“A lot of people come to me in coaching and say, ‘I’m in a soul-sucking position,” Debra Bednar-Clark, CEO and founder of career and leadership coaching firm DB+co., told Business Insider. “What I say is OK, let’s first look and understand who you truly are and what you truly want.”
Before starting her own company, Bednar-Clark was the global head of strategy and growth at Facebook, and spent time as Microsoft’s director of US market strategy and engagement.
She told Business Insider that figuring out whether you’re ready to leave a job starts with being honest about what you want.
“I think one of the things that it can be really easy for us to do is build a career we think we should do instead of one that is really aligned with who we are in that moment,” she said.
Note that she specified “in the moment” — the right job for you changes right along with your experience and your goals.
“Sometimes when you go into a job, it is the right position for you because the opportunity is really incredibly interesting, you’re aligned with the mission, the role is really challenging, you’re learning these skill sets, you can impact so many other individuals,” she said. “But after a while if you feel that as you evolve as a human being, your professional goals evolve as well.”
“I think it’s paying attention to: What do you need now? What do you need today to really fulfil you on a deep level? Because work can be really challenging. With every job there’s highs and lows, regardless of whether or not you love it and you’re drawn to it. If you’re finding your interests are evolving or you want to develop your skill set in new ways, it just makes that choice so much more important. You want to make sure that you’re aligning who you are with what you do as much as you possibly can.”
So how do you make sure you’re still aligned, in Bednar-Clark’s words, with your current job?
Start asking questions. Here are some of the questions she recommends asking yourself as you make your decision:
- What are my values?
- What are my beliefs?
- What are my strengths?
- What are my passions and what are my interests?
- Is this what’s fuelling me, or is this something that’s draining me?
- Do I feel aligned to what I’m doing?
- Does this feel authentic to me?
- Do I feel like I’m bringing my best self forward every day at the office?
And, Bednar-Clark added, don’t worry if you’re struggling with the decision. It’s “never easy to walk away from something so fantastic on paper,” she said.
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