Feeling Lost (Career-wise) and Lessons Learned

In search of my true north (Source: Inmagine.com)

In search of my true north (Source: Inmagine.com)

I haven’t written in a while because during the last quarter of 2013, I transferred to a new job. Like most people finding their way through a new job, I completely immersed myself in it. The funny thing is, no matter how much I try to learn about the new role and everything that it encompasses, I keep sliding down. I’m not making any headway.

Some people will probably say, “Well, try harder.” or “Get a mentor to help you understand the job.” In my opinion, these strategies will only work if your heart is in the job you signed up for and not just, you know, for the money.

Personally, I left a company and work that I really like thinking I could make it in another industry (from communication to business development). Somewhere along the way, I realized I like communication way too much to leave it. It also dawned on me that I like interfacing with people more than I care to admit. (I always claim to be shy and reserved.)

In the process of making a career U-turn and heading back to my industry, I reached out to a friend who happens to be an HR practitioner. I requested for her to help me. Well first off, she said, “Just so you’d know, corporate communication is on the wane.” For someone who thinks she’s on top of her industry, I admit I was blindsided by her statement. How could I not have noticed that newsletters, for example, are no longer as well-received as e-newsletters?

“But all’s not lost,” she reassured me. “Take the skills from corporate communication and channel that toward digital media, which is what everyone is into right now!”

The whole point of this entry is that when you’re feeling “lost” in your career, stop trudging along and admit it. It doesn’t help to simply rationalize and say, “Oh, I’ll eventually grow into my new role.” Maybe you will, and maybe you won’t, but it’s important to admit something doesn’t feel right.

Are you one of those who trust your instinct? I am and I do. In the past, it has always been my best gauge when determining if I should place a bet on an idea or calmly walk away. Or run, if needed.

Second, I trust my friends, and I bask in their comforting presence. But when I need more than hugs, cheerful quotes, and pats on the back, I seek career advice from professionals or someone who has ‘been there.’ They can – and should – tell you things as they are, and because they know how to navigate the world of work, take notes and do as they say. If you’re still doubtful, just ask yourself, “How badly do I need to get out of this (rut, mess, hole I’m in)?”

Third, adapt. Be open to changes. When you’ve been in one field for quite a while (as I have), it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.

Many years ago, just a year after graduating from college, I learned this quote, “Retreating (turning back) doesn’t always mean that you’re a coward. It simply means you have to re-think your strategy so you’ll have a better grasp of handling what’s ahead.”

I agree. How about you?

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2 responses

  1. I totally agree with you and have always been led by my instincts, too. Don’t doggedly stick with something if your heart tells you it’s not wrong, and there’s nothing wrong with u turns. Hope you find a way to a happier career soon x

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    1. Awww, thank you for your encouragement! I just haven’t been myself, and it is unfair to dump those negative feelings on others. And so I opted to stay quiet. Enough of that. I hope all is well at your end! 🙂

      Like

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