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The 3 questions you need to ask yourself when you realise you hate your corporate job…

But I spent years studying for this opportunity!

I can pinpoint the exact time I realised oh shit, this dream job I got at the world’s leading investment bank, is not all it’s cracked up to be. The realisation hit me like a tonne of bricks, ‘but I spent years studying for this’, ‘I got into debt to pay for my education to be here’, ‘there are thousands of people who would love to have my job’.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?”

The question we ask kids and they often answer straight away. Why is answering this question so easy for them?

They know what they like, they are so self aware and they know what sounds exciting to them. They haven’t had the influence of society pressures and adulthood to put them off going for anything less than what they truly want.

This inner dialogue can be so hard to fight.

Your purpose is to maximise your experience on this earth

If we have a finite time on this planet, our purpose in life is to maximise the experiences we want to have. That might be helping others, it might be saving the planet, it might simply be entertaining and making people laugh.

But how do we know how we want to spend our time?

1. What is your identity outside of work?

As high achieving women, we often believe we need to constantly achieve to be worth something. We often have a fear of being average so we’ll do whatever it takes to keep getting better whether it’s at work, at school or in the gym. Sound familiar?

No wonder this is our narrative when we remember that constant loop we experienced at school and university of getting the top grades, getting into the best Uni, getting the top job. Achievement = reward, love, status, money – whatever it is, we’ve taught ourselves that achieving = worth.

It’s not our fault, it’s how the world works and how we’ve been conditioned. The problem with this though is we can really lose sight of who we really are. Instead of being motivated by our own internal wants and desires, we are motivated by winning society’s competitions and being seen as a ‘high achiever’ – because that’s our identity.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being a high achiever and being able to achieve things. As long as the things you’re working hard to achieve are actually things you deep down want and will make you happy.

In order to know if what you’re working on is what you want, you need to know who you are so you can identify if something you’re doing is out of alignment with your own true desires.

What did you used to do for fun as a kid? Play on the beach, dance, play tennis, bake, play an instrument. What did you love to do with your time back then? Make some time to do these things again.

Reconnecting with that feeling of enjoyment will start to teach you how it’s meant to feel when you enjoy and want to do something rather than doing it just to achieve.

Through answering this question, you’ll figure out exactly who you really are which will help you make decisions that work for you and make you feel happy.

2. What can I do to feel better right now?

If you’re still reading this, chances are you are unhappy in your current situation. When we’re unhappy, it’s really hard to connect with what actually makes us happy because there is too much negativity, it feels like a cloud blurring how we feel about things.

Instead of asking yourself what makes me happy, ask yourself what can I do to feel a little bit better today.

It could be finding a new podcast that makes you laugh, lighting a candle and taking a warm bath with a refreshing face mask and reading a great book, cooking your favourite meal from scratch.

It sounds trivial but when we’re in an unhappy state for most of our week like we are when we hate our job, we need to make a conscious effort to do little things to make us happy as they are unlikely to come naturally to us unless we consciously change our thinking.

It could be finding a new podcast that makes you laugh, lighting a candle and taking a warm bath with a refreshing face mask and reading a great book, cooking your favourite meal from scratch.

Start small, one thing a week, then move to one thing a day, over time this will become easier, you’ll start to trust yourself that you know how to make yourself feel good and you’ll attract in more of these feelings because you know how to do it.

It’s only once you start to feel a bit happier that the cloud will start to disappear and things will start coming to you around solutions of what to do next that align with you.

3. What new experience feels exciting to try?

I know it sounds obvious but as adults we can quickly get into a rut in life and forget to ever try anything new.

Experiment with new things, go and try something random and creative like a pottery class, a singing lesson, acro yoga. Get on airbnb and book that cute little cottage by the sea for a solo weekend to reconnect with nature. Get out of your social comfort zone and give yourself some new experiences.

Observe how you feel and what feels good and what doesn’t.

This works for both business and career stuff, not just personal.

When I was trying to figure out what sort of business I wanted to go into, I did a course to learn how to be a Yoga Teacher. At the end of it, I knew I didn’t want to teach but it was an amazing experience and opened my eyes to lots of other things like marketing and things yoga teachers struggle with.

Take courses, go to startup events, join a community – start to explore new places, groups and things. Over time you’ll get a better understanding of what direction you want to go in.

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