How I Came to Love My Job….And How You Can Too

I didn’t always love my job. In fact I have had jobs I dreaded to go to each day. Although that was so many years ago I still remember the feeling. I certainly was not operating at my best. In fact, the environment I was in felt so constricting I could barely breathe.

OK, enough of that. As my mom says: “erase erase erase!” I would love to tell I got out of that situation really quickly but actually it took me several years to figure out what was wrong and what I had to do to change it (seriously – where was a career coach when I needed one?!)

Why did I struggle so hard? Well on the outside everything looked great. I had what was se en as a great position that paid really well, I was on the fast track to bigger and better positions and I rubbed shoulders with all the top movers and shakers in the business community. Even though I knew I was supposed to want this, deep down, I really didn’t want it at all. That was hard for me to admit.

Eventually I DID get a business coach AND finally that small voice in my heart reached my ears, and I began to look objectively at my situation and map out a plan of escape to greener pastures. Here’s how I did it in three simple steps:

#1. Define and Write Down Your Goals.
Focus on the long term goals first and resist the temptation to worry about how you are going to get there. The “how” is what usually stops us in our tracks. It’s that fear of the unknown – that place you venture out to that creates that uncomfortable feeling. Yes venturing to these places can be uncomfortable but you will quickly find it also does something else. It gets you moving forward and that too, is a powerful motivator AND a confidence builder!

#2. Assess Your Surroundings
Notice the people you are working amongst and the product or service you offer. Are you like them or do you feel like a square peg in a round hole? Do you feel like you fit in? What about the product or service you offer – do you believe in it? Does it resonate with you? This is how you can quickly come to terms with what might not be right about your current situation. Maybe it’s your immediate surroundings or maybe it’s the industry itself that is not a match for you. I know for me, in the positions I had that didn’t “fit” me – not only did I feel like an outsider I acted like one because something inside me didn’t “buy in” or “fit in” with everybody else. Not a good way to get a promotion is it?

#3: Build Your Job Around Your Life
You can begin to take an honest look at your work/life balance by writing down the lifestyle choices that are most important to you and your family. How many points is your current career supporting? Another powerful step you can take is simply to write down what your job might LOOK like if it was truly built around you life. This is the first step to initiating change in a positive direction. Even if that change may be in the distant future, you will be amazed how much you can and will accomplish by taking this initial action. Sometimes professionals feel that taking this step is a waste of time because they don’t believe they can actually find or create a job that truly supports the kind of life they really wish they could have. Avoid this negative pattern of thinking that will most certainly hold you back and give yourself permission to explore the possibilities. Planned relocations, strategic salary increases, consulting, telecommuting, portfo lio careers and flexible schedules are all improvements that you can put into motion today and examples of career choices I have seen professionals successfully make to build their job around their life!

Here’s an additional *FREE* tip:

If you are ready to do some soul searching a nice compliment to the three steps I have shared with you is a great resource for a free personality indicator test at This test, made available online by David Keirsey, is like a short Myers Briggs Test. Simply answer all the questions, and you will get a 4-letter personality indicator as the result along with a short explanatory document.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of and and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

If you are a Director, VP, CxO, or Board Member interested in an executive resume package or working directly with Mary Elizabeth, click to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call.