Most people I know have a love-hate relationship with their job. When the balance tips towards “hate”, how do you know if it’s a turning point or a breaking point?
Often times, there is no right or wrong decision when choosing to see a situation as a turning or breaking point. It’s all about what steps you choose to improve your situation. Mainly, it has more to do learning lessons from your challenging situation that really matters.
Yep, there’s a silver lining in every challenge. It’s just up to you to see it.
Everyone comes to the negotiating table of life with different thresholds for difficult personalities, varying financial circumstances, and life experiences.
Regardless of your background, here are the 3 key questions I’ve asked myself to help change my mindset….and bounce back!
So when deciding whether you reached a turning point or breaking point in your career consider:
1. Is it the job itself or (fill in the blank – boss, pay, coworker, bureaucracy)?
Although resigning from my 9-5 was a “sudden” decision. I put a lot of thought prior to making the switch. I gained clarity by figuring out if it was the work itself that I lost passion for or if it was a matter of dealing with an annoying coworker, passive aggressive boss, etc.
This required a deep dive in reassessing my passions, interests and values – filling up my journal pages each morning, meditating, visualizing, and talking it out with friends and family.
It’s easy to have clouded judgement when unfavorable external elements, that sometimes come with the job, impact what makes the job meaningful and enjoyable.
If it’s an external factor that’s driving you to your wits end, this could be a turning point. Is there is a way of changing the situation (moving desks/offices, asking for a raise, waiting until the micromanaging boss retires next month)?
Rather than calling it quits, this may be your wake up call to seek an opportunity to take action in changing your current work environment. A turning point leading you to job satisfaction.
For example, I once dreaded going to work every day to face a passive aggressive coworker. However, difficult people exist everywhere and I still would need to find a way to deal with passive aggressive behavior elsewhere even after I quit.
Since changing careers would not have fixed the issue, I set some boundaries with my coworker. Although uncomfortable at first, things did get a lot better.
2. If I had all the money in the world, what would I want to do everyday?
I made a list of what my ideal career would look like if a salary did not matter. At the top of the list was “meaningful” work and travel opportunities. If any element was missing in my current career, I considered if there was a way of changing the situation to incorporate factors that mattered most to me.
If there was nothing that could change or would change on its own in the foreseeable future, it may be worth calling it a breaking point and taking action.
For example, with all the money in the world, I would travel the globe and blog on the beach. I would feel fulfilled doing what I love and finding a way to contribute to society while doing it.
I realized that what I needed was a career that allowed for travel opportunities and allowed me to write. Hello, Silver Lined Days!
3. What are the benefits if I stayed and waited out the storm?
Looking back at the multiple jobs I’ve had over the last 10 years, I realized I learned a lot of lessons. Tough lessons. Lessons that boosted not only my professional, but also personal growth.
Maybe the Universe hasn’t shown you the next step (Plan B, exit strategy, vision) because there are still some learning points to master. Staying put allowed me to face some difficult personalities that I am able to apply in other aspects outside of my professional life.
Lessons that develop the soul are priceless.
It wasn’t fun to stomach at the time, but it sure was worth gaining the valuable skill set, knowledge, and expertise.
Do you see any benefits in staying put? Any silver linings worth holding out for?
For example, as painful as it was to sit next to the passive aggressive coworker, I learned how to draw boundaries by better identifying what issues bothered me and getting the courage to speak up.
I developed better communication skills and thicker skin from the whole experience. Most importantly, I also learned so much about myself when it comes to handling difficult personalities.
Want more strategies on how to decide if it’s a turning point or breaking point in your career?