If you’ve spent the last year wondering what you really want in your life and in your career, you are not alone. Nearly two thirds of Americans are on the hunt for a new job or would consider changing jobs if approached with an opportunity, according to a recent study by Ceridian, a human resources software and services firm. The number is higher among those 30 years old or younger.
And here in Colorado, the past year has brought on immense professional change. The unemployment rate here reached nearly 12 percent during the pandemic, and demand for gig workers in Denver increased by 25 percent after COVID-19-related restrictions set in. As we emerge from the pandemic, workplaces will look different. Translation: A lot of people’s lives are in flux, but there are many ways to chart a path forward in Denver.
A year ago, we were inundated with articles and social media posts telling us precisely how to chart that path forward: Exercise more. Eat better. Learn a new skill. Make sourdough.
But the pandemic carried on and we became weary. We helped our kids learn remotely, we balanced jobs, we mastered remote work and found ways to preserve human connection. Yet still, we lost jobs and were told that our professional lives would change. Some of us simply realized we were unhappy in our careers. Though daunting, this new era has brought the opportunity for Coloradans to walk away from the job that we think we should have, and follow the path that will lead us to a career we want.
As a leadership development coach, I have worked with a myriad of Mile High City clients on the precipice of making major career changes, all of whom I have answer the following questions:
What is really important to you?
If money, time and failure did not exist, what would you do with your life?
When was a time in life you were happiest, and what were you doing at that time?
These questions might seem straightforward, but many people don’t take the time to truly consider what they want. According to a recent article by Gallup, meaningful careers center on who you are, what your strengths are, and finding work that gives you energy. So how do you find it? How do you leave behind the should and find the want to?
Align What Is Important To You With Your Actions: List out what is most important to you. Is it family? Adventure? Money? Making a difference in the world? Identify which of your values are being fulfilled and see if there are any that are incompatible. People who use their strengths are more engaged in their jobs and are three times more likely to report a high quality of life than those who do not according to Gallup.
Find Your Authenticity: Is who you are on the inside how you present on the outside? A role that allows you to be genuine will let you showcase your strengths.
Be Present: Find the time to be alone with yourself, go for a hike in the mountains or a walk in your neighborhood. Listen to the thoughts that come into your mind, if you can align with your values, find authenticity and be present, you can move from surviving to thriving in your life and career.
The pandemic has offered us a chance to rebuild and reimagine. As Colorado shifts to start thinking about life after the pandemic, and as the city reopens, I am beginning to help Denver companies strategize on bringing employees back to the office. Many local leaders now understand the need for regular communication with employees and companies in Denver are embracing a hybrid work-from-home model and more flexible hours to retain talent.
I have a deep hope for a new beginning for Coloradans, an era of oneness and belonging, where people can connect on a human-level, where we listen with empathy and spend quality time with our families. A new beginning where we take a look at our inner-selves and begin to uncover our true desires as well as take a look at the impact of our biases and privileges. A new beginning where we see our individual role in our communities, where we discard what we’ve been told we should do, and have the courage to pursue what we want to do.
James Davis- Massey is a northwest Denver resident and the founder and CEO of The Human Blueprint, a leadership development, executive and team coaching firm in Denver. www.thehumanblueprint.com