Though my career doesn’t define me as a person, what we do is often how we answer the icebreaker, “so tell me about yourself.” Having pride in our job is important, but what I have learned over the course of a windy career path is that the trajectory we have in sight for ourselves is often not the way things go.
After a brief stint in an advertising agency, I knew #agencylife wasn’t for me (or so I thought). I landed what I believed to be my dream job at a company that was aligned with my personal values, made a product I could stand behind and in a role where I could grow. I was destined to be a lifer. 18 months later I was handing them my notice and marching my way through the doors of another agency.
This wasn’t a failure on my part, nor was it an impatient millennial impulse to jump ship, but rather, it was a personal allowance to move gracefully away from a position that had evolved in a way I didn’t want to grow. And this, operating from intuition and buoyancy is the way my career path has etched its way through rigid professional landscapes and rounded the corners for a more smooth (and successful) sail.
Knowing when to leave is the most difficult part of making a career switch no matter how happy or disgruntled you may be in your current role. It’s never easy putting in your two weeks, and those final days can be busy, awkward and anticlimactic. However, listening to your intuition may help you resolve some of those issues and help you confidently decide your next move.
Not sure you’re quite ready to make a switch or unsure the next gig is the one for you? Use these 3 questions to tap into your intuition to help guide your answer:
Close your eyes and take a few cleansing breaths trying to clear your mind of preemptive questions or answers. When you feel calm, ask yourself aloud: “Where do I want to go next?” Immediately, your intuition will answer. Write down the first thing that comes to your mind, regardless if you think it’s practical, silly, doable or easy. And note the feeling surrounding your answer.
Remember that your intuition and your instinct can be different. Though both guiding forces on our journey in life, instinct helps you react whereas intuition guides you proactively. Intuition is the sense or feeling you get ahead of time. By asking what’s next your intuition will be empowered to guide you in the direction rather than react to a current situation that is no longer fulfilling.
It’s important to be honest about why you’re thinking of leaving your current role and if there is more you can learn. Are you just angry or upset? Do you not feel heard or appreciated? These all could be lessons for your greater growth. Perhaps you need to learn how to communicate better and more clearly which is why your team doesn’t fully hear you or understand your opinions. Perhaps you need to learn humility and how to be more of a team player, which is why your creative ideas are not floated to the top. Or maybe your lesson is to stand up for yourself, not always be the one to compromise and learn to appropriately handle respectfully pushing back on inequalities in your workplace.
Whatever the lesson, give your intuition a chance to guide you in your learnings. Are you depleted at the end of the workday or is there some resilience, motivation, and spirit left? And please note, obviously not all jobs need to end in a fit of fury or out of being upset, but rather a stagnation in growth. Your intuition always guides you toward your greatest expression of self, which means furthering you along your journey, career included.
Intuitively connecting to what you look like in your next role will empower the direction you look for where that position may show up. Keep in mind, this doesn’t just mean the physical you but also your lifestyle and your emotional and energetic bodies.
By guiding you forward in your progression as a human, your intuition will help you develop a more complete and aligned version of you when you trust its guidance. Defer to it and strengthen it the way you would a muscle. By asking your intuition directly who this next professional iteration of yourself looks like in your next role, you begin to materialize that opportunity.
If you are just starting out in working with your intuition it is important to practice! Commit a whole day only to doing what your intuition advises. Then as you move through the day, stay open-minded to the people, conversations and things you meet or see. Linger at a new coffee shop to observe the happenings. Take notes of your observations, both physically and emotionally. How are you feeling? What new sensory experiences are you having?
Apply these learnings to your career and trust the intuitive guidance. You have the power to design the professional path you want and your greatest strength is your intuition.