The Career Danger Zone
Ever feel like you’re on autopilot? Where your physical self commutes to the office, but your mind is elsewhere? These may be signs of what we call at Habits the “danger zone.”
Does this happen to you too?
While I lived in Chicago, my friends and I would meet once a week. The intent was to engage in meaningful conversations while everyone else was married with kids on the way.
Either way, we always end up around the “how was the last week or so?”
Reflecting on the past week, nothing may stand out. No immediate highs or lows. Nothing specific would cross my mind and the days seemed to blend together.
I’d feel dissapointed. Why? For whatever reason it’s hard for me to consider a week so unremarkable that I couldn’t summarize it beyond a “it was ok.”
Does this ever happen to you too?
What is the Danger Zone?
Let’s face it, we take a job for many different reasons. We want the income, got that degree or certification, have interest in the challenge and opportunity it offers, or maybe it’s the family business.
Jobs can help you get out of debt, afford that expensive apartment, gain prestige, find meaning or purpose, take you outside your comfort zone or help us find the right social circles in a new city.
It all funnels down to the types of jobs we seek and reasons why we take it.
When these don’t align it creates a mismatch. A disconnect between what we do and what matters to us. This is where the danger begins…
Of floating along, of passing the time, of missing out on meaning, of losing motivation. It’s the danger of turning on autopilot.
The sneaky thing about this condition is that nothing looks wrong from the outside. We begin to lose wholeness or integrity. We show up in body, but not in spirit. We begin to hurt ourselves and those around us as we juggle this internal disconnect.
What can you do?
The beautiful part about all of this? Life is inherently in a constant state of change. We can make the change or life will do it for us.
What’s interesting about the workplace is that unhappiness tends to go both ways. If you’re not happy, then your coworkers likely aren’t too.
The opposite is true too. Happy coworkers usually mean you’re happy or at least they like working with ya.
The picture here is quite simple. Searching for work we enjoy is not just about us. It’s also about those around us.
Do I enjoy what I do?
Am I glad to tell people about my work?
Do I take pride in the work I’ve done?
Do I see myself wanting to progress and grow in my current work?
Can I see that my current work is part of a larger trajectory that I feel hopeful about?
Think about these questions. We recognize there are several reasons that makes it too uncomfortable to take these seriously. Maybe you just started a new job, got that big promotion last year, signed a $4,500/mo lease, or you’ve spent the last decade in the same industry and have no idea where the time went.
As a personal example, I left a $250,000/yr job for a three month contract position that paid $6,000.
I loved my team, the lifestyle, and everything on paper at my previous company was perfect. However, deep down I knew about my downward spiral of motivation. My future was linear, predictable, and I felt as if I mastered 90% of my job, but needed another 30 years to master the final 10%. That’s a lot of time to focus on one thing.
So I spent about 18mo networking, answering the questions above, and finally found my exit, which was the biggest risk or paycut I had seen anyone else take.
The bottom line…wherever you are at work, asking these questions doesn’t have to be scary. Answers are information. There’s no commitment to anything, force of change, and you’re always free to continue the way you’ve been going.
For some of us though, life has a funny way of whispering to us and something will come along that sends us on a journey.
I wish finding a job, getting an offer, loving your coworkers and having purpose was simple. Meaningful work is mysterious and it depends on many factors.
What are the next steps?
If you think you’re drifting into the danger zone take a deep breath. An overwhelming majority of us have experience or will at some point.
Give yourself time to digest, take care of your finances, evaluate your options or alternatives, but the best thing you can do is start.
Keep in mind that anything new will feel uncertain and wobbly. Like riding a bike for the first time, there were falls, some tears, embarrassment, etc. That’s ok. Take it from me…
I’ve looked foolish, put myself out there, and have truly felt what it means to be a beginner again. A true, full blown, hold my hand and help me get up type of beginner.
But maybe you can learn from my mistakes. Get in touch, I’d love to hear your story, and what brought you to our community.
Budget App Mint Is Shutting Down
Yes. Mint, which was acquired by Intuit in 2009 for $170M, will cease operations on January 1st, 2024. At their peak, the application had over 4 million weekly users. It solved a problem that so many of us faced…having numerous bank, investment, and credit accounts all in different places. At its core, the application helped us visualize our personal finances from the lense of a business owner. Track cash flow, monitor growth, and had these additional bells and whistles.
It’s popularity soured as a first mover in the personal financial management application space as iPhones became far more than just a consolidated cell phone and music device.
Why should you care?
We all inherently love great user interfaces and visuals, but personal finances require direction. Since 80% of Millennials indicate social media as their primary source of financial education, I think it’s safe to say that many of us don’t have an immediate “go-to” for personal finance expertise.
What other options are out there?
Join the Habits marketplace. For limited time we are expanding our waitlist in advance of our public launch. At Habits, we believe the future of financial advisory requires three key elements.
Personalized Support - find your dedicated financial advisor
Collaboration - ask/share with other high income earners like you
Data - filter financial stats based on your age, income and location
A member of our team would be happy to share a 1v1 demo of our platform.
Until we go live for the broader public, the Habits team is happy to share our hand-selected advisor network. Go online to get in touch with our team.
In the meantime, we will continue to share with you the types of people we service.
New city, signing bonus just hit the account, and vibes are at all time high. We recognize what it feels to enter the world, but just because your name is on the utility bill doesn’t mean you have it all figured out. Our advisors are equipped to set you up for longterm success across budgeting, 401k planning, managing topics across sales commissions to student debt.
You did it! Left the corporate lifestyle to launch your own thing or finally got that sidehustle to become your main hustle. Our advisors can help you navigate budgeting for healthcare, preparing for taxes, managing inconsistent paychecks, and more.
I need a sabaatical
Yes YOU. Did you know that it’s okay to have financial goals outside of the cookie cutter options like a home, retirement, and wedding? We’ve had a recent influx of business owners who are just flat out burned out. Working with a financial advisor can help you make 2 weeks to 6 months off a reality. Resets are important and there’s more to life than “staying on green.”