Monthly Archives: June 2015

Am I Drifting in My Career? 3 Ways to Know

Time moves very quickly in our busy professional and personal lives. And it’s easy to allow things to just happen because they seemed like a good idea at the time. But before we slip into the second half of this year, let’s step back and do a “career health checkup”.

Remembering that we each have unique needs, here are my 3 favorite ways to help us honestly assess if we are simply in “career drift” or actively creating the career and life we want at this time.

First, let’s start with engagement and that intuitive voice in your head that often asks questions (and challenges) you as you drive home from a typical work day. Questions like: “Where has the day gone?” or “Did I really get anything worthwhile done?” With an answer like: “It was just a day like any other day” followed by a deep sigh. Your intuition is telling you something you already know but may be reluctant to admit. . . . You really are not fully (or even semi) psychologically engaged in your work at this time.

Second, where is the genuine joy in your work? It’s a simple question. . . . “Do you enjoy your work most days?” Or do you find yourself dreaming about how things could be different? There may have been a passion you deeply enjoyed in the past and now you don’t even allow yourself to dream about it because “it’s simply not possible anymore”. Where is the joy?

Third, are you enthusiastic about your work? Or do you find yourself a bit sensitive and even defensive when others ask you about your current work? That’s a red flag that you are in career drift. And if you hear yourself justifying your choices with lots of “shoulds”, “its better in the long run” or all the reasons why it’s not as “bad as it could be,” then you are drifting for sure.

I hope these simple questions get you thinking as these delicious days of summer approach. If you need anything, always feel free to contact me!

And in the spirit of not letting life drift by . . . my twin sister and I are headed to Lima, Peru, for three weeks (6/4 – 6/25) to work with Global Volunteers, an international organization serving developing communities. We will be working in a very poor village up in the hills of Lima. This is our second international assignment and although this one will be quite challenging physically, it will no doubt be emotionally very rewarding as well. I’ll have lots of stories to share with you in July!

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Video: Gretchen Rubin on Career Drift

Here’s something a bit different . . . one of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin, is featured at a 5×15 New York – 2013 presentation here on YouTube.

Rubin is sharing her own personal story on how she “drifted” into a law career before finding her way to a much more satisfying career as a writer with a specialty in “Happiness”. She gives us excellent tips on how to catch yourself in drift as well as clarifying that “drifting” is not always an easier path which can be deceiving until one steps back and asks the hard questions. The video is brief and excellent!

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