By Megan Castleman
For the majority of today’s workforce, more waking hours are spent during the week dedicated to our professions than spent with family and friends. For many, our professions blend into personal time as we check emails in the evenings, maybe send off a quick note we didn’t get to during the day or even take calls from a different time zone to accommodate a client. The point is, a significant portion of our lives is focused on what and who we are professionally. Why, then, is it so many find themselves dreading getting up in the morning, forcing themselves into the shower and on to work only to arrive back home completely depleted and devoid of energy, making it difficult to enjoy their precious family time? Or finding themselves losing the early morning battle with that inner voice who is insistent they stay in bed, end up calling in and subsequently dealing with a horrible sense of guilt for doing so? Or even struggling with resentment towards their employer, management or peers because they feel undervalued and unheard?
We all have rough periods of time at work. Perhaps we have a huge client presentation due and have been burning the midnight oil for the past few weeks. Maybe it’s tax season or we’ve been scrambling to meet the deadline for a large technology implementation resulting in long hours being fueled only by cold pizza from the breakroom. These types of relatively short-term, cyclical exceptions happen in a lot of professions and it’s completely normal to feel worn down and even needing to take a day or two off to recoup. What is not normal is losing the battle with that inner voice for the 3rd time this week only to realize it’s just Wednesday. If the latter is happening to you, it is time for some serious introspection because something is amiss. You should start by asking yourself these three questions:
- Are you excited and fulfilled by the primary objectives of your profession?
- Do you have a strong alignment with your employer’s culture, vision and mission?
- Do you have access to quality leadership?
When you are in a profession you love, are closely aligned with company culture and values, and feel valued and heard by leadership, the paradigm will shift. You will find yourself passionate about, as well as excited, energized, and fulfilled by, your profession. You will feel strongly about your company’s values and mission, working together with your peers towards a common goal while receiving strong support from leadership. No longer will it be a constant struggle to rouse yourself from your warm, cozy bed in the mornings and, rather than using your time in the shower bemoaning the fact you must “adult” today, you will find yourself strategizing about potential accomplishments and goals for the day. You will be more present and engaged during family time. You will be more productive both professionally and personally. You will feel impactful and valued. You will experience a deep personal satisfaction and increased professional drive.
At Acumen Executive Search, we are a group of professionals who are deeply passionate and knowledgeable about the impact of having cultural, mission, and core value alignment between our client companies’ and the leaders we help place. This alignment is so absolutely critical, it is our number one focus from the time we begin the discovery process with our client companies, continuing with the sourcing, interviewing and recommendation of candidates, through our follow-up case studies and long-term client relationships. We know true success only occurs with genuine alignment, we have proven it.
It can be scary to realize you are not a fit for your current company culture or in the wrong profession altogether. Change can be difficult for all of us and coming up with a plan of action can be a daunting task. However, there are many resources available such as career, personality and core value assessments which can help you narrow your field of choices and career coaches who can help you implement a plan of action. Yes, it can be overwhelming to think of such significant change but the rewards are invaluable. Do not waste any more time trying to fit the proverbial square peg into the round hole. The ability to live your dream now is a life changer and, I strongly believe, life is way too short to spend it any other way.