I Like Feeling Important in what I Do- Now What?


I hate to admit this, but I like feeling important in my job.  How can I feel that way if I retire or change jobs?


We really don’t like admit that we have an ego to feed: a lot of us have one. We keep it undercover most of the time because it can be kind of an ugly thing that no one, including ourselves, likes to see.  A number of us who have been in the workforce for a while have developed expertise and deep knowledge that people seek us out for.  Sometimes this is an informal situation but real all the same. In other work, settings can even be part of a job title.  Whichever it is, it is a source of power and deep personal gratification.  It isn’t something that you are awarded simply by passing tests or being licensed.  You have earned this because of the person you are.  You dig into details, you learn how things work, and you ask questions.  You do what other people don’t.


It’s okay to admit that this situation has provided you with great satisfaction.  It’s also good to acknowledge that this same level of admiration most likely won’t be repeated if you change jobs or quit altogether.  It’s a hard thing to deliberately walk away from and can be a big part of your anxiety in making a change in your life.  This is when you must make “values-based decisions” about what’s important in your life.  


This calls for a writing exercise.


You need to write down what you like, what you dislike and what’s missing about your current job.  If you really are on the brink of a life change, self-examination is always called for.  The exercise is also not a 5-minute meal.  You will set down and write these things out, think about them, walk away from them, and pick them up a few more times before you have really captured what’s important and what’s MOST important in your life.  You have to ask yourself the tough questions or have someone ask them of you.  


 Questions like:  What is important in your life going forward?


Let’s also examine this term values-based decisions.  A value is something you personally value in yourself, your life, and probably people you like and respect.  One example of a value is honesty.  I personally can’t function or interact with someone I don’t trust.  We all have a lengthy list of values.  Sometimes we don’t even realize what all of our values are, yet they are the basis for much of our behavior.  It is also important to understand that in this lengthy list of values we possess,  some can be in conflict with each other.  I know it seems incongruous but it is true.  You can value being in nature and city life at the same time.  You can value being sought after and even admired for your deep knowledge and background in your field and yet not want to do it anymore.  When you make a “values-based decision” such as this it will be hard work.  It will require thought, examination, and consideration for what is important in your life.  It is also possible that what is important to you today will change next week or next year.  If you go through this exercise and decide to stay where you just know that there will come a day when the list starts shifting.  It’s a natural process that goes on in our life.  If you decide to move forward and leave the job you have today, you also have to face the fact that this important aspect of your life will be something that you will miss and maybe even grieve for a while.  But, as a member of the human race, you will adjust and your life going forward will be great.


Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleash your professional potential.

About Dorothy

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is the Introvert Whisperer, Career & Leadership, speaker and author.

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