I was talking with someone the other night who is considering a career change. It's a job she knows well, has done for awhile and is very talented at doing. This is part of what is making her itch for change--she's ready for new challenges, to take some risks.
As we talked, it became clear that she was feeling the weight of her work. It has become something she needs to escape, the sooner the better.
This sense that work is an anchor or a prison is common when we start thinking about new ventures. It's part of what drives us to begin our journey to something else. At the same time, this thinking can become a trap in itself.
When we want to escape something, we will do anything to get away. We aren't focusing on what we're running TOWARDS. Instead, we are just focused on getting the hell out of there. Anywhere seems better than where we're at right now.
When our job is a prison, all of our thinking is geared toward escaping that prison. Other options look better to us than they might otherwise simply because they are not the prison we are currently in. We find ourselves in fear and anxiety mode, acting from desperation, not inspiration.
To reach our real career goals, though, we need to shift our viewpoint. Rather than seeing our current job as a prison, we need to regard it as a home base. It is something we can do for now that can give us space to explore other possibilities. The fear and anxiety we feel when work is a prison dissipates, freeing us to form a vision of what we want to run TOWARDS, rather than what we are fleeing.
Often when we've been in a job for awhile, we have more flexibility. We are able to plan our time better and can give ourselves the opportunities to explore. We may have to get over our mean boss syndrome, but when we do, we find that our current jobs can be the constant we need.
If you find yourself thinking of a career transition because you want to escape the prison of your job, see what happens if you shift your thinking to viewing your current work as home base. Look at it as a circumstance that helps you develop and test your career vision, rather than as something you need to escape. You'll be amazed at what happens then.