Each year job searches surge in January and February, and with approximately 50% of Australian workers considering a new job each year, there’s no doubt that careers are top-of-mind for many employees right now.
Author and career strategist Bella Zanesco writes…
I spent two years conducting research for my book Smart Girls Screw Up Too – a no-nonsense guide to creating the life you want and found that work related issues were one of the main causes as to why Australian women are feeling so uninspired.
In fact, six in ten would choose a different career if they had the courage to start over, seven in ten don’t pursue what they really desire because of the money, and a whopping 50% have a mental health issue relating to their work. These statistics highlight how essential it is for Australians to fall back in love with their jobs, both for their own health as well, as the country’s economy.
1. Understand that there’s nothing wrong with staying for the money.
If the money you earn in your job gives you the freedom to do what you want outside of work then there’s no shame in staying in your job for the financial stability. However, if your position makes you a slave to your company and you aren’t feeling appreciated or your suffering a mental health condition relating to your work, then it’s not worth staying.
2. If you are considering quitting, write a list.
Write down five things you love and five things you don’t about your job. Once you’ve got that down you can decide whether you need to have an honest conversation with your boss or whether you need to look for new opportunities.
3. Be strict about work-life balance.
It’s important to set boundaries in the first 100 days of a new job, and then stick to them. Whether it’s leaving on time every day, or not checking emails after-hours, it’s crucial that you value yourself and your personal time.
4. Don’t quit on a whim.
Under certain circumstances, if you’re being bullied for example, or if there’s a toxic culture, it’s absolutely okay to quit – but if you’re bumbling along in your job and things are okay, use the time to work out what’s next before making the move. Why? Because leaving without a plan can send anyone into a downward spiral.
5. Understand what running your own business entails before you commit.
Often when people quit their daily grind, they venture off with the dream of starting a successful business from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, if this is what you want you absolutely can, but first you need to be honest with yourself. If you’re thinking about starting your own company, before you quit your job, register a business name, write a business plan, collaborate with someone or pitch to an investor. It’s essential that you understand and be comfortable with what you’ll need to do, before diving in head first. Dialling back to four days a week and starting a side hustle is a great way to test the waters.
As daunting as this process can seem, it’s too important not to commit to creating a career your love. In time your wellbeing will improve across all aspects of your life, and you’ll become part of the 15% of women who are truly happy in themselves and with their life.
Remember, above all, you’ll never be fully ready and you’ll never have enough money, knowledge or skills to do something different. The magic is in starting the journey to uncover your soul value – no matter how small you start – or accepting that work is work and knowing you can get your full cup outside of it.
This is an edited extract from Smart Girls Screw Up Too, The No-Nonsense Guide to Creating The Life You Want (Wiley, $29.99) by Bella Zanesco, on sale now.