Scream, Smile and Exhale Your Way to a More Satisfying Career by Mary Foley

There’s a trend happening with many of my mentoring clients that goes something like this:

“I’m soooo dissatisfied with my current career! I desperately want to make a change but I feel overwhelmed, scared and unsure how to start! Ugh.”

Ever thought that way about your career? Feeling that way now? It’s not a fun place to be.  You no longer enjoy what you do every day. In fact, you dread it. Your schedule is packed with activities that drain you. You feel scattered and pulled in multiple directions.  You feel stuck in a rut and you beat yourself up for not doing more about it.

Stop, just stop! Do this right now instead: scream, exhale and smile your way to a more satisfying career. Perhaps not the advice you expected, but it works.

SCREAM! Not at work, not at clients and not at your spouse or kids. But in the car, in the shower, or on a run. Let out your frustration. Feel the pain and be oddly gratefully for it because without it you would continue to put up with an unfulfilling, meaningless career. Screaming is validating. In one big loud sound you’re saying, “This career stinks and my life is worth more than this!”

Not long ago, I had a conversation with Sheila (not her real name) who likely had just finished screaming. She wanted to talk with me about her deep career discontent and what to do about it. The first several minutes she vented without taking a breath. When she suddenly realized what was happening she apologized. There wasn’t any need. She needed a safe place to say exactly how she was feeling. 

EXHALE. Take a deep breath and push out all the air in your lungs. Feel the ahhhhh. Now your emotions aren’t preventing your brain from helping you. Now is the time to take a moment to shift from what you don’t want to what you do.

 Ask yourself “What’s my ideal position?” or “Who is my ideal client?”

Let any and everything flow into your mind. Write it down. Add to it, remove parts, tweak it.

And, if you have a doubting, critical voice like Sheila had rolling around inside your head who asks “How are you going to do that?” or “You don’t have enough time or money to make that happen!” tell it to just SHUT UP. In fact, I suggested to Sheila to talk back to that voice and say, “Well, of course I don’t know how I’m going to do this yet! I’m not at that point yet, but when I am, I will figure it out.”

SMILE! When you fill your mind with thoughts of a better career, you can’t help but get happier. Your current career won’t hold you back or define you. To keep that curved grin, start to take the next practical steps to move from where you are to where you want to be. Action is energizing and contagious!

For example, Sheila’s response to her ideal career included three related fields, but she needed to get more specific and narrow her focus. I suggested two practical steps she could immediately take. The first was to be a bit of an online busy body searching for articles and websites that gave information about what each field entailed. The second was to do 3 -5 informational interviews with people who already had a career in each field. If she didn’t know of anyone in those fields she could ask friend and family if they did, as well tap into her LinkedIn connections.

Can you scream, exhale, and smile your way to a new, more satisfying career in 2015?  Oh yeah, you got this!

About Mary                

Mary Foley believes that energizing careers and events don't just happen – they are engineered.  That's why she has combined her engineering education, passion for inspiring professional women and two decades of live program experience to help women invigorate their careers and to help meeting planners power up the live events and communities that professional women crave. 

Mary began sharing career advice after her 10-year career at AOL - when AOL was cool - where she started as an $8 an hour customer service rep and rose to become the company’s first head of corporate training.   Known for her uncommon insights, candidness and humor, Mary is an author, featured blogger on WorkingMother.com, video maven, lively presenter, engaging facilitator, and event engineer.  For more, go to maryfoley.com.

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Thank you Mary for sharing your wisdom and voice here at Live Your Inner Power!