When you keep putting your career first


Do you find your career has taken over all aspects of your life?

If you identify with the 4 points below – it may be time to re-evalute the role your career plays as the rest of your life keeps shifting down the priority list.

1. You feel guilt putting yourself before your career demands

Constantly putting career demands ahead of other areas in your life leave you feeling drained along with ‘missing out’ on special moments. 

Whilst the majority of us require the stability of a regular paycheque – it should not come at the cost of other areas of your life.

If you notice this guilt tendency, an interesting question to ask is where else do you tend to put others before yourself?

There is a reason the mantra’s ‘fill up your own cup before you give to others’, ‘sharpen the saw’, and ‘put your oxygen mask on before anyone else’s’ are so often repeated.

They demonstrate the importance of connecting with and valuing yourself. You’re denying yourself and others the full gift of your energy, unique approach to things when you’re constantly stressed, worn out or drained.

2. You’re exhausted from the overwhelm and juggling to ‘balance it all’

The mystic work/life balance can feel like a unicorn fantasy for many. Does it really exist, and will you ever attain it?!

The short answer is, yes it does exist, but you have to consciously work at it.

Become clear on the value you place on other aspects of your life and choose to prioritise them over workday demands. Easier said than done? Rather than thinking of it as ‘finding balance’ – reframe it around making the right CHOICES for you.

If you decide not to do this – recognise that in itself is a choice.  It’s not about your workplace asking for longer hours or the next impossible deadline – as tough as that may be to hear.

By making the choice not to find a way to change things, not hold the courageous conversations (whether they are internal or external) to change things up – means you are accepting to continue with overwhelm and stress.


3. You feel under-valued for your efforts

It is easy to judge your ‘valued’ status by external markers such as your job title, budget and team size or the extra company perks you receive.

When things aren’t going so well, you tend to hold onto those validators:  ‘yes there’s a lot of change but at least I’m still in xx management level’….  ‘I have a company car’….. ‘I run a large team’…..’the new team don’t understand the technical details the same way I do’….

However, you’ve noticed these validators don’t fill up your energy cup in the way that other aspects of your life do.

Feeling undervalued is usually an internal voice that chips away and wears you down. If you find this is a common occurrence for you – it would be helpful to asses other areas of your life where you DO feel valued and look for patterns.

This will help gain insight for yourself if feeling undervalued is a theme in your life as a whole or is a reality with your employer.

The trick is to work out the distinction between the two areas and then make decisions from there.


4. You feel your job options are limited

If you feel trapped at your current job because you wouldn’t be able to find another one, then you are not alone. This is a common feeling many people experience – they are too young/old, their skill set is limited, or they are pigeon holed by their industry.

Studies have proven people-focused skills and the essence of what makes us human (critical thinking, relational skills, empathy, creativity) are valued far higher than functional job skills, especially in our emerging new world of work.

These humanitarian skills can be transferred to many industries and job roles – it’s about how you identify yours and position them to a prospective new role.

Once you’re armed and comfortable with your skills – spend 1-2 hours a month meeting people with job titles that interest you and ask them how they view the need for those skills. By taking yourself outside of your comfort zone, you’re shifting your brain from its current perspective to make connections where new opportunities may lie.

You might feel ambivalent or hate your job.  

Regardless of your feelings towards it, your job is NOT your life.

You are so much more than a career path!

If you’d like to review your career and reconnect to what purposeful work could look like – book a free Discovery call with me today.


Zivana Anderson, Soul River