Have you been away? Planning a holiday? Dreading the 'back to work' blues?
I remember that sinking feeling of returning to the office after a glorious week of sea, sand and sunset cocktails, and just wanting to cry.
It was like putting on a mask, where I had to leave the ‘real’ me at home and go back to the old ’work’ me again. But that was normality back then, I thought that was just what you had to do. You got to have your couple of weeks of freedom and fun each year, and then you had to put that to one side and get back in the rat race, because that’s what everyone does.
Now 18 months on, I can see exactly why I felt so misaligned between 'real' me and 'work' me. Taking time off had allowed me to explore and live out some of the values which were most important to me, such as freedom, adventure, connection and discovery. But at the time I had no idea what my values really were, and why it was SO important that I find a new career which was more closely aligned with them.
So if you’re feeling unhappy at work and missing those heady days of summer freedom, then take 10 minutes to really think about which experiences you miss most from that time:
- Was it the chance to spend more quality time with your loved ones?
- Was it that you got to do a new and exciting activity each day?
- Or did you love the fact that you could set your own hours and do what you wanted without being answerable to your boss?
List them out and think about what values they might represent. Spending more time with friends might show that you have a strong value for community. Being able to go sightseeing and learn about a new culture might reflect values of learning and inspiration.
As you dig a bit deeper into which aspects you miss and what values they represent, you can also think about how to bring more of them into your day to day life now. How could you introduce, for example, a bit more adventure, creativity or fun into your daily life and work?
You can share how you got on in my friendly and supportive Facebook group, The Happy Careers Club. I'd love to hear from you!
Remember, you don't have to keep waiting to live your best and most authentic life. You can get started today.
p.s If you’d like to find out more about how exploring your values can help you find the career and life you were really meant for, then check out my 'Change Your Life In Your Lunch Hour' express coaching programme.