While the old adage “Location, Location, Location” is key in real estate, it can’t be overlooked when it comes to our own happiness and success.
Have you ever lived in or been to or visited a place that just felt so right? Where you feel in the zone and perfectly at home?
The Impact Of A Happy Place
For me, that somewhere is a little town along the Jersey Shore called Ocean Grove. I’ve spent anywhere from a few days to a month there every year for the last 17 years. I’ve stayed with family, rented beach cottages and stayed at a cozy bed and breakfast right across the street from the ocean (as in see the sunrise over the Atlantic without leaving my bed!).
I keep returning to that haven because it envelops me with bliss and inspiration. Maybe it’s the ocean waves and salty air. The friendly, witty people. The yoga classes on the pier. Or the incredible food in nearby Asbury Park (OMG pizza at Porta) and Bradley Beach (melt-in-your-mouth bakery cookies!!) at Del Ponte’s.
Perhaps it’s the dozens of dogs (like the pug Zoey) I meet. Or my extended family who live close and the friends I’ve made there over the years. Obviously, it’s the combination of all these things that cause me to head home feeling completely refreshed, happier, calmer and ready to tackle work and life with new zest. Never fails.
So what’s the connection to career change you might ask? Not to oversell it, but … well, everything.
The Location/Career Change Connection? (It’s Not Geography)
Location matters so much because in order to thrive we need to be in a place that does something for us. It might provide us comfort, inspiration, freedom, support, energy, safety, creativity or other conditions that allow us to do and be our best.
This is true of a vacation place, a home, a job and career.
Yet, it’s this concept of finding our fit that often gets short shrift as we prepare to find meaningful work. Sure we know we’re looking for a great match for our strengths, and possibly our schedule, salary requirements, benefit desires and commute.
However, those elements won’t matter much if we’re working for an organization that’s not respectful, supportive, encouraging or aligned with our goals and values.
I have a friend who stayed in a job for many years because it paid well, provided security and it was in the city his family called home. However, I continually saw that his ideas weren’t appreciated, his high standards were mocked and his chances for advancement were null. Over time he became a shadow of what he might be.
Once he gained the courage to explore new opportunities, every aspect of his life changed. It was like the moment the Wizard of Oz goes from black and white to full, saturated color. Now he is at the top of his profession implementing new, innovative ideas that weren’t welcome in his old job. He’s living in a new city that provides a far more engaging environment for his family, and he is a bright, shiny star in every way.
The Wrong Location Can Zap Your Enthusiasm, Mood, Performance and Joy
It’s easy to get stuck, discouraged, depressed or unsure of ourselves when we are in the wrong place. The sad part is, sometimes we don’t even realize that’s what the problem is!
If you think that could be you, give some serious thought to what a different environment might do for you and envision how this new workplace or new career would help you be the most fulfilled, happiest, professional you. It’s an absolute-must consideration to infuse into your career transformation.
While happiness comes from within, sometimes we need just the right location to let our inner bliss shine on through.
P.S. A word of caution: Figuring out the fit of an organization is challenging and takes effort! On paper, a place might look great. It might tout its values online, in the employee handbook and even on the walls of meeting rooms. But that’s a far cry from actually living those values. (I learned the hard way). In an upcoming post, I’ll share some tips how to get the low down before you sign on the dotted line.
P.S.S. For more career change tips and strategies, join my mailing list and follow along on Instagram!
Trie Angeleva is a mindful life and career strategist who specializes in career change and job search solutions. She’s a certified career transformation coach; founder of The Love Monday Method; and creator of PR Career Success Preparation at Indiana University. She teaches, coaches, develops job search tools and writes about mindful living and career transformation. Follow her on instagram at @reimaginemonday for tips and strategies on how to love what you do and lead a mindful life.