In an ideal world, our work would help us maximize our joy and energy… but since most jobs include lots of different activities there is often no clear “silver bullet” solution when it doesn’t. So, we get confused. What’s missing? What do we really want? The bigger the gap between our current and desired state, the more impractical and complicated it can feel to close it.
Career reinvention is magical. I have worked with enough clients, and witnessed enough seemingly rise from the half-dead and from the steely grip of burnout, that I am entirely convinced. But the steps on the path are practical, tangible. We need to “start close in.”
Want more joy and energy in your career, but not sure what to change? I always recommend imagining what you want long-term, but you should also integrate information on what’s happening here and now.
Our bodies give us clues. Explore them with the career energy inventory below.
Drain. List any activities that aren’t inherently nourishing for you. In other words, you could take or leave them. Doing them, you feel: Bored.
Drive. List activities that, assuming your basic needs are met, you would LOVE or at the very least, appreciate doing. These are things that you find inherently interesting or enjoyable. Doing them, you feel: Good!
Drag. List activities that are not only not nourishing, but they actually feel either unnatural or unethical to do. They go against your values or work style. Doing them, you feel: Conflicted, angry, or badly about yourself.
Of course, when we’re overworked or in the dumps in general, everything can feel like a drag/drain. Fears related to performance, like impostor syndrome, can similarly cast a shadow over activities that would otherwise feel good.
If you’re in that place you may need to do some educated guesswork — what would be a drain/drive/drag assuming your basic emotional and physical needs were met and you couldn’t fail? Imagine you won the lottery, could do no wrong, and were returning to the working world after a long and rejuvenating sabbatical. This will separate fears, judgments, and stress/fatigue from YOU. This is much easier said than done. This is why “getting away” from the career context in question, whether through a vacation, a fun hobby, or an unbiased relationship container like coaching can be so helpful.
Taking a career energy inventory provides clarity and ideas for self-supportive and life-giving career adjustments in the short and long-term. Try it, and get curious about what would energize and give expression to the best in you.
Learn more about my coaching at: caseyonder.com
Casey Onder, Conscious Career Coach at Clairvoyage
Casey Onder, PhD is a career coach for professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders. With clients in industries from finance to film, she loves supporting high performers to take their careers and companies to the next level while creating more joy and purpose in their work. Before coaching she worked in Fortune 500 talent management and leadership consulting. She has a M.S. in Counseling, PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and is ICF-trained.