anxiety

Instead Of Looking For Your Purpose Or 'One Thing', Try This

When talking about their careers, there are two stories I often hear women telling themselves:

  • “Unless I figure out the one thing I’ve always wanted to do, I’m going to be miserable.”
  • “I’ve invested so much time striving to be successful in this industry, if I transition to something else it’ll have all been for nothing.”

Women (and men) often feel an urgency to find their ‘one thing.’ Or, they stay in the same industry longer than they’d like because they feel obligated or stuck. To discuss finding purpose and getting unstuck I talked with Nicole Antoinette, the host of the Real Talk Radio podcast. Antoinette is a self-described “recovering self help addict” and a queen of reinvention.

nicole-antoinette

Nicole Antoinette Photo Credit: Foxes + Wolves

With a resume that includes highlights such as camp director, owner of a web design firm, goal setting coach, and cookie shop owner, Antoinette says the theme of her career has been change.

This is a dramatic juxtaposition to her husband, an engineer at Twitter whose path has been pretty linear. She says, “He’s taken the more traditional or ‘recommended’ path that was put on a pedestal when I was younger: pick your thing and become really good at your thing.”

Around the time she turned 30, Antoinette struggled with shame and guilt that she hadn’t found her ‘one thing’ like her partner. Without her ‘one thing’ all the choices she had made in her 20s felt like a waste. She asked herself, “What’s wrong with me that I’ve had all of these seemingly unrelated careers?”

Paths Aren’t Always Linear, But Skills Are Transferable

Antoinette felt badly about this pattern of behavior until she had a realization. “The model of pick one thing, get better and better at that thing, and always be continually interested in that thing is actually pretty rare.” Stories of achieving greatness through perseverance in the same profession (picture Michael Phelps) are the ones celebrated in the media, she argues, which causes us to falsely believe that kind of career consistency is the norm.

In addition to craving an idealized ’one thing’, people are reluctant to lose all the opportunities they’ve created for themselves in their industry. Antoinette, who’s had at least 4 careers already, says if you go to do something else, all the experience, skills, and relationships you’ve developed come with you. “ It’s not like you leave a job or an industry and someone comes and ‘Men in Blacks’ your brain ,” she explains referencing the memory erasing technology from the popular film series.

For example, the same organization and communication skills that made her a good camp director were a tremendous asset when she ran her own business. As I started my consulting practice, a woman I’d met in my last role, managing a political campaign, became my first client.

Ask Yourself Good Questions

When it comes to her own transitions, Antoinette says the best advice she’s ever gotten is to ask yourself good questions, such as:

Referencing her own experience, Antoinette says, “If you’re actually willing to go back and ask yourself again and again, eventually you just get sick of yourself,” and get to the answer.

Asking herself those questions relentlessly, she realized she didn’t care about having a big flashy career. She says it took all of her 20s to accept that a “capital C Career” wasn’t important to her. She challenged the idea that there was a finite destination to reach, and she’s not looking back. Or as she says,“F*ck, I’m so much happier now.”

Whether you’re just starting out in your career or decades in, consider giving yourself permission to explore what kind of work is fulfilling rather than searching frantically for your ‘one thing’. Who knows, maybe cookie shop owner is in your future.

Lelia Gowland helps women negotiate and navigate their careers. Learn more about her e-courses on negotiating a raise, a promotion, and a new position at gowlandllc.com.

Anxiety, Depression and the Job Search

Times like these make you want to actually sing country.  Old country not that new fangled country – invented in a LA recording studio.  Someone who’s ‘lived’ for decades, someone who has lost their dog, truck and girlfriend for a living.

 

 Where, oh where, are you tonight?

Why did you leave me here all alone?

I searched the world over and I thought I’d found true love.

But you met another and PTHHP! you was gone.

 
 

That little number sums up the hundreds of calls a week we take from anxious people look for a new job in the wine industry.  Despair, anxiety and the uncertainty all can wear you thin.  It’s a tough market, but, there has been more activity as of late, nearly double the amount of inquiries for new management search as compared to this time last year.

However, if you’ve been feeling the stress build up into perpetual anxiety, we found some very insightful tips on managing your stress, improving your outlook and increasing your opportunities.  If you are healthy inside, it shows on your face – if you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, it shows double.  Follow these tips to better manage daily stress and retain mental energy for that next interview.

 Anxiety, Depression and the Job Search

Anxiety, Depression and the Job Search

Job seekers navigating unemployment and an extended job search can find themselves in a bit of a Catch-22. Worn down by frustration and stress, many find themselves spiraling into depression, which will ultimately manifest itself in job-search performance — sleepless nights, lack of motivation, diminished interview skills and a bad attitude — and can make it even hard to gain employment. Staying mentally healthy on the job search is vital if you are to operate at your peak.

Based on the advice of psychologists and mental health experts, the stories below identify precisely what layoff survivors are likely to experience and solutions to combat the stress and anxiety that can lead to depression.

 

Read these four stories to help you stay healthy during your job search:

Your Layoff, Your Brain: How to Get Out of Your Own Way

In small doses, anxiety is necessary fuel to drive achievement. But in a prolonged job search, the effects of stress can work against you. Here are some practical insights to gain control of your body’s fight-or-flight mechanisms.

Stop Job Loss from Stealing Your Confidence and Your Identity

For seasoned professionals, the loss of a job can shake their sense of self. Here are some psychological insights for keeping things in perspective.

Staying Healthy Through Troubled Times

Being let go from a job is difficult under any circumstances, but in today’s economy, it can be even more stressful. Mental-health experts and people who have been through the job hunt themselves offer the following advice for maintaining your emotional and physical health during what can be a prolonged job search.

Job Search Anxiety: Warning Signs

The loss of a job hits both your pocketbook and your very identity. Negative feelings are only natural, but look out for these red flags indicating that outside support should be sought.