More likely than not, all of us are going to experience burn out triggered by our work at some point in our lives. We all know the feelings too, too well.
At first there is the dull ache of boredom and monotony. Then it escalates into a low simmer of anxiety… so small you barely know it’s there. Next comes the drain where you are mustering energy perceivably out of nowhere. Then the dread sinks in and you start living for the weekend or when the project will come to an end. Finally, if gone unaddressed, your body can start self-sabotaging you and literally make you sick.
Our bodies are GREAT indicators at telling us when we have found ourselves out of alignment with our wants, needs, desires, and values. Unfortunately, too rarely do we pay attention to them until it is too late and we are forced to take drastic action.
Sometimes burn out can be fixed with small tweaks to our work and routine. Other times, some big, messy career change might be needed.
Ultimately, I believe we all end up navigating a career change because somewhere along the way we ended up on the wrong path, chasing a version of success that doesn’t light us up.
What you do should energize you and leave you with the time, mental capacity, financial resources, and energy to live the life you desire.
This sounds like a no brainer but too many people I know, including myself, have found themselves constantly on a path to burn out.
So why is that?
- You haven’t been honest with yourself about what you desire in your life.
- You haven’t created a crystal clear, awesome long-term dream that lights you up inside and makes you ready to take on the world. Instead, you keep finding yourself making short-term fixes to your situation.
- You don’t know what your version of success is. Instead you’ve pasted it together from what other people have told you.
- You settle or don’t have boundaries with your day job or support work that should be keeping you afloat while you pursue your long-term dreams… therefore finding yourself with no energy at the end of the day to create, pursue that side-hustle, or launch your dream business.
- You aren’t clear on your natural strengths and how to optimize those in your work for maximum success and ease.
- You keep looking for jobs, not people. By only looking at the work, you are overlooking the most important part that makes us all feel happy and valued in our work… human connection.
- You spend a lot of time thinking and little time taking brave, messy action.
So what do you do next?
Be honest with yourself about what you want.
You’ve got to start by getting crystal clear on what your wants, needs, and desires truly are. Ignore what your family, friends, professors, co-workers, and society at large have taught you… what do YOU want? Every path will require sacrifices of some sort along the way but if you are sacrificing things you deeply desire in order to chase after the golden version of success that has been put on a pedestal in front of you, it’s time to redefine what version of success is going to make YOU happy.
Explore what energizes you.
Passions and interests are great indicators to what lights us up, but I think there is a better metric. What energizes you? By filling your days with work and activities that fuel you back up instead of draining you, you have found a sure-fire path to avoid the drain of burnout.
Validate the ideas you have, get crystal clear on the financials, and verify that this path could support what you desire.
Before you invest all of your time, energy, and resources into a new career path idea that you have, take some time to validate the idea. How? By talking to people who are doing what you think you want to be doing. They are going to have the best insights into what the work and industry looks and feels like from the inside. They can also give you some great financial information as well as clearly layout the steps you might need to take in order to pivot.
Stop thinking. Start taking action.
If you’ve taken the time to validate and test your idea, then it’s time to dive in, my friend. Here’s the best kept secret in the world: you are never going to feel ready. You are never going to feel 100% qualified. You are never going to completely rid your life of imposter syndrome. The best way to overcome the fear is to go before you are ready. Start taking bold action, and course correct along the way.
If you are feeling stuck and burned out in your career and are needing some guidance and help into figuring out what to do next, I want to offer you a FREE 30 min Clarity Call. Together we can discuss your goals, where you are at now, and what seems to be getting in the way. Book your free Clarity Call here!
Victoria Hines is a Creative Career Coach who empowers creative artists to define their own version of success and take ownership of their careers and business. She spent over 10 years working in primarily the theater and film industries as an actor, events and conference producer, arts administrator, mentor, teacher, and fundraiser working with theater companies, conferences, festivals, and live events. As a teenage cancer survivor and artist herself, she deeply understands navigating uncertainty and trying to answer the age old question: how do you do what you love and make a living? She is also the host of the Creative Journeys podcast. You can learn more at www.victoriahines.com or follow her on Instagram @thevictoriahines.
Content provided by Women Belong member Victoria Hines