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Wednesday again–seems like they come more and more quickly as we wrap up summer and fade into fall. Today continues my series on debunking the myths on why people stay in the wrong job. The point of my practice is to help people find a job that makes their heart sing. Even though that idea sounds wonderful and intriguing to most of us, it is the fear, negativity, and doubts that keep us trapped in a job that leaves you unfulfilled. Over the past few Wednesdays I have been trying to argue against these ideas and give you a chance to see the other side. So far I have covered: money, what if I am wrong, and status. Today the reason is:
This is a doozy. For some of you the idea of quitting your jobs with nothing there, not knowing where your next pay check will come from sounds exhilarating and exciting. This post is not for you. (Actually what are you waiting for? Quit your wrong job and find what makes your heart sing, actually you might have another negative message being tossed around in your brain but the need for stability isn’t your issue). For some of you that idea strikes fear in your heart, no, more than fear down right paralyzing. Stability is a powerful force, it allows you to feel safe and secure knowing you have a paycheck, health benefits, vacation time and an IRA. Food is on the table, credit cards are paid off (or almost), and the kids college funds are being built. I am not arguing against stability, reasonable living, having the bills paid and food on the table. But I am going to ask you at what price, stability?
Many times when my clients, come in and start talking about their dream job they stop themselves mid-thought because immediately there mind goes into what if, what if I lose my retirement fund, what if we don’t have health benefits, what if the stability of my next job isn’t as great? They don’t even allow themselves to DREAM because the fear of losing stability gets in the way. Without the dream, there is no creative thinking, without creative thinking there is no problem solving, without problem solving there is no way you will ever get out of your job to find something you absolutely love.
I hear you that you value stability, that isn’t a bad thing or a negative thing. Stability brings money, and responsibility and retirement funds. What stability doesn’t bring is expansiveness. It doesn’t allow you to look beyond your stable job to brainstorm other ideas for what might make your heart sing. It doesn’t allow you to look at your other values and see how you can fit them into your life. Stability just takes control.
Maybe you value helping people but in your stable job you are aren’t really helping anyone face to face. When you really ask yourself what is it I want to do, you realize you want to work with kids and help them. So in your free time (maybe even 20 minutes a day) you start researching how to work with kids, you find some volunteering you can do and you start volunteering. Because you are doing something that makes your heart sing, you become more energized and excited about life. You start exploring going back to school part time to get your teaching license (yes, it will cost money and be tiring but you plunge ahead anyway) So you keep your job (stability still in place) and start going back to school. Eventually you need to start looking for a new job in teaching, but you really want to keep the salary and the health benefits of your current job. Decision time, maybe you decide you love teaching so much you are ready to make the leap. Maybe the draw of stability is too great, you need to wait until your kids are out of school. So you wait, work your stable job, networking within the teaching world, and do tutoring on the side.
My point is: don’t let your need for stability keep you trapped in the wrong job. Allow yourself to dream, allow yourself to think creatively and problem solve action steps. You don’t have to leave your job tomorrow, next year or even 5 years. But paying attention to your other needs/values and slowly adding in activities that feed your soul will allow you to work with your need for stability vs using it as a barrier.