If you’re one of the millions who’ve watched Marie Kondo’s hit new Netflix show, Tidying Up, you know that people around the country are getting rid of the clutter in their lives. The show debuts the KonMari method of tidying and teaches people to get rid of the things they don’t need, and keep only those that “spark joy.” Not only does this result in cleaner households, but more streamlined lives. For some people, though, the idea of tidying up is stretching beyond the closet and into the real world. What happens when we, as women, take the same attitude into the rest of our lives. What happens if we keep only the relationships, pursuits, people, and jobs that spark joy in our lives?
The New Outlook on Career
Just a few decades ago, the idea of a career was simple: you went to college, got a degree, and worked in that field until you died. It was bleak but predictable. Few people paid much attention to things like satisfaction or heart-longing, and many people were miserable as a result.
Today, though, things have changed. Not only have women entered the workforce and risen up in their industries in record numbers (according to The Center for American Progress, women’s share of board seats in S&P 1500 companies grew by 94% between 1997 and 2009), but many of the social and cultural things that used to keep us tied to careers for our entire lives have dissolved. As a result, women are now focusing on the things they want to do with their careers and lives, rather than the things they feel they need to do. In other words, they’re keeping the careers that spark joy, and ditching the ones that don’t.
Stop Settling, Start Thriving
If you’ve been settling for a job that makes you miserable, this is the year to stop. While it can be tough to figure out whether you should stay in your job or leave it, here are a few questions to guide you in deciding whether or not to leave your job:
- Does your job leave you feeling drained, exhausted, and angry?
- Do you fantasize about doing something else?
- Do you feel like you’re selling yourself short by being in your current job?
If the answer to those questions is yes, this is the year to get out of your job and start looking for a new one. It’s easy to tie yourself into a job you hate, but the world has changed enough that you no longer need to.
Today, people stay in a job an average of 3.2 years, and it’s become much more acceptable for people to change careers more frequently. As such, now is a great time to ditch the things in your life that don’t make you happy and pursue the things that do. You spend too much time at your job to be miserable, and your place of work shouldn’t fill you with dread.If you’re no longer growing, it’s time to go find someplace that will push you forward. Doing the same thing over and over gets old, and you shouldn’t be selling yourself short by limiting yourself to the “safe” option.
Instead, cut the clutter from your working life as well as your home life. Get out there, do something you love, and change your life. The time you spend at work every day should challenge you and leave you hungry for new growth. This is your year – start thinking about change.
Tracy Saunders is the CEO of www.BossMakeHer.com, a community that connects senior-level professional women with hidden opportunities and empowers bold moves. Her articles can be found on Fast Company, Scary Mommy, TNLT, and NAFE.