Follow your bliss, or at least that’s what people say. I’ve always found this saying really condescending, as if suddenly all the answers would be revealed to me, when in fact, it left me just as clueless as before. In spite of this, in terms of my career I did exactly that, I did any job matching just one criteria – it had to be fun. Unfortunately when I hit twenty nine I realized that ‘following my bliss’ whilst fun, really hadn’t worked out too well. I was living pay check to pay check and in terms of any sort of real accomplishment I had nothing to show for it. So with the aid of therapy I formulated a plan.
I knew I wanted an office job and the type of work I didn’t have to take home. So I sat down and brainstormed. I wrote my weaknesses and strengths down, I listed my skills and my ideal job, even down to the salary. Soon after I became a receptionist at a high brow mergers and acquisitions company in the city of London. Things were going well but I couldn’t help but feel I was able to do more than just tend to meeting rooms, despite the attractive salary. So I took a personal assistant diploma and, disillusioned with London I sought local work.
Shortly after completing my diploma I was headhunted for a managerial job as a Business Center Manager. I’ve finally found a fulfilling and rewarding career. I love how varied the role is and the level of responsibility. I adore seeing the transformation of the centers following decoration works. I even like the admin as it plays into my love of all things organizational and whilst it might seem I have stumbled upon this career I honestly don’t think I would have, had it not been for my strategic move to study further.
In spite of this there have been stressful times, difficulty and frustration but because I love what I do I have persevered – always managing to decipher between the job and politics within the office.
Soon I’ll be undertaking further study to gain professional qualifications in the facilities industry, having created a five year plan to develop my skills and rise up the ladder. It goes without saying that my true passion is writing but for now I am happy to do that alongside my nine to five.
What struck me was how the notion of ‘following your bliss’ can be misleading. Doing so for me was hollow and lacked genuine fulfilment in favour of fleeting fun moments. To love what I did and get the most out of my career I needed to retrain, work hard, be positive and visualize. It might appear on face value that I simply fell into my current role but behind the scenes I had been strategically planning my next move for some time.
In this series I will talk you through the steps I took and advise you on whether study may be a good strategic move to further your career or even begin a new one, so let’s begin with the science bit…
The psychological effect of hating work and its impact on our health
This isn’t to say I’ve not had jobs I hate, I’ve even had jobs I loathed and so when I researched the psychological and physical impact being in a job you hate has, I wasn’t entirely surprised to discover the consequences can be catastrophic. Beyond the usual culprits of stress, depression and anxiety (all awful in their own right) the physical impact of being in a job you hate can be dire and can actually pose a real threat to your health. Indeed when unhappy at work you are more at risk of heart disease, insomnia, general sickness, migraines, cancer and type 2 diabetes (if that isn’t a reason to seek a rewarding career I don’t know what is).
The psychological effect of loving work and its impact on our health
One might think that a rewarding career would simply eliminate the risks of work causing such illnesses but – even better than that – there are huge benefits of being in a job you love. Your immune system strengthens, your energy increases, your relationships become healthier, your confidence increases, you are more inclined to want to progress in your career, seeking out opportunities to learn and grow which fuels success, your motivation rises to an all time high and as if that wasn’t enough, you’re also fulfilled and happy!
Were you surprised by just how much hating work can impact your health? Have you ever sat down to think strategically about your career? Do you like your current job? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.
Stay tuned – next week we will go through some simple exercises you can do to discover how to get the most out of your career!