Heart HeadA few years ago I was offered a position setting up the Brisbane office of a Melbourne based company. The people were great, the service we offered was marketable and it was flattering to be approached for what I thought would be a great opportunity.

3 months later I left, on a mutual agreement that it wasn’t working out for either the company, or me.

The reality is I had accepted the position for all the wrong reasons – many of them good reasons, but reasons that were determined more by my head than my heart.

Many of my Career Coaching clients are faced with decisions to make about their future. Should they stay where they are? Should they move laterally, to another company? Or should they be thinking about a new career altogether, in a different field?

Of course I have a lot of advice for them to help them make the right decision, but ultimately, when they are faced with a “yes’ or “no” choice on a role, I ask them this:

“Does this role excite you, and will it make you want to get out of bed in the morning”?

I can usually tell what the answer is going to be before I ask the question, but it always serves as a good reminder for my clients that work is something they should look forward to – and swapping like for like, or, worse jumping from the frying pan to the fire, is not always a good idea.

While it’s challenging to find the “perfect” role, I genuinely believe you owe it to yourself to do what you can to be happy at work and find a role that motivates you.  The latest Gallup Poll shows that less than 20% of us are actively engaged in our work. Being engaged at work has been proven to have a positive effect on our overall health and wellbeing – so it’s not just all about your career – your whole life is impacted.

Whether or not you believe in the power of “gut feel”, our instinct and our intuition have a large part to play in our decision making process. All too often, I meet women (and men) who have followed a career path based on what they believe to be the right decisions, only to find themselves in a position where the career they have doesn’t meet their needs, desires, values and motivators.

For example, I work with a lot of lawyers and many of them tell me how strong their social justice motivation was during University, yet they find themselves in large commercial firms, doing work that doesn’t fulfill them, with careers that pay well but ultimately don’t make them happy.

Part of trusting your intuition and using it to make good decisions is being clear on what you value and what’s important to you in your life and career. When you know your priorities, it’s easier to listen to your heart, and allow it to over-rule your head where necessary.

When you know yourself, you can trust yourself.  It’s never too late to focus on what you want from life and your career, and to understand what your key motivators are. That’s what drives you, and your career, forward and it’s a no-brainer investment in yourself and your happiness to uncover them.  


P.S. I’ve got exciting news. I’m moving back to Sydney after 8 years away. If you’re Sydney based and want to talk with me about career coaching or my Women of Influence program, click here to book an initial strategy call over the next few weeks. I’ve got limited space left in my personal coaching programs for this year, and I’m currently booking new client sessions now for October onwards.