Updated: Jul 4, 2021
“Do I love my work, but not my job?” I have reflected on this question for the past year because of feeling less than excited about my job. I was stuck. There were so many aspects about my work that I truly loved, so why was I feeling this way? When I was in my element, working with people, I felt my joy return...only for that interaction to be followed with a disrespectful interaction from leadership, which would leave me feeling unhappy once again.
What I learned about myself through much reflection – and with the help of coaching, mindful practice, and therapy – was that I love the work I do, but my personal values were no longer aligned with that of the organization with which I worked.
The factors that helped me understand whether I had maxed out of my profession was getting to the core of who I am. I had never before sat down to think about my core values as an individual, or the strengths that I possessed. When I turned inward to explore what was most important to me, it became a way to evaluate many things in my life – not just where I worked. I was able to clearly see the disconnect that was developing between me and the organization. I discovered that I am a very responsible and loyal person. It is important to me to be seen as competent and trustworthy, so working in a hierarchical, male-dominant organization was not where my value would have the ability to shine through.
I believe you have to love yourself fully in order to be your best self in other relationships. If you are not at your best, you can’t give your best. Use this month of love to explore your inner values and strengths.
I used the Gallup Clifton Strengths core value exercises and a coach to help guide me, but there are many different ways to get to the same place. What’s important is to find your strengths, and then decide if your core values align with where you work.