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In this edition of the Q&A for working women in India, life coach Jaya Narayan suggests a comprehensive career review for a woman who is bored and stressed at work.
Hi I am 26 years old CA by profession presently working in small firm in my hometown. I did choose my career on my own and always wanted to enter into commerce field. But somehow I do not enjoy my work. It becomes too stressful for me. I cannot handle pressure at the workplace. Things become boring every other day and I am not satisfied with the kind of work I have and the way I do it. Handling clients and day-to- day office job has also become a tough task. I want to do many things with my life and career but deciding about where to start is becoming very difficult. Things are so messed up that sometimes I feel I made a big mistake selecting my career. I want success in my profession but am unable to meet expectations at work. Please help me find a solution. Is there actually a mistake with my decision or I need to rework on my skills? I am ready to do whatever it takes to be happy and satisfied with my work and workplace.
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Thanks for writing in. It seems to me that having an active career is an important dimension to your life. Though your chosen field of work is commerce and you very well-qualified, something is amiss. I am a bit perplexed. Is it the nature of work or the organization that you work for or something else? You have expressed a wide range of feelings from boredom to stress. I suggest you get more specific and ponder about what is making you feel restless and dissatisfied –
1. Is it the nature and scope of work?
2. Is it the workplace culture?
3. Is it the style of management?
4. Is it the routine?
5. Are you overworked?
6. Could it be about work–life balance?
A good way to make an informed decision is to write down specific triggers that are disengaging you on a daily basis. I suggest you watch yourself diligently over a period of 6 weeks. Every day you need to write down triggers for your feelings. For example – what made you stressed, what caused boredom, what made you happy etc.
Once you have completed this exercise, go through these incidents and look at the common factor that are disengaging you on the professional front. Once you identify these, I am confident that the rest of the attributes will fall into place. You can choose an appropriate course of actions based on the outcome of your exploration. For instance, if it is workplace-related, you could explore new opportunities. If it is the field (CA) itself, you could explore what are your personal strengths and interests. If it is an issue with work–life balance, you could help take breaks.
In addition, the data that you have generated could help you dialogue with the significant stakeholder (manager) on engaging work options. For example, a decision about the mix between client management and back office operations. You could also look at the stretch targets you would like to set for yourself. Sometimes what is missing at the work place is learning opportunity. All these can be easily corrected.
I would advise you not to seek a career change without a comprehensive review. I have noticed that if this step is skipped, the same symptoms repeat in the next move or decision you make.
I wish for you to re discover new possibilities and bring back the joy to your professional life!
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*Photo credit: Bilal Kamoon (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)
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