We women strive to have it all. A happy family, a great relationship with a dream partner, financial freedom, a lovely home, to look and feel amazing, ‘me time’, and an inspiring and rewarding job or business. And why on earth should we not?! The problem can sometimes be that we’re trying to do too much without pausing to enjoy or reflect on the now. We can put so much pressure on ourselves to live a perfect life that often we’re too busy putting on a good show of perfection, instead of using this valuable energy to make real life changes.
Remember that for many of us, work takes up a massive portion of our life – and for women it can mean time off from the home and the children (if you have them) and it is a chance for us to be both inspired and inspiring. If you don’t enjoy your work or your business then it can throw your life massively out of kilter, so it is important to get it right. You may have enjoyed your work in the past, but remember you are a growing and evolving personality and you need a job or business that can evolve with you.
Research by the stress Management Association has shown that over half of all working people believe they are stressed. Is this you? Do you have to tear yourself out of bed in the morning, fighting the internal monologue of excuses that you could use to ‘call in sick’? Do you drudge in to work and then have to face an uninspiring day? Do you love your job or business but still put a lot of pressure on yourself and feel the strain? Time to take stock!
If your job or business is not letting you grow then maybe you need to consider a new direction, however daunting this may seem. Or maybe you can keep your current job or business and strive to make your working day more exciting, fulfilling and inspiring! Either way, the first step is to conduct a quick appraisal to clarify how you feel about work right now.
Write down in detail your answers to the following questions:
1. Is your work valuable?
2. Why? / Why not?
3. Do you feel appreciated at work?
4. List what you like about work.
5. List what you dislike about work.
6. Is there anything missing in your role? Are there any improvements would you make? What are they?
7. If you have answers to question 6, write down all the reasons why you haven’t made these improvements already.
8. What work would you really like to do? (be realistic!)
9. If your answer to question 8 would mean a change in career, what would you have to do in order to do that career? (new qualifications, promotion, relocation etc). List the reasons why you have not already done this.
10. If you think you could be happy either in your existing career or a different one, describe an ideal working day in which you visualise yourself as being happy.
Read over what you have written. Have you unearthed any new concerns? Have your values changed since you were younger and starting out on a career? Do you now know what is most important to you at work?
Now you need to take action on these revelations. Don’t waste any more precious energy moaning and being negative. Instead, get your head around what needs to change and get started! Believe that a lot can change as a result of your attitude – adopting a more positive outlook whilst at work could dramatically improve many situations and also the way you feel.
If you are a business owner, then remember this is your business. If it is no longer floating your boat then change it, delegate the parts of your job you no longer enjoy, or get an exit strategy and start again. You can!
If you need another qualification or more experience then get it. Look for courses, read some self-help books (a good one is Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, available in our bookshop), get your confidence levels up, jazz up your CV, get networking! You can do it. We at Women Mean Business say ‘dare to dream’. You can enjoy your work!