. So let's remember to be grateful for that, instead- the freedom to change and the power to pursue true gratitude based on being who we really want to be.
If I could do one thing for every one of my clients, it would be to erase the need for approval from anyone, including themselves. I would find some way to magically inject a feeling of 'good enough' into everyone at the start of our time together, and let it percolate throughout their system until they felt whole.
What if every decision you made in life came from that place of wholeness, of good-enough-ness? What you never worried about what others thought or would say to you about your choices? What would you be doing, and who would you be? What if you really took care of yourself as though you mattered?
Most of us haven't figured out how to let go of the idea that we aren't enough, and because of that, other people's opinions weigh heavily on us. Even when the people close to us approve of our ideas, we still shy away from doing them because who are we to think we can get what we want or pull off a big change?
A long time ago I made the decision to follow a calling to pursue singing and salsa dancing by moving to the Bay area in California. I was lucky that very few people judged me to my face, although I'm sure they were worried about the fact that I knew zero people and had no job or place to live lined up. I'll cut to the chase- it all worked out. I stayed somewhere temporarily until I found a longer lease, I got a job to pay the rent where I met my soon-to-be band mates, and I got onto a semi-professional salsa team within 6 months. Was I saving for retirement? No. Was I in a meaningful relationship? No. Did I own a house? No. I don't even think I had health insurance. But I was so happy- nothing was gnawing at me to go, to try, to express anymore. I was pursuing my passions until they no longer pursued me. My life was interesting, relatively stress-free, and I was learning every day.
I have different passions now and one of them is security. But I still take risks because frankly, they've always paid off. One of my mantras is “feel the fear and do it anyway.” My other mantra is “Why NOT me?” Maybe you're considering a small change but it feels big. If it's been pulling at you for the last several years, guess what? It won't stop. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Even if you think you're not good enough. So what? Why not you, anyway? No one "deserves" success more than anyone else. Did Britney Spears deserve success? Does Donald Trump? Do you?
If you are being called to do something, change something, or feel something, it's for good reason. And maybe you'll never be 'good enough' in your own mind to make it happen. And maybe no one around you will understand why you're doing what you want to do. Maybe you'll even fail at it. But I'm here to tell you that you can be a full on bad person and still do cool shit. You can try something, fail miserably, and then tweak it a little and succeed. You can be yourself, whomever that is, and be different than who you were yesterday. Your life is of your own design. How much are other people or so-called “society” defacto designing your life right now? If you need support to make the change and no one in your life can do that for you, I'm here.
This is simply an invitation to ask yourself where in your life you may not be totally true to yourself. What could life look like if you acted on that little voice within? Who might be inspired by you? What might you learn? And how much pain could you avoid by simply going for it, instead of hemming and hawing for years on end? Because this is it, guys, this is your life.
I promise you, almost no matter what it is, someone has done it before. And they probably lived to tell the tale. The scary, messy, exciting, imperfect, not-good-enough-but-at-least-I-tried story of their life.
Once my clients get through the process of self-exploration, block busting, and researching their options, it's time to start looking for a job they will love. Here are some of the most common tendencies I've noticed that need correcting.
1. Looking for a job the same way you look at a menu.
Most people will check what's available online before figuring out what they want, in the hopes of finding something that will tell them what they want. This is backwards. When you're really young and don't have a great sense of where you want your career to go, this could be okay. But when you're mid-career it's time to take stock of what you really want, what lights you up, what kind of people you want to be around, and what sides of yourself you want to be able to express at work. It's okay to do a little soul searching in order to figure out your next move, versus taking whatever is available.
2. Not tailoring the resume to each position.
This one surprises me, but a lot of people still submit the same resume to each job, even though the key words in the postings are different. You have to include key words from each posting in your resume and cover letter in order to be found by resume scanning software. You also need to be a clear choice when a human looks at your resume, and putting buzz words from that company and/or that job opening will help you look like you fit the role.
3. Not having anyone proofread the resume.
I have yet to see a resume with no mistakes, even if the mistake is simply being too wordy, or not giving yourself enough credit for your accomplishments. Seriously, you've got to have fresh (type A, anal) eyes take a look at it. Things like inconsistent tense (writing some bullets in past tense and some in present), an ill-placed comma that makes your grammar sound weird, and spelling errors don't make you look good. Yes, you've looked it over 14 times. No, you didn't see that you spelled teacher 'taecher'. You're human, it happens.
4. Writing cover letters that describe why you want the job, instead of what you can do for the company.
It's not about you, in their eyes. Your resume's objective and cover letter should be about what you can offer the employer and why (prove it!), rather than why this is a good fit for you/your family/your schedule.
5. Not doing research to see if the place you are interviewing is somewhere you really want to work.
This one is particularly heartbreaking, because if you get the job and then hate it, all that work will have been for nothing, and you'll be back job hunting again. By doing informational interviews, stopping by a place to feel out its energy, and taking a look at what the company has been doing online, you can get a feel for how it will be to work there.
6. Not practicing the answers to common interview questions.
Do you know the answer to “Tell us about yourself”? No one does. It's important to take some time to not only think of what to say for common questions, but also to hear yourself say your answers out loud. That way you can self-correct before you're in front of the people who decide if you get the job or not. What's your greatest weakness? Tell us about a time you had a difficult co-worker. What are your salary expectations ? Why should we hire you? Think about it.
7. Not applying to something you want because you assume you aren't qualified.
This one kills me! I can't tell you how many times in previous jobs that I ended up hiring someone who didn't have all the skills I was looking for. You simply don't find the unicorn every time. Usually when hiring managers are crafting job postings, they put everything they want, kind of like a dream candidate. They don't necessarily all think they're going to find that person. Even when you don't have all of the 'required' skills or experience, if you really want the job and meet many of the requirements, go for it anyway. You simply never know.
8. Turning networking into a big stressful event, instead of a chance to be curious about what one person does for 10-15 minutes.
If you're on Linkedin you have many connections- why not reach out to one of them to ask if you can have a short phone call to learn about their company or field? A targeted approach that's one person at a time where you can focus and not worry about a public speaking situation is easier for most people. Take the time to find the right couple of people who can actually give you more information about a career or company of interest versus blocking out entire evenings for networking events. You'll save time, gas, and the hassle of having to talk to any and everyone who shows up. If you're not on Linkedin or it's not useful for your industry, you can contact employees of a company of interest directly with a kind, short message explaining that you'd love to learn a little about what they do. Many people are flattered or will pass you on to someone even better.
There are so many ways to go about a job hunt. Why make it harder than necessary? If you have any favorite job hunting techniques I'd love to hear them.
Lately I've been attracting more clients who want to work part-time. Sometimes it's because they need to be home with their kids during the day, sometimes it's because they are interested in a semi-retirement, where they can still enjoy the community of the workplace. Sometimes they are trying to get a business off the ground and need some steady income until that happens. But they all have one thing in common: they want health benefits.
For those of you reading this article outside the US, this won't make a lot of sense. Your health insurance or ability to see a doctor is most likely not tied to your job. But for those of us working over here in the dark ages, read on.
I wanted to find out just how likely it was that we could find part time options with full time benefits- turns out, the prospects are a little better than I thought. Not impressive, by any stretch of the imagination, but it exists. And it's not all at Starbucks and UPS (though those are still available options). The question is, will the work all be customer service oriented? Is there room to grow? Could the job be... meaningful?
When you work part-time, you already have work-life balance built in. You have time to do things that make life meaningful, like develop friendships, a business you care about, or take care of family. Perhaps your job won't be your main source of purpose. But there were a few “career jobs” I saw posted with full benefits at 20 hours or more where you would not be serving coffee. Still, most of what I found were lower-salary jobs.
The question to ask yourself is, what do I want out of work? If all you need is health benefits, perhaps it won't matter if your salary is lower. But if you need a high salary, part-time work, and benefits your search will be considerably tougher. If you can work a full 32 hours your options will improve dramatically.
Something interesting I found was that the companies who were generous with part-time benefits didn't stop at health insurance. I saw adoption assistance, tuition reimbursement, and will writing services a few times too.
Here are some of your part-time jobs with benefits options- by no means is this exhaustive: Whole Foods, Allegis Group, Costco, Lowe's, Nike, Land's End, Vohra Wound Physicians, Kaplan, Starbucks, Caribou, Chipotle, Macy's, UPS, Wegmans, Uhaul, JPMorgan Chase, REI, Shire
Notable Minnesota options for my local subscribers: Fairview, Pillsbury United Communities, HealthEast
Do you work somewhere with full benefits for part-timers? I want to hear about it!
Several of my current clients are in the phase of job hunting where they know exactly what role they're looking for, but not what company. Having been burnt before by toxic work environments (as most of us have), many are understandably wary of applying to jobs because they aren't sure what the culture will be like. Why leave toxic culture #1 only to land in toxic culture #2?
Luckily with a little detective work, some of that doubt can be cast aside. The trick is to have a few informational interviews with people who are not in a position to hire you (and therefore more likely to be honest, nor judge you for asking). You can find these people in a couple of different ways: Linkedin, on the company website, or asking someone you already know who works there to hook you up with a coworker in a department you're interested in. It's no longer necessary to ask to meet for coffee and make a big hour-long deal of it. You can simply call or email the person you want to interview and ask for 10 minutes of their time on the phone when it's convenient for them. If they aren't interested or don't have time, simply ask for someone else who might be able to talk to you. Your persistence at this stage will save you a lot of heartache and stress later on if you don't do your homework.
But what do you ask? And will they be honest?
While you can't guarantee honesty, you can let them know that you are very interested in a role/department that would let you _________ (make autonomous decisions, move up in a few years, travel less than 20% of the time, etc). What's important to you? Ask if the company is somewhere you can be/have/do that. Rather than making the person feel like they have to bad mouth their own job, by framing it as a 'if I need this, is this company likely to be a fit for me?' is a lot less icky than “How's the marketing management? Is it awful?” Big difference. And that will help the person on the other end of the phone be honest with you.
Now, here are some ideas of what to ask, but don't ask them all to one person! You know what's most important to you, of course, so focus there first. The following questions are what my clients most frequently express concern about, with additional questions inspired by this article.
Is the organization walking its talk?
Do you feel like you're making a difference? Doing meaningful work or more busy work?
How much do you work on a team versus alone?
What team accomplishments make you proud?
What is the onboarding process like?
Are people competing with one another, or are they united behind the institution or project goals?
Do you have mentors? Do leaders actively coach you?
Is there a clear path to move up or ability to move up? Do people stand in your way when you're ready to move up?
Do people know what’s going on overall? How transparent is the company?
Do people say what they think? Are they direct or indirect?
(If you're a parent) How is parenthood perceived? Is there a place for pumping? Can I leave work if my child is sick without repercussions?
Is everyone encouraged to participate in discussions and have dissenting opinions? Does the boss listen?
What is the ratio of men to women in the department/company? What about people of color to white people? Are people generally closed to those who are different from them, or open? (This can come up in many ways: at a religiously-affiliated institution when you aren't a member of that religion, when you're the only lesbian at the organization, when you moved from “the big city” to the middle of nowhere, etc.)
Are people avoiding or dealing with difficult issues?
What does success look like on your team?
How is performance determined?
How much time are people typically putting in each week? Are people expected to work evenings and weekends?
Is it frowned upon to come and go as needed or is that okay as long as the job gets done?
How is negative feedback communicated (privately and respectfully or publicly?)?
Are the right people involved in decisions at the right time?
Do you get to work fairly autonomously, or is someone else able to change the direction of your plans?
(If there was a recent change in leadership or a merger) How have things been since the merger?
Do supervisors have an open-door policy or is it rare to get any face time?
Describe the office environment (open concept, cubes? Dark and depressing, full of light?).
What do you wish you would've known before you started working here?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years (if they laugh and say “Not here!” that obviously says something. If they say, “Well, I'd hope to have moved up by then, but.... things move slowly here.” That also says something)?
Finally, listen for what isn't said. The deep sigh or the pause before answering. When you can tell someone is being polite because they don't want to say how bad something really is. Listen for energy- a feeling of excitement, accomplishment or purpose. You can often hear if someone is smiling, for example. These are all indicators of what working there will be like.
Do you have any cultural-fit questions you like to ask? I want to hear them!
In the final weeks of my 9-week Career Mastermind, several participants brought up the fact that they would love to change jobs, but worried about making enough money in their new career. This is about as common a concern as you can get, yet when I asked if they knew how much they really needed to make, no one was sure. This is true of most of us, really. We know what we currently make, but we don't know what we spend. This makes transitioning to anything else a guessing game, where great fields of interest can be dismissed out of hand simply because we assume it won't pay enough to cover our bills. But what if you don't actually know how much your life costs? How can you make an educated decision?
One of the homework assignments in the group was to take a look back at a full month of their lives (minimum) to see what it cost. Not just the bills-- the whole shebang. Drinks, dinners out, the babysitter, the gift you got your sister, supplements... You know, all the stuff we don't necessarily plan for, but spend regularly. It's important to include your partner's expenses if you share a home and bills. And it's important to include the cavity you had filled or the glasses you got, even though that seems like a once a year or rare thing. Believe me, every month there's a rare thing.
An easier way to do this than looking at every credit card and bank statement in a month is to use an app like Mint.com. It takes awhile to link all of your accounts, but once they're there, you can easily look and see what was spent in any given time period (excluding cash payments).
The funny thing is, we all know this. We all know about the importance of tracking our spending. But so few actually do it. Why? Because so many of us are afraid that we'll find out something bad and have to change. The bliss of ignorance really comes into play here, as a few participants noted. Why take a closer look when I've been doing more or less fine all these years? Especially if I'm saving money each month?
It's a fair point, until you are faced with the possibility of changing your income. Maybe it's because you're considering another degree or a new career. It's simply too easy to stay in a job you hate, say no to much better options, and yes to terrible ones (because they pay “well”), due to ignorance of what your life costs.
One of the best things about actually spending a few minutes tallying up a given month is that you may find out that your life costs less than you think. Really. It happens.
The other thing to keep in mind is that once you know the truth, you don't have to make any changes. You don't have to forego lattes and only shop at second hand stores. You can do exactly what you did before, but with the knowledge of what you really need to make to keep up that lifestyle. How empowering!
I'll be honest, when I did the math on my life I was surprised. It was higher than I thought it would be. What was helpful for me was seeing how much of those expenses will go away in time, and knowing that I can save that money after the expense is gone. For example, I won't have a car payment anymore next year. That monthly payment can be saved or invested until I need a new car. That's great news!
If the idea of taking a close look at your spending freaks you out, you're not alone. But you ARE the only one who can find out what you need to make to feel safe. And once you know, every other decision becomes clearer.
Did you bite the bullet and add up the cost of your life? I'd love to hear what you learned.
I was on a webinar with some other coaches recently when we were asked: “What's the one thing you need to do, or you will die trying to do?” My first thought was, didn't rapper 50 Cent bring this up like, 15 years ago? And then, is there something I need to do or will die trying?
Personally, I'm not sure there is one thing. As a multi-passionate person I live multiple lives inside of this one, and that's simply what works for me. But for sure my goal is to not feel like I'm trying. I have a sign up in my house that says “Effort. Less. Effortless.” This is because I often forget I'm a human being, and find my myself being a human-doing.
Ironically I have to try to stop trying. I was attempting a quiet few minutes of mindfulness last night when I found myself planning something in my head. I stopped that once I noticed it, and a moment later found myself plotting an educational facebook post. I was literally both planning and educating in my mind, alone, in silence, in the dark!
I find this so ridiculous, and so indicative of who I am. I freaking LOVE planning and educating. I have become addicted to it, to a point that I don't know how to stop. Not a bad addiction, but it can certainly be exhausting. And I have a sneaking suspicion it's a subconscious avoidance technique that I fall back on when I don't want to feel my feelings. When 'just being' feels scary or vulnerable, or simply boring.
Most of my work involves helping people come to terms with who they really are, and then how to authentically share that with the world in a way that supports them. This involves telling the truth, not just to yourself, but to others. It may take the form of applying for the job you secretly want, but previously wouldn't let yourself apply. It may be telling your best friend that you are finally ready to start the business you've been dreaming about for the last 15 years. Maybe it's admitting that your current work culture is unhealthy and you deserve better. Or even admitting you really don't know what you want.
Regardless, I believe the only real thing we should 'die tryin' to do is be ourselves. Learn who that is, and then learn how to live that in all aspects of our lives. This isn't some feel-good unrealistic hippie dream. If you ask yourself where in your life you're out of alignment with who you really are, there are probably ways you know to get back on track. We are ALL worried we won't be accepted for who we are. That's why junior high sucks so much. Junior high never really ends- we just get better at giving ourselves permission to be who we are regardless of who's around, and get better at finding and creating environments that are more accepting.
While I have great respect for people who have that thing that they are going balls-to-the-wall for until it comes to fruition, not everyone has that thing. Some of us simply are that thing, and what we end up doing is the extension of who we are. I, too, am learning to just be myself. All the time. When you can authentically be yourself, your natural gifts come out. And then you really are a human-being, not a human-doing. And there is nothing more you need to be.
Have you ever felt guilty about wanting to quit your job? I have. Especially when I quit my full-time job to start my coaching business. "But they NEED me!" I said to friends and family. How could I DO this to them?
And now I work with good people who are in the same boat... Sometimes too good.
How is being a good person a problem, you ask?
Well it becomes a problem when that good person feels like they can't leave the job that isn't serving them anymore for one of these reasons:
I've also worked with good people who ultimately didn't want to leave their company, but because of Tall Poppy Syndrome they also weren't going for the positions they REALLY wanted within the company. Tall Poppy Syndrome is where people of high status are resented, attacked, cut down or criticized because they have been classified as superior to their peers. Aka, let's hate the popular, powerful, or rich because we're jealous (cut down the tall poppies!).
Have you ever had one of these thoughts pop through your mind?
What's been going on with these Good Person and Tall Poppy beliefs is that they have you between a rock and a hard place. If you stay, you're resigning yourself to playing it small, not living up to your potential, not being recognized, and not making the money you want.
If you go, you have practically decided that means you're a bad person. I mean, really: If you leave and didn't fix everything, what does that say about you? If you aren't 'enduring' your work anymore, what does that say about you? If you make a resume that highlights who you really are, and not just what you have been trained in, aren't you bragging?
See what I mean? I wouldn't leave my job either. It takes an incredibly brave person to finally admit the beliefs and fears that have been operating under the disguise of being a good person and consider acting on them.
Here's the thing: You ARE a good person. And you're a good employee. Even if you leave. Even if you don't fix everything. Even if you leave your team in the lurch. No, really. You will still be You, the Good Person, even if you're unemployed! But You the Good Person deserves to feel like a valued member or leader of a team and get recognized for it. Don't you agree? People ask for a lot more than that every day. You deserve to be met at the level you're contributing, not working for other's advancement! Let's not martyr ourselves and stagnate our personal growth under the guise of being a good person. You don't have to prove that you're a good person to anyone, even YOURSELF!
You already know you're a good person. Give yourself permission to be a good person who acts out of what's good for YOU, not your company. You'll never regret leaving a position that didn't serve your highest good. But you will regret years lost to inaction because you were 'too good' to do anything else.
I never regretted my decision to quit once I left (and neither will you), because I was finally taking care of ME. You're never a bad person for taking good care of yourself.
Life Purpose and Career Coach
Career Clarity Now