Updated: Feb 2
That feeling when your boss wants to know where you see yourself in five years, and all you can think of is, "Not here."
I didn't hate my job. In fact, there were many times that I really liked my job. But year after year, company after company, performance review after performance review, the one question I dreaded most was, "So where do you see yourself in five years?" or "What position would you like to grow into?" There was always this expectation that all I wanted was to get promoted and build my career. The manager would dangle this carrot in front of me not realizing I was more of juicy steak kind of girl.
I Felt No Passion
"I do believe that such a life can only be found by living one's true passion." Tony Robbins
We've all heard it. Live your passion! The problem is that no one ever said how to find your passion. I literally had no idea what I was passionate about. Of course I was passionate about my kids and my family, but aside from the awesome perks of snuggles, laughter and "I love you mommy"s, it was the worst paying job ever. I didn't see how I could turn that into a career.
Actually, I still don't. I'm mesmerized by all the women that have carved out wildly successful careers around being a mom. Sort of feels like the whole market has been cornered. But I digress!
The question at hand is what do you do when you have no passion for your job? When you're standing in the middle of a road staring at a Dead End sign?
Maybe it's a Door
When I think of a dead end, no matter the context, it's always a bad feeling. Driving - dead end - I'm lost; I've made a wrong turn; I'm late; Where the hell am I?! Relationship - My life is wasting away; Career - I'm stuck; I'm never going anywhere.
On the other hand, when I think of a door, there are so many options. Curiosity - what's behind the door; Frustration - the door is locked; Panic - I lost my key; Stress - Am I ready for what's on the other side.
I went from feeling overwhelmed at the dead end I found myself in, to suddenly seeing a door. I wasn't stuck unless I wanted to be stuck. All I had to do was open the door.
And so I did. But not right away. For a few years I stood there, hand on the knob, afraid of turning it. I was afraid I wouldn't be enough to handle what was behind there. I was waiting until that perfect moment when I was ready. (It's embarrassing in hindsight to say that I had no idea what "ready" even meant!)
This Literally Changed My Life
"Quit waiting to get picked; quit waiting for someone to give you permission; quit waiting for someone to say you are officially qualified and pick yourself."
This popped up on my screen one day. I don't even know who said it. I just know it was speaking directly to me. I realized in that moment that the only person that thought I wasn't ready was me. I realized I was waiting for someone else to tell me I was enough.
I still have this quote posted above my desk to this very day. It reminds me every day to pick myself. To say, "You're the one I want on my team," "You're the one that can do this".
Open the Door
So what do you do when you're at a dead end with work, a relationship, life? You remember it's actually a door. A magical door because we get to decide what's on the other side. We can be afraid to turn the knob, or we can swing it open boldly and announce, "I'm here!"