Everybody is happy with their job, but not you. What is wrong with you?
You hear your colleagues talk about the promotion that they want. Some talk about how they got a raise, some talk passionately about their idea they told their manager about. Some complain about their colleagues saying that they don't take on the work load as they want. You listen to them thinking: They are so engaged in their work. Why not me? Why don't I care?
Then you'll have the other friends who go to their jobs and do the bare minimum, and they are okay with it. They say, "I do it for money. I have other things important in my life. Why do you care so much about work?" In both cases, you see people are happy with their situation. Maybe they don't love their jobs but they are happy with what they have.
But you, you feel frustrated. You feel uncomfortable because you feel responsible for delivering what is asked from you. But at the same time, you don't really care about this work. You care about the people and you care about carrying out the responsibilities that you have because you are a good person. But at the same time, you feel nothing you do actually makes a difference for the world, and you don't like doing it, either.
The thing is, you have no idea what else you can do. You've been doing this job for quite some time, and you don't know if that's really possible to start something new.
You hear me saying "You, you, you" but that was basically my personal experience. I was working in a good company with good colleagues, I had a wonderful manager. I was earning okay. I was living in one of the most wonderful cities of the world. But I was feeling so empty. It felt so meaningless. I was in the beginning of my 30s and thinking that my retirement is at 65, which meant I need to work another 35 years. The thought of working in this job for 35 years terrified me.
My colleagues were not also wonderfully happy with the job but they were okay with it. Most of my friends were very career driven, so they did not understand me. And when I told my family and close friends they were puzzled because I had great conditions, I had reached a state that I couldn't have imagined. And I was still not happy. What was wrong with me?
If you feel in a similar way, I want to tell you that there is nothing wrong with you. On the contrary, everything is good about you, because you recognised your inner voice that tells you to go on another path. The unfulfillment you are feeling is an invitation for you to explore who are you in your core and what is important to you.
Nothing is wrong with you, and everything is good about you because you unlike the other people cannot ignore your own truth. You received an invitation to a journey of self discovery. This question "What is wrong with me?" was a start, but now it's time to change the question. Change it to "What is it about me that asks for my attention?" , "What about me is calling me on this journey?" , "What am I learning about who I am?", "How can I bring who I am into my work?".
Look, what happened was that you didn't see your work just as work. You saw your work as a place of creating meaning. You saw work as a place of service. You saw work as a core part of your life. And that's what makes you special.
There's nothing wrong with you. On the contrary, everything is good about you because you are opening yourself fully to life.
Now, this feeling of being unfulfilled tells you that you cannot separate yourself between your work and life. You cannot lock yourself who wants to feel alive into a closet when you go to work and take it out when the work finishes. That doesn't work for you. You are looking to integrate yourself in all areas of your life. And that is a wonderful journey.
I am not saying it is easy, because nothing is and good profound answers come when you sit with the questions. So, right now, your work is to get curious. Start with how you are feeling. Check in with your body. Name your emotions, feel the sensations. Ask yourself, what is it that you don't like about your work. That is usually easier to answer, and then reverse this question and ask, "What would you like instead?" Let the answers surface. When you have a couple of answers look at them, and see if there is pattern. What does it tell about who you are? What does it tell about what is important to you? Bit by bit, sitting with the question, exploring the answers, you will discover more of who you are, then you can make new choices in your current work, or in a new job, that will enable you to bring your whole self to work.
There is nothing wrong with you, my friend. On the contrary, everything is good about you.
Appreciate yourself. Appreciate your journey, and appreciate your life.