For the last 15 years, I have been working with people who are deeply dissatisfied in their careers. It's always been amazing to me because it doesn't matter whether or not this is during a "good time" or a recession. In fact, a study showed that over 70% of people working right now are unhappy in their jobs or dissatisfied. That blows my mind.
So, there's something inherently wrong. And after working with literally thousands of people, I've come to identify that everyone shares the same problem. If you're unhappy in your career, you share the same problem as everyone else.
Let me explain why.
The Problem: You Have A Negative Career Narrative
As I listen to these stories, I find that everyone who is unhappy shares one similar trait. It's a mistake that they're making in the way they've interpreted their career.
You may have never realized this, but you tell a story in your head—it's called the "career narrative," and your career narrative comes from the way that you process every experience you've ever had related to your career.
Think of it this way. Something happens in your career, and then you decide whether it was a good or bad experience. You attach meaning to it. And that creates these series of events that, when pulled together, create a story.
You might not have realized this, but that career narrative is akin to a major motion picture. It's an epic novel, and it plays all the time in your head. It's going on and on and on.
People that are really unhappy in their jobs tend to have an extremely negative career narrative. Meaning, if you were to write the entire thing out, you would see setbacks, negative issues, negative problems—negativity throughout. And they're carrying that entire storyline with them.
You are the main character of that story. In essence, when your career narrative is so filled with negativity and deeply negative emotions, you're not the hero of the story. You're the victim. And this is the one thing that I see people dealing with all the time.
How To Fix Your Career Narrative
If this sounds like you, then here's what you need to do to fix it:
The first step is for you to actually get that career narrative out of your head, and either onto a piece of paper or into a computer file. You need to give yourself a chance to really step back and look at the entire story, and put it together into a logical format.
Only then can you start to analyze that narrative and change it.
But you can't change the narrative until you know what it is. You can't change that story until you understand how it's been playing in your head all these years.
My advice to you is that if you're unhappy in your career, write that career narrative out and then to learn how to analyze it. Because if you can analyze it, you can change it. And when you can change the story, you can change the outcome.
We've always heard the phrase, "History repeats itself." This is something I see all the time in peoples' careers, and it's because they've never addressed their core narrative. So all that negativity just carries through, and they make the same mistakes—and they have the same problems over and over and over again.
I don't want that to be you. So, write out your career narrative, really think about it, and then use the techniques I've provided so that you can change the storyline.
Again, when you change the story, you change the outcome.
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