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Is your job the problem, what is really going on?

Is your job the problem, what is really going on?

 Many of my clients will come to me because they want a new job, maybe a new career. Something is missing, they feel they are not being challenged enough, they can’t see a future at their current workplace, they know they can do better, that there is something better out there for them. Or they have always wanted to work……(fill in the blank).

One of my clients would apply for jobs that she could do; that she hoped would possibly give her a greater sense of satisfaction in her life. The final straw came late on Thursday night in a shopping centre – she found she was about to part with $300 for a new suit that she didn’t want to buy, for an interview, for a job she suddenly realised she didn’t want. So, then she called me.

The problem is it is really easy to blame your job for the reason why you are not happy.

There are a few reasons for this. It is socially acceptable to change jobs, its part of getting ahead. Nobody is worried for your mental health when you discuss your new job, like they would be if you discussed your need for a new life. There are perks to moving jobs, sometimes you get better money or work conditions or more interesting things to do all day. It is expected we will all do it, sporadically though our lives. And sometimes it feels like the only part of your life where you have any autonomy left. Leaving your job doesn’t upset your children or your peers as much as leaving a marriage, a country, or old ways of doing things. So much of our life is constrained by obligations.

Changing your job can appear as the silver bullet, the one thing to change that will solve all the issues.

Sometimes the ‘I want a new job’ story is a cover story for something else.

Or it can happen with a marriage. Maybe your spouse gets the blame for everything that is wrong in your life. “If only I was free for him, I would be happier” (or calmer / wealthier / thinner / more successful / less stressed – insert any aspirational word here)

You might leave your marriage, your hometown, your job, your friend group. But there you are, still the same you. And the same issues pop up again, despite the fact you are in a new life.

Before you invest hundreds of hours in changing jobs, spouses or hometown – stop for a moment and consider what you really need. What is the actual problem?

So, what can you do to work out is it your job you need to change or something else?

Here is where to start, take a step back and consider all the parts of your life. Look at your life domains. If you are going to do an audit on your life, start here.


Career wellbeing

Do you like what you do every day? Does your job bring you satisfaction, rewards, meaning and purpose?

Do you like what you do every day? Is there lurking beneath the surface the desire to; run your own business, write a book, travel the world, get your bosses job, or work in a university?

Being employed is a great place to start a side hustle. Using the line, ‘I want to start my own business’ just creates a lot of pressure and expectation.

Do you want your climb the career ladder, but your interview skills are lacking?

Social wellbeing

Do you have meaningful friendships in your life? Do you feel connected, heard, loved, and supported? Do you feel you make a difference in anybody else’s life?

Or do things feel slightly off in that department? Are you putting in more that you are getting back? What could you do differently?

Have you found your people? Could you reconnect with old friends to remember who are your people?

Financial Wellbeing

Do you manage your money well? Are you ahead or behind financially? Can you earn more or less? Do you live within your means? How much stress do your finances bring to your life? Are you secure in your home?

Physical Wellbeing

Do you have energy to get things done? Are you looking after yourself and giving your body what it needs? Can you do better? What is stopping you?

If you are persistently saying that you are exhausted or waking up tired, then go to see your GP. If you are lacking energy – then your body telling you that there is problem. Stop mucking around and commit to fixing it. You are not meant to be tired all the time, it’s not normal.

If you are a woman in her 40’s and 50’s and you are tired all the time, you could be perimenopausal or menopausal. Maybe it is time to start the conversation with your GP that your hormones could be sailing out the door of your life. There are many things that you can do to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the fact that you maybe perimenopausal or menopausal does not make it go away. Believe me, I tried!

Community Wellbeing

Do you like where you live? Do you like the country? Do you like the city or rural area, neighbourhood, and home you find yourself in? Does your physical environment bring stress into your life?

It’s just you and me here you can tell me the truth – I have emigrated twice!

Are you too close to your family or not close enough?

Are you part of a group? Do you feel like you belong and get to interact with like-minded souls? Are you part of something bigger than you?

Spiritual Wellbeing

Do you feel connected to something bigger than yourself? A higher power or something beyond yourself. Are you able to express your beliefs and or faith with freedom and confidence? Spirituality is not only active participation in an organised religion

So go through every angle or your current situation, look at your life through each of these lenses.

This mini audit may confirm that it is your job that you want to change. Or you may find that the issue lies in another domain. It can be hard to talk about this with loved ones, it is difficult for them to not throw a personal filter on the discussion. They probably share the same town, or same workplace, or same friend group or home as you. Talk with somebody neutral first, someone who doesn’t have a personal stake. Then when your thinking is clearer, bring your loved ones into the talk.

Don’t wish you had a better life, save all your wishes for the Tooth fairy and Santa Claus.  Working out where change needs to occur to get the better life is a great start.


I am a coach, mother and wife, living in the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. I grew up in South London, in an immigrant family in the suburbs. But I had good fortune with my parents: Dad was born in Calcutta, India, and my Mum came from communist Poland. In the 1970s I got to leave Croydon, and travel with my family through India, and behind the Iron Curtain. I saw parts of the world that my classmates could not comprehend. It sparked my wanderlust and gave me a great respect for how big and diverse our world is. And I gained an ability to move between different cultures, assimilating into them.

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