Sometimes all it takes is a mindset shift...
There I was. It was April 2012 and I was 26 years old working in my corporate job in Human Resources. I woke up one morning dreading going into work. Anything sounded like a better option than going in, perhaps a doctor’s appointment, staring at the wall in my apartment, or even faking sick and sleeping all day. All I knew was I was miserable in the 9-5 grind and trying to be somebody I wasn’t. It literally got exhausting. Since the moment I graduated college, I felt I was entitled to be so much more than what I was paid for or what I was doing. I remember being bored easily by the mundane tasks of the daily grind and slowly but surely, I became resentful of my jobs and the people I worked with on a daily basis.
I always had the feeling that there was something more out there for me, something entrepreneurial and freedom-based. I just didn’t know what exactly “that” was, how to get “it,” or what needed to shift in my life to live this type of lifestyle. At first I thought I just needed to change my job so I would “job hop” from one thing to another thinking that would provide the solution. It didn’t. I found that being multi-passionate was not celebrated and I was often encouraged to focus on one thing instead of many. So not only was this a bummer, my resume also didn’t look appealing to potential employers because not only was I able to stay in a job for longer than two years, they weren’t sure where I was going or what I was doing with my life. If I had to be honest with myself, I even had no fucking clue. This carried on into my late twenties–moving from one job to the next, not really having a sweet clue what I was doing. I started to feel like I came from a different species. I didn’t easily fit in with the corporate culture and it was a constant struggle or a game of who could be more fake. It was frustrating and sad for me because it seemed everyone “got it” and was excited by the rat race and moving up the corporate ladder. Even if that meant stepping on other people on the climb upwards.
At first I thought it was the external circumstances causing all of my inner turmoil. I blamed everyone else and the things that were happening outside of me as the cause of my issues. Co-workers started to rely on me less, other people were getting promoted and I wasn’t. I took this as a sign that I needed to do something different. I went for a second master’s degree in counseling while working full time. While the counseling profession is a natural fit for me, something was still off and I couldn’t put my finger on what that was. The program curriculum and studying the human brain and behaviors was very interesting to me, however the counseling profession itself felt too rigid and rules-driven. Either way, my studies fascinated me and I started to learn more about myself quickly. As I worked temporary HR jobs while in school, I felt empty at work, yet filled up when I would attend school in the evening. I let that be my primary focus and the driver of my mindset.
I found a Human Resources job at a law firm in downtown Chicago in May 2014. Since I went to school downtown in the evenings, this was a perfect fit. I woke up one morning that summer and realized I was very happy. I was learning a ton in school, meditating regularly, moving my body. and practicing yoga. Financial troubles were no longer a concern for me since I was working a great job in a city I loved. I was busy with school, work, and being married, and I was happy. Slowly but surely, I recognized my internal conditions shaped the way I viewed the external world. I loved my boss and the people I interacted with at work. I chose to fall in love with my 9-5, although it didn’t come very naturally to me at first. People I worked with would naturally gravitate to me for advice, colleagues would consult for my “HR opinion.” It wasn’t that I studied more or became more of a well-rounded professional, it was simple: I chose to shift my mindset. Everything else quickly fell into place or became easier for me to manage because I made my well-being a priority. It became a domino effect quickly thereafter as quit my counseling program and finally embraced the truth that I am meant to be an entrepreneur and I always had this in me. I just needed to shift my mindset first.
Are you in a corporate job you hate? Do you suspect it is because of your mindset? Feel free to share in the comments below!