…the passion is gone - and I'm not talking about in your love life!
This is a piece I wrote in 2019 after I had spent a few days on the Outer Banks, not on vacation, I just needed some time to myself. Being on the beach is like coming home for me...
feet in the sand, the fresh salty breeze in my hair and the sound of the ever present waves on the shore ground me, let me be at peace with myself - I can let go of any hurt, regrets, sadness and breathe again - ready to start my new adventure...My new life in Hatteras at The Atlantic Inn 😊
To excel in anything, you need to be passionate about what you are doing - to feel that fire in your soul, to truly believe you can make a difference… and that most certainly includes your career.
When you are passionate about your work - You become a catalyst for great things, as a leader, you unite people, inspire them, motivate them, you are committed to doing your ultimate best not only for your organization, but also for the people you work with every day, regardless of their position or status. You try to see around the corners, look for the potential for collateral damage, the unintended consequences of decisions being made by you, or others.....and you speak up if you have concerns. People trust you and know that you will always try to do the right thing, because you love what you do, you have integrity and you care.
So, when you wake up regularly on work days, after yet another sleepless night, feeling the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and the first words out your mouth are "F***, I don’t want to do this"….it's Time!
I've been extremely fortunate in my career to have had several jobs that I have absolutely loved. I woke up most days, rested and excited…. yes excited, to get to work. I know this may sound a little strange to some, but when you are passionate about the work you do, this happens.
I couldn't wait to see what I could accomplish that day, what challenges I'd face, who I'd be meeting with, what we could move forward. Issues and problems were taken in my stride and provided challenges that stretched me, and often pushed me out of my comfort zone, ultimately helping to make me be a better leader.
Were there "bad" days? Mornings when I could have happily turned off the alarm and gone back to sleep? (usually in the deep of winter when it's dark and cold outside) Days when I had meetings I dreaded or was anxious about? Deadlines for deliverables that were extremely tough to meet?
Absolutely, we all have those, but I had an overwhelming number of awesome days, which by far outweighed the nasty ones. I also found that it became very important to me that the people I worked with, wanted to come to work too - that they felt invested in what we were trying to accomplish, that they felt supported and appreciated. We are all so much more innovative, creative and productive when we are happy and committed to our work. As we spend roughly a third of our lives working….don’t you think it’s important that we feel good when we are there???
The only problem for me was, once I knew what it was like to be in positions that I had felt passionate about, I knew that to be at my absolute best and most successful, it would always be critically essential to work in an environment where I felt that fire in my soul, that belonging….where I know my "awesome days" will outweigh the "bad" days.
There are many reasons we decide to change roles or consider moving to another organization - the list of these reasons can be pretty lengthy, here are just a few:
· Geographical location/Ability to work remotely
· Work life balance
· Change in career interests
· Financial incentives
· Change in personal circumstances
· Great benefits package
· The opportunity to work with people you know and trust
· On-site childcare
· Toxic work environment
· Poor/Inexperienced management
· Over-stressed/Burnt out
· Lack of trust
· Lack of integrity in leadership
· Not feeling appreciated
· Change in company values
· Change in company culture
· Seeing good employees leave
· Lack of support
· Lack of/poor communication
I could go on, but the important thing to remember is, that we all have our own personal reasons for making our decisions to move on from a position. There may be one major factor, or several smaller contributing factors, that are ultimately making you lose your passion for your work.
For me personally, I lose my passion for my work, when I feel that my core values (Integrity/Trust/Authenticity/Family/Freedom) are not being met in my role anymore, or I feel they are being compromised. When I feel like I can’t make any progress, regardless of how hard I try, it’s always the same outcome, at that point I'm merely treading water to stay afloat - A quote of Einstein's flashes into my head "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". When I’m told that "this is as good as it gets"....... I’m sorry but I need more - I need to believe in what I'm doing, that my work means something, contributes to a higher cause, can make something better, that I can make even a small difference.
There's an old saying "where there's a will, there's a way" and as a headstrong woman, I've generally followed this advice, but when your gut instinct is telling you it's time to call it a day, then another cliché comes into play " all good things come to an end". When you have reached a plateau in your role or with an organization, and you know that you're no longer being heard or feel like you belong, your core values aren't being met, you owe it to yourself and to those around you…..It's Time to let go!
Do You feel that fire in your soul, when you think about the work you do?
Do You feel excited at the prospect of a new, challenging, exciting and fun day at work?
For me - Letting go was the best thing I ever did, was it scary?....absolutely, was it risky? ..absolutely, was it worth it?...absolutely!
Is it all spectacular sunrises and dolphins dancing in the waves??
No, there are different stresses (like no 401k plan or reasonably costing healthcare!!!), but I'm happier and healthier than I've ever been, renovating the Inn and being a Life Coach is incredible.
Having passion for what you do, is one of the secrets to making anything possible...
Until next time, take care of yourself and stay safe,