Career is nowadays one of the most important aspects of our lives. We spend years in studies and continuous professional development and we dedicate our entire work life to progress from one stage to another and to improve our skills and abilities.
In our modern times, most people will start with a day job and move gradually towards building a career. Whether it is a profession only or an occupation based on our calling and vocation, we end up spending almost half of our time working.
We hunt for better opportunities, we collect titles and achievements and we look for higher earnings and a more satisfying life. But things do not always go that smoothly or according to our plan.
Sometimes, after one job or several jobs we still struggle to find direction in our career. We lack inspiration, we feel undervalued or over-skilled for that role and although we learn what we don’t want in a job we find it difficult to decide the next move.
Other times, we hit career setbacks when, despite our hard work and dedication, we are demoted, we are put on a performance plan, we get fired, laid off or we have to cope with a stretch of unemployment.
There are cases when in our attempt to move up the career ladder quickly we become frustrated and unhappy with either the culture or the politics within the organization and the industry. This slower rate of moving forward, together with the strong desire to accelerate can bring disappointment and anxiety.
A very common trend is today to change the profession altogether. We sometimes discover early or late in life a decreased passion for the work we’ve been doing and we decide to start a new career. This is not an easy process and can bring unsettling feelings, from regret, uncertainty, anxiety and self-doubt to profound crisis of confidence around learning a different skill set and breaking into a new industry.
Very often, a second career involves a role in the creative industries, dominated by start-ups run by small teams or solo creatives. These creatives struggle with isolation and face various challenges. They might lack confidence or feel overwhelmed by the competition, or they can experience the impostor syndrome whilst learning to appreciate their value and fit within the industry.
Creatives doing freelance work find challenging sometimes the admin and the financial side of their business also the marketing of their services. They can also struggle with their own perfectionism and desire to evolve, and possibly with the rejection of their prospective market.
Having the appropriate guidance during any of these journeys can make the move easier and less distressing. It can help you reach some clarity around your dreams and understanding of your future plans, and it can also keep you focused and accountable as you go along.
A small proportion of professionals will end up in high executive roles. Their challenges can be both internal, related to their private, social or professional life, or external caused by factors outside of their control.
Leaders operate under significant pressure and need to remain forward-thinking and filter opportunities to strengthen and grow their business. As they aim to leave their mark on that business and create a legacy, they can be tempted to takes risks and close deals that do not align with the company’s mission which can lead to increased distress.
Executives struggle sometimes to build and maintain strong management teams and create a safe and supportive environment for their workforce. Sourcing and retaining top talent can be challenging in our dynamic work market and nurturing a strong company culture requires a lot of effort and creativity.
Leaders are also challenged by consisted changes and they need to adjust rapidly to deviations from initial plans and various adversities in the industry, with little or ideally no damage at all. A very common struggle for the executives is to balance the “chaos” of today’s operations with the focus on the strategy for the future.
All of the above together with the burden of staying ahead of the competition with a unique approach, micromanage and develop positive relationships “up” and “out” can make the life and work of the executives really tough.
Handling conflicting priorities, very busy diaries and extremely long hours can bring overwhelming feelings and can impact severely on their overall wellbeing. This is why I support high executives to create space for reflection each day, not just for strategic planning, but also for smart use of personal energy and for self-care in work.
To talk about your career, email me in strict confidence at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule a phone call: