That stuck feeling. I suspect most of us know it. And there's a lot of talk these days about doing what you love (which isn't always great advice, I feel. Even if you love something, like I love yoga, it eventually becomes your work routine, like any other job would).
But there are some hard-to-ignore signs that it's time for a career change (who knows, you might actually end up teaching yoga). Sometimes, all you need is to take up a new hobby, or revamp your attitude. But sometimes, it's more than that.
It IS possible to align your work with your values, especially if you are lucky enough to live in Australia, where we have so many opportunities.
So, any of these sound familiar?
1. Repetitive burnout.
You are constantly tired, you dread going to work. Claire's experience of burnout was like this: 'My heart just wasn't in it anymore and my body really knew before I did. I'd find myself in board meetings talking about strategy when I really wanted to ask the person next to me 'how are YOU?' I wanted to connect with people on a more authentic level.'
2. You're using something as a crutch to get through the week.
This is probably what comes once you are burned out but haven't made a change. Don't get me wrong, it's great to have tools to help you cope. But if you are in the situation Suzy was in, well.... 'It was time to change my career when the only thing that got me through my week was the three yoga classes I was doing! Yoga saved my sanity _so_ many times (and quite often, saved my co-workers from experiencing my wrath!) that I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I knew how good I felt with yoga in my life and wanted to share that with as many people as possible!'
Yoga is a pretty healthy crutch to be using, but if you are drinking more than you should, or something equally destructive, that's a sign you need change too. I know, stating the obvious.
3. You're bored and not growing
This was one I ran into in my before-yoga career. The money was good, the people I worked with were lovely. But I was really, really bored. And there wasn't anywhere for me to go, progression-wise. I confess, I bought way too many pairs of shoes in that time. Oddly enough, I don't have much need for shoes now (har har, awful yogi joke).
4. Your workplace is toxic
This is a big one. Bullying, subtle or obvious, untrustworthy colleagues or bosses...that sh*t is a PROBLEM and it's likely to affect your mental and physical health. If you can get out, do.
Even starting to plan your exit will probably help you feel more positive.
5. You're just there for the money
We all need to make money, to provide for ourselves and our families. But most of us need to feel fulfilled in other ways too. Like Nancy says: 'More and more my work became just about making money to head off to the next yoga training/festival/retreat and less and less about the work itself. I've always been passionate about what I do and couldn't bear it if I wasn't, so I ended up leaving my office job to head off to India to practice yoga with an unknown return date. Once I finally made it back to Melbourne, I couldn't imagine sitting still for that long in the day again! So, the time was right to start my own yoga business.'
6. You have a passion that you'd secretly love to make into a job
If you plan it out well, you have a good chance of succeeding. Even better, work at your passion part-time to test out whether it's a goer.
You might find that you absolutely love it and want to go for it all the way. You might actually get the balance you need from being a 'slashie' (more on that next week), or you might go back to your previous full time career with new eyes. All of those are great outcomes.