q: I feel unfulfilled in my career & want change but have no idea what steps to take.

By Alison Rice

Dearest you.

Firstly I want you to know that feeling professionally unfulfilled and having no idea what steps to take next is so normal. In the 10+ years I’ve been leading and coaching, I very rarely meet people who feel professionally fulfilled. Even when they say the job is fulfilling, they don’t feel fulfilled.

"I got the job I worked so hard to get, so why don’t I feel whole and accomplished and content? Why don’t I feel fulfilled and happy?"

So that’s the first thing, just wanting you to feel held in what I believe is increasingly a collective feeling and experience. And I think that’s where we should start — understanding why so many people feel professionally unfulfilled. When we explore the why behind a feeling, what we are doing is gathering more information about the feeling itself. We then use this intel to inform our action.

You might have heard me talk about intentional action, and this is what I’m referring to here. Our role in our own evolution is quite simply committing (softly and playfully) to paying attention. To becoming a witness to the play that is our lives, and then using the intel we gain through that observation of self to shape our action.

Less doing and deciding, more Being and observing with the intention to participate but from a more aware place. This moves our action into a conscious response vs. an unconscious reaction.

So let’s start with the macro — the collective feeling of professional unfulfillment, and then we’ll move into the micro — you, where I’ll invite you into some self inquiry that will hopefully become very fertile ground for making contact with the next, most right action to take in your career.

the collective.

I think we can now hand-on-heart acknowledge that capitalism has conditioned us to believe that what we do for a living is connected to our fulfillment. That our purpose is expressed through our profession. That if we work really hard we can "achieve" fulfillment.

But from where I sit and with what I believe, it's just not true. We can’t outsource our fulfillment because true fulfillment only exists inside of us.

What that means is we are the fulfillment we’re seeking, and what we do for a living is a productive outlet for our fulfillment. So we take beautiful, fulfilled us, and we put ourselves to use out in the world. We bring our unique combination of fulfillment, gifts and skills to the moment, and we meet the need of that time. That’s not to say the job itself isn’t or can’t be a fulfilling experience, but we aren’t relying on the job to fulfill us.

So that’s the macro, and I think the work for us to do is actually self and spiritual development not professional development.

It’s about making contact with the truth of what we are, which informs who we are, and who we are informs what we do.

beautiful you.

Now for the micro — beautiful you. I’d love to offer you a few prompts from a lesson inside my first online course. It's about making contact with your True Self, aligning to your purpose and redefining how you view success. 

The lesson is called Create Your Conscious Compass, which is a tool I developed to help my students and clients make contact with their individual definition of what I call True Self Success. When we know what the unique shape of our own version of success looks like (another example of the information gathering I was referring to earlier), we’re able to take really aligned and intentional action that will move us in the direction of that vision we hold for ourselves vs. someone else’s definition of success.

I hope these act as a soft and valuable entry point to you deciding what is most relevant for you to do next.

  • What season of life are you in?
  • What type of work feels effortless to you?
  • What do you value most in life?
  • What do you value most in your career?
  • What won’t you sacrifice in the pursuit of “success”?
  • What should you be getting paid for your gifts, skills and experience?

I want you to remember that you are the expert on beautiful you, and you deserve professional peace. You deserve a job that feeds your curiosity, aligns to your values and makes you feel useful. 

Alison xo

Do you have a career, business or leadership question?

Email me at [email protected] and pop Ask Alison in the subject line.