She Hated her Job
Have you ever had a job that just felt so wrong for you? Monday morning would come and you would get this sick feeling in your stomach. Or, you’d show up to work and felt like being anywhere else but there? But you sucked it up and made yourself stay there because you had “financial obligations.” Or, you told yourself that you would do it for X amount of time so that you could build your resume. Recently I sat next to a young woman on an airplane. It was a crowded flight and I could feel the intensity of her “don’t-talk-to-me” energy while moving towards the seat next to her. Reading her cue, I did not initiate a conversation with her for the two-hour flight time until we flew over Lake Tahoe, at which time she blurted something out that was barely audible, but I nevertheless took the opportunity to strike up a conversation. Fast-forward 30 minutes later, I found out that she HATED her job. She was miserable and felt that she was trapped in the corporate world going no where. Being the curious and inquisitive person that I am, I asked this 20-something year old loads of questions about her interests, strengths, talents, attributes and what she believed her gifts were to the world. Some of my questions stopped her dead in her tracks and some of my questions validated what she was already feeling – unappreciated, not using her strengths, feeling stifled by not sharing her talents at work.
A Mediocre Life
Life is Short! It is too short to not work, play and live LIFE sharing your STAG with the WORLD! Too often, we stay with meaningless jobs, unfulfilling partners, we surround ourselves with mediocre friends and uninspiring people, we consume highly-processed foods that give us heart-burn and make us bloated, and participate in uninteresting conversations because we feel obligated to do so. The young woman on the plane seemed as if she was waiting for someone to give her permission to quit her job and start living the LIFE she envisioned for herself. I know because I was once that young woman…waiting for someone to SAVE me or validate me or give me the nod of approval. She reminded me of how often we succumb to society’s rules and standards that have nothing to do with our inherent gifts. We are bombarded daily with images of who we should be and who we should look like so that we can fit in…while we gradually let go of who we really are.
I want to encourage and remind all of us that when we work, play, and live from our strengths, talents, attributes, and gifts, life is so much sweeter and when our life is sweet, that in turn makes for a healthier and happier family, community, society, country, and world. Here are some short definitions I created for STAG:
1. Strengths – Something that comes naturally for you, i.e., numbers, words, speaking, athletics, etc.
2. Talents – Taking a strength and turning it into a talent, i.e., mathematician writes algorithms, writer becomes an author. Oprah took her strength of speaking and became a talk-show host. The founders of Google took their strength of math and developed software that created a search engine.
3. Attributes – Attributing one’s strengths and talents to a person’s character. For example, Oprah’s ability to visualize her OWN network. Or Lance Armstrong’s discipline and ambition to win.
4. Gifts – Your LIFE is a gift to be shared. It is honorable and sacred and it is to be shared in relationship with humanity and the WORLD. When we are clear and fully understand the importance of our STAG, we will no longer wait for permission to be wh0 we already are.
In the famous words of Alice Walker, “We are the Ones we have been waiting for.” So, what are you waiting for? 2010 is just around the corner. I would love to hear your stories when you felt you were at a dead-end job. What was your deciding moment to leave? How did you feel?