When I talk to women who are experiencing burnout, they say things like, “I’m tired of giving my all to help build up my boss's net worth,” or “I got a new team leader and they’re making me miserable, I just don’t want to work with him/her for my last five to 10 years of work.” Other common refrains are: “I want more control,” “I want more flexibility in my hours and days,” “I need a new challenge — to build another empire” and “I’d like to leave some sort of legacy.”
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- You notice that you wake up every morning — on work days — feeling blah. You know you’ll be having the same conversations, doing the same tasks and there’s nothing that feels joyful or inspiring around your career anymore. Maybe there’s a new team in place and things just aren’t the same.
- You can’t remember when the last time was that you learned anything new on the job. You have a feeling of being stuck, stagnant and very likely bored. You could do this job with your hands tied behind your back, or at the very least, in a state of sleepwalking.
- Passion is something you vaguely remember from your first few years at the firm; but that was 10 years ago — or 20. Now, your primary emotional state at the office is “meh” and you find yourself counting the days until the next vacation — or retirement. You feel happy every Friday afternoon and depressed every Sunday night.
- You’re on all the automated email lists for Indeed.com. You read everything but nothing feels quite right. Or maybe you apply but never hear back, and you have the sinking feeling that your age is preventing you from getting the killer jobs.
- You’re on all the automated email lists for BizBuySell. When you drive by commercial spaces for rent, you think, “That would make a great xyz location.” You fantasize about opening up your own shop and seeing what you can do. You dream about the challenge and empowerment that comes with owning your own business.
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Reinvention is hard, and fear will be your companion every step of the way. Yet, it often leads to the greatest leaps in growth and satisfaction that you will experience. Taking action and steering your life in a new direction can be very empowering.
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Jane Stein is the founder of Your Franchise is Waiting, a consultancy firm for men and women exploring franchising as an alternative career path.