When we are feeling stuck at work and having a bad day, it’s easy to jump to the most obvious but most drastic conclusion – I need to do something else. But what if a small change could actually work just as well? The technique of zooming in and out will help you to find a few options of things to do to help get you out of that rut…. without needing to update your C.V.
The fight between your practical brain and your creative brain can be frustrating and can stop any change..so give them both something to do!
We all know that feeling… you’ve had enough, it is the last straw, you need a new job. Your creative brain then starts imagining all sorts of idyllic careers. But within the same minute, your practical brain has already done all the maths which says that it’s too big a jump, you have too much to lose, it’s not the right time… so forget about it. So that just makes us even more frustrated because we have ignited the spark of changing the current situation, but then have also road-blocked ourselves… all within the time it takes a kettle to boil!
Let’s talk about how to break that cycle. We just need to zoom in and out.
Zooming In and Zooming Out
Zooming In and Out are important because together they give us a 360 degree view of what’s going on. If we can understand the issue itself better and the wider context then it gives us a much better chance of making a few changes that will have a positive impact.
ZOOMING IN. This is all about getting under the skin of the ‘thing’ or ‘event’ that triggered you to want to take some drastic action.
Try asking these questions to reflect on the event and what else was going on at the same time;
- Who was there?
- What were the steps that happened just before, during and after that moment?
- How did your feelings change through this time?
- Thinking back to it now, does it still give you the same reaction?
ZOOMING OUT. This is where we put some wider context around your situation. Nothing happens in a vacuum, so it’s important to consider the other influences.
Let’s consider Zooming Out away from work first;
- When else in your life do you feel like this at the moment?
- Is it only at this moment of the event or are there other times too?
- If we imagine that our life like a stool with 4 legs, our job is only 1 leg, the other 3 are family & friends, health and personal fulfillment. How do you feel about the other 3 legs?
- Is there a link between the catalyst at work and something that’s happening in another leg?
Now let’s Zoom Out again, but this time with a career focus:
- What’s missing from your complete picture of being happy at work?
- If you were to have the perfect career, what would that look like and how is it different to today? It could be an issue with pay, with people, with enjoyment, with impact, with future potential… what comes up?
Once you feel that you have a good grasp of these 3 areas; let’s go back to the question… I had a bad day, what can I do?
Do any other options become clearer or at least appear for the first time? Is there something you could explore/ research/ talk to someone about? Could some training or volunteering or a trip help to make a difference?
When I’m working with people we spend quite a while digging into these questions, reflecting on our ‘gut feel’ answers and challenging the ‘I should…’ answers. There is one thing I can guarantee – there is always something you can do, but sometimes finding the right thing for you can be tricky. So if you feel stuck, just send me a message.
Try to write down as many potential actions as possible, from the small and easy to the most challenging. Then spend some time with them to see which ones make sense, which ones you can do right now and which need a bit more planning or time.
And sometimes, the answer is – I need to change my career – but at least you now have a solid reason why and a preferred outcome to focus on, which both make planning much easier.
Now you have 1 action and 2 back-up actions!
- Commit to doing one of the actions and see what happens.
- BACK UP: If you are still stuck and can’t get your action list… contact me. I can help. I have worked with lots of people on this and it is completely normal to find this hard.
- BACK UP 2: If you want more support like this to work on in your own time, try my book ADAPT, GROW, THRIVE. It holds your hand through a career kick-start.
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