I really am doing work I love

[note color=”#FDD017″]This is a guest post by Jenny Hester, a wife, mom of 3, blogger, beach lover, and now author of “21 Ways to Invite Excellence into your Life“. She says she was as lost as an Easter egg when she attended Coaching with Excellence in May of 2013. Now her new book launches August 19th – 21st and anyone purchasing the book during this time will receive 10 other downloadable books absolutely free. Simply send a copy of your receipt to bookbonus1@gmail.com to get the code for the free books. If you would like to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here. [/note]

At 46 years old, I am doing work that I love for the first time in my life. I have discovered my purpose and passion and all the great things that go along with that. If you are unhappy in your current work situation, maybe I can help shed some light by sharing a little of the process that I went through to get to where I am today.

I have worked in a high performance, team based work system for 20 years. I was fortunate that throughout those twenty years I was able to do many different projects that allowed for enough diversity to keep me interested in my work, but I always felt something was missing. 

Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be an entrepreneur and enjoy all the benefits that went along with that life. Yet, it has always eluded me. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I got extremely interested in self-awareness and personal development that things started to change. I have always been interested in these, but not at the level I am now. Now that I have discovered who I am, my life has taken an interesting shift.

If you are unhappy in your current job, before you start sending out the resume’s, STOP, and consider a few things. Do you know why you are unhappy with your job? Is it the boss? Is it the co-workers? Is it the customers? Is it the work itself? We need to first know what is causing our unhappiness. Is it outside influences causing our unhappiness? This is the first step. Figure out “the why” in why we are unhappy. 

If we don’t discover the source of our unhappiness then we will just move from job to job to job searching for happiness that can’t be found. Let’s get really honest with ourselves. Look inside and answer these questions honestly. 

  • Am I doing work that is truly enjoyable?
  • Do I lose myself in my work?
  • Do I look forward to my work?

If you answered “NO” to these, then you may want to look for different work that you enjoy, but don’t quit your J-O-B without a P-L-A-N. We need to understand our strengths and weaknesses, our purpose and passions.  A good starting point is taking the DISC profile or hiring a career coach to help us pinpoint these answers.

If you love the work you are doing, but are still unhappy then we need to address this issue in a similar fashion. Narrow down your reason for your unhappiness. Is it a toxic environment, a co-worker, or boss? If these are all “NO”, then you need to look inside and begin a self-awareness journey. Self-awareness is a clear understanding of who we are, what we believe, our core values, our faith, our limitations, our strengths, our weaknesses, our passions, and our purpose. 

If we do not have a strong self-awareness then we may not be living an authentic life, which will lead to unhappiness that we blame on outside circumstances. Many people go through life blaming everything around them for their unhappiness. This can lead to unnecessary actions including divorce, job hopping, addictions, and other self-destructive habits. Choose not to be one of them, dig your heels in and take a stand to be happy. Find your authentic self.

A few tips on beginning self-awareness are to pay attention to your attitude, emotions, habits, and everyday behavior. This is called mindfulness. Being mindful of ourselves will begin to crack open the door to what makes us tick and what ticks us off. Be objective to your behavior in all situations. Then ask yourself, “Is it my perception of this situation valid?” What made me think/feel this way? Try to discover what triggers your negativity or frustrations. You may find that the problem is how you perceive a situation instead of the situation itself being negative. This begins the road of self-discovery and happiness. It takes some time and effort for this all to unfold, but it is much better than the other options.

Jumping from job to job because you are unhappy can lead to a vicious, miserable cycle. If we don’t know ourselves well enough to know what makes us happy, then life will be a constant struggle. Life is not meant to be a constant struggle. Knowing ourselves intimately is the key to finding happiness in everything we do, including our jobs.

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  • Hey Jenny, congrats on your new book (21 Ways to Invite Excellence into Your Life: A Beginners Guide to Unlocking Your Potential).
    GREAT post and agree that self awareness is huge to unlocking our potential. It is so easy to get caught up into the vortex of misery so your tips on looking within rather than jumping ship to a job that isn’t a match is awesome. It was a delight to share this post on my twitter (@TheIronJen), Facebook (The Iron Jen), and personal Facebook pages.
    Way to go on finding your own purpose and passion – I love line about “being lost as an Easter Egg” in your bio!

    • Thanks Jen.
      To me, blaming our issues on external circumstances is like walking through life in the dark, but when we get honest and look within, then the lights start to come on. This is when we find real change and happiness.
      Thanks for all you do, you are a true inspiration who has definitely looked within.

  • You have an amazing story and you are a great example. Congrats on hitting number one!

    • Thanks Kimanzi. You, my friend, are writing your own amazing story. Keep inspiring.

  • sespring

    Great post Jenny. I really like what you said, “If we do not have a strong self-awareness then we may not be living an authentic life, which will lead to unhappiness that we blame on outside circumstances.” So often we take the easy way out and blame others instead of doing the work of finding ourselves and living a more authentic life. Thanks for sharing.

    • I agree. Looking inside is work and can be painful, but the payoff is so rewarding. It took me a long time to do this, but I am reaping the rewards now. I am also thankful that I found the 48 Days community as a partner in this walk.

  • Jenny…WOW, so much wisdom packed in this short post. Out of everything you wrote, I think this transitional statement is the most powerful: “Now that I have discovered who I am, my life has taken an interesting shift.”

    You’ve done it right. You figured out who you are and what you’re passionate about, and now you are finding ways to make work fit into that kind of life.

    It’s been fun watching you along this journey. Here’s to continued growth and prospering.

    • Thank you Kent. I have had the greatest of role models here at 48 Days, including yourself.

  • I am so proud to know you — we were meant to keep in touch after our chance meeting at CWE 2013. You have been such an inspiration to me on never doubting where you wanted this journey to take you. You listened, you read, you prayed and you persevered during a tough year of transition. Now the clouds have opened up and you have the courage and determination to realize your purpose and live the life you hoped to find.

    • Thank you Sherry. I have had tremendous support and you were a big part of that. It has been one of the most rewarding years of my life. The clouds have parted.