I've been working in the same job for the past five years. It pays well but the stress seems to increase every day. Each day I wake up with a sense of dread of what might lie in store. I've been toying with the idea of changing jobs or changing direction completely. Help! What should I do?
Gina, as I link into your energy I sense that your present job puts you in front of large numbers of people on a regular basis - almost daily. I feel there is also a connection with the media. And you travel a great deal for work. But these locations are not holiday destinations. It comes through as if you can be called away at the drop of a hat based on events that make headlines.
You are almost as high as one can go in your career. And very few other women have achieved what you have. You are admired for your success and you have received external and formal recognition - on numerous occasions.
But there is another angle to this story.
In addition to the constant travel, I sense that you are constantly looking over your shoulder. It's as though you are always under pressure to outperform your last performance. While we are all measured by our last success, the pressure you feel is acutely intense. And it's got to the point that your stomach goes into knots when the phone rings or when emails arrive. Even when you are off-the-clock - which is rare indeed - you cannot disconnect.
Part of this stress is endemic to your profession. The other part stems from an error of judgment you made almost six years ago that continues to haunt you. It was a professional miscalculation. We all make them. It was simply that yours took place very much in the public eye and was witnessed by more people than most of us could imagine. You paid your price. You learned your lesson. Now, the time has come to forgive yourself!
If you can manage to do this your stress level will plummet and make your current situation more palatable. I must say that I do not see that now is the time for you to change jobs. An accolade is heading your way for a recent project. When you receive this, your outlook will change completely. It will be one of those "it was all worth it" moments.
While I do not see you changing jobs or career, I do recommend a new undertaking. A few years ago you worked on a project that was connected to young people in the community. Professionally speaking, it was not one of your most recognised or significant moments. However, on a personal level, it had the potential to be life changing. You understood then that, had those in charge listened to your ideas, it would have been received much better.
Now you have something that you didn't have then - CLOUT! You've the ability to throw your weight around when required. And so you won't have anyone ignoring your input. Return to this project. There's more work to be done. Don't underestimate the impact your contribution will make - not only to those involved but to your own life direction.
Then you'll understand that the path you're on is the one that is leading you where you need to go!
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