A lot of us have been there. You are getting ready for work in the morning and as you are brushing your teeth you wish you could go back to bed. In the middle of a conference call you find yourself drifting off, as you wonder “what am I doing here?” You count minutes until 5 pm and run out the office door, just to come back tomorrow. You spend minimum nine hours a day playing a role that squeezes your character like ill-fitted jeans squeeze your waist, but you keep doing it. “You are lucky you even have a job!” you hear from your friends who struggle with unemployment. “What you are doing seems so cool!” you are told by many that would love to be in your shoes.
You acknowledge and appreciate these comments, but you know you are not living your purpose.
I was a willing victim of these symptoms for about two years. I was miserable. After working a string of exhausting, “9-5” sales and marketing jobs that were a poor fit, I decided to put an end to it.
Just a few months after my 30th birthday, I got a job as a kinder garden English teacher in China. I didn’t know if teaching was what I want to continue doing, but I knew it was a great way of figuring out my life while getting paid and learning about a new culture.
So off I went, with suitcases full of clothes, courage and enthusiasm for my new beginning!
After three months of being a teacher in China, I can say this is one of the best decisions I have ever made, both personally and professionally. It has given me better insight into my strengths, values and goals than any previous job. It revealed qualities and skills that I didn’t even know I had. But most of all – it renewed my zest for life.
Here are 4 reasons why you should embark on a different path, if what you are doing now doesn’t make you happy.
1. You owe it to yourself to live your true potential.
You might be working a job that satisfies all norms of a “good job” …. On paper. The fact that you work in a well-known company, or receive an enviable pay check, isn’t a guarantee for your happiness. Listen to your inner voice. If you hear it often enough it is probably worth listening to what it has to say. You might have hidden talents you never fully explored, dreams that you disregard as “irrational” or projects you never finished. All of these are lost treasures. Rediscover them.
2. Working out of passion rather than obligation is way more rewarding.
When you decide to leave the unhappiness, you leave room to explore what you really love. Sometimes what we love scares us. We might think it’s “silly” or “it won’t get us anywhere.” But we forget that what we love we do best. And what we love is usually what we are naturally good at. And what we are good at in the end brings us the most prosperity – financially, emotionally and socially. So, why let that fuel go to waste? Embrace it and use it to build your very own dream-made empire.
3. You deserve a chance to live your true values.
I always knew I loved working with people. I also loved flexible work environments where I could let my silliness show from time to time while wearing casual attire. Still, I would somehow end up in cubicle-designed offices, where the dress code was stipulated and every move monitored.
Teaching kids in China has not only allowed me to fully live my values in a workplace, but it helped me discover something even deeper. Working with five year olds, made it obvious to me how much I enjoy giving and receiving love. I realized that this was the core I’ve been missing all these years from my professional life. I also realized that in order to have a satisfying career I need exactly that – raw, genuine exchange of emotion – love, gratitude, happiness, sadness firmly cemented at the base of it all. With this invaluable discovery, I am now able to craft future career goals that are truer to my heart than ever.
Let yourself do the same.
4. You become unstoppable.
When you get the courage to break the mold, step outside of your comfort zone and embrace your passions, you are freed. Your irrational fears, doubts and hopeless thoughts simply melt away. Instead, you emerge with a renewed purpose that you are eager to achieve.
And from there, anything is possible.