Right out of college, I worked at an amazing organization that I believed in deeply. I felt so aligned with my work there, truly feeling I was making a difference by being part of this wonderful organization. I felt an insatiable desire to learn everything about my work and the work of my colleagues, and I learned so many skills during those five years.
Unfortunately, I left with a sour taste in my mouth when the honeymoon ended. The work environment became toxic at the same time as the leadership announced a new project to help a huge company do something really bad for the environment. Not to mention, it was extremely unethical for the organization to take on this work because of its commitments and promises to donors.
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Additionally, this was a secret project that employees were not to disclose to donors or to the public.
I recoiled when I heard this at a staff meeting, and for about five months after, I squirmed at meetings and at my desk. I felt nauseous. About three nights a week, I had nightmares that the building was burning down, or that there was conflict on my team. I literally couldn’t sleep at night. My body was telling me, this is not right.
This was so not my people, so not my place, and completely misaligned with my values and my mission on this earth. How could I be part of this? How could I stand by and let this happen?
I felt in my bones I could no longer be a part of this organization. I struggled for months trying to figure out what I would do next. All I knew was that I could not be there any longer. My integrity, my alignment, and my intuition were screaming at me to GTFO of there.
Of course I was scared. I had all kinds of stories about what would happen if I left my job without another one in place
- Not being able to pay rent
- Having to move in with my parents back on the east coast
- And many more reasons my mind created.
And yet I did it anyway. Soon a new opportunity revealed itself. I felt my fear, stood for my values, took steps in a new direction, and I made a courageous choice. That choice helped me evolve in my career and in my life adventure.
That experience taught me that sometimes when it is time to move on, life will give you a kick in the butt. In hindsight I can see that my career had become stagnant at that organization. I wouldn’t have continued on a growth trajectory with my skills and development had I stayed there.
I needed a reason to leave, and life gave it to me.
Here are 6 ways to know it’s time to move to the next chapter of your career, or your life:
- It is more and more challenging for you to reach the “flow state,” where you feel like you are aligned with your purpose and experience effortlessness.
- Your growth is stagnant; you aren’t learning.
- Having nightmares about the situation.
- Perceiving omens and signs that communicate it’s time to leave.
- Consistently feeling uncomfortable and on-edge in the situation.
- Perceiving that you are out of alignment with your values.
With self documentation, you can notice when these things are happening, note them, and look back to see how often life is trying to send you a message about your current state of being. Self documentation helps you recognize the pattern much sooner instead of going for months and months with a situation that isn’t serving you.
Sometimes life gives us even more harsh reasons to move on to the next phase; the next chapter. This can mean ending a friendship; a relationship; or a marriage. It can mean getting fired. An illness or death of a loved one. It can mean destruction or an accident. These seemingly disastrous endings will eventually morph into a new beginning, a new phase of life for us.
Have you ever had life give you a kick in the butt to make a change and move on?