They struggled a little, a lot or not at all to find their professional path. Some have taken the plunge. Others have taken small steps: they tell us how they found their place at work.
Since the middle section of kindergarten, we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. And then one day we are grown up, and we still don’t know very well. But when you have to go, you have to go, then we go for it: sometimes we just aim, and everything goes for the best in the best of all corporate worlds.
But according to the figures of a survey carried out by the BVA polling institute in 2021, we do not always find our way on the first try: 49% of French workers are considering, carrying out or have already carried out a professional retraining . In the United States, resignations have exploded for two years, and the trend on TikTok is even to film yourself leaving your box… Feeling in your place is worth in friendship, in love, and also at work: testimonials and tips for going to work with a smile.
Knowing what you want to do with your life since childhood
“I accompanied my girlfriends to the student fairs, remembers Cécile, but it was mainly to get goodies. Because for me it was clear, from a very young age: I wanted to be a school teacher. I have been teaching for six years. I do not exercise my profession in the conditions that I would like, but I have never questioned this choice. There are roads all mapped out, vocations. Dreams of professions which take shape in childhood and which persist, or are transmitted in the family.
“My parents and my sisters, with whom I have a ten-year gap, are doctors, says Adèle. After my baccalaureate, there was no question of following the family tradition, so I decided to do a business school in four years. On my graduation day, I had a huge panic attack. I have absolutely no desire to continue my studies in this way, and even less to start working. “What are you in the mood for?” asks my sister. “Medicine.” I resumed my studies from the beginning, without equivalence of course, with those who had just passed their baccalaureate. I had rejected this sector so as not to feel “obligated”, but without asking myself if, deep down, it made me want to or not.
To remember :
“Finding your way means feeling like you belong at work ,” summarizes Charlotte Scapin, personal development and self-confidence coach with creators. And discovering the place that suits us, that means silencing the parasitic noises: the injunctions of society, of the family, but also ours… » Breaking out of the family pattern, like Adèle, it’s great if it starts by “I want” or “I have the right to”, and that sounds like emancipation, but not if it is motivated by “I must”…
Knowing yourself: an essential step in finding your way
Freeing yourself from injunctions and refocusing on yourself is essential to see more clearly what you want. You can also do a skills assessment . But beware of two pitfalls: it’s not a punk thing that consists in pissing off the system and our mother, nor a super enjoyable click thanks to which we’re going to dump everything to prepare for the next Olympia.
“You have to enter into an anthropological observation of yourself, it’s patient and meticulous work”, explains Charlotte. Concretely, how do we do it? “Knowing yourself is looking at yourself without filter and without judgment to know what touches us, what annoys us, what soothes us… The best way to do this is to keep a written journal or record voice memos listing each day what caused a positive or negative feeling. Let go, the idea is not to intellectualize, but to summon emotions. That subway neighbor who drove you crazy because he spread his legs as if the two seats belonged to him, it counts, because it highlights your refusal of incivility.
To remember :
“You have to identify a scale of values, which is specific to each and everyone, with high values and low values, explains Charlotte. Finding one’s way is not finding a tailor-made job, but an environment that sticks to our high values.
The importance of feeling in tune with yourself to find your way
The advantage of this vision is that you don’t always have to make 180-degree turns and change jobs overnight , as Laura’s testimony shows: “I found myself in the banking world a bit by chance, when I rather wanted to go into the social sector. After a while, I had the impression that the human aspect, which was so important to me, was too little represented in my work. But alone with a child, there was no question of dropping everything… This forced me to look for solutions to feel more in tune with myself, while remaining where I was. I ran for election as directors, and I was elected for three years. We carry out a lot of solidarity actions on the territory, and since I feel useful in this field, the rest of my job has more meaning for me.
To remember :
“Today, there is a sort of myth of professional retraining with a 180 degree turn, decrypts Charlotte. However, we can very well find the balance without leaving to raise goats in the Larzac. When something gets stuck at work, the first thing to do is to talk about your problems with your professional entourage, human resources, your colleagues, your N+1… Sometimes, the balance between professional life and personal convictions depends on some adjustments within his job.
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Make the job of your dreams thanks to a life accident.
From the beginning of her working life, Victoria dreamed of becoming a business manager . But he lacks the conviction, the audacity… And the idea. “At 25, I had a swimming pool accident. Diagnosis: broken cervical, incomplete tetraplegia. I spent seven months in a rehabilitation center and imposed an iron discipline on myself. I go through the electric wheelchair, the arm chair, the walker, the cane… Eight months later, I’m walking again! I’m going back to my job in communication, but I need physiotherapy rehabilitation, yoga classes on a daily basis, a psychiatric follow-up, alternative medicine…
I struggle to juggle all these activities, and I dream of a place that would bring it all together. So I decide to create it. After ten months in India, Australia and Bali to perfect myself in the practice and teaching of yoga, in January 2019 I opened Studio June, in Nantes.*» Victoria’s entrepreneurship is a perfect illustration of the mountains that we can raise when we carry out a project that is close to our hearts.
To remember :
“In the case of Victoria in particular, and in entrepreneurship in general, we can create the personalized model that corresponds to our most important values”, confirms Charlotte. Of course, there may be tasks that you like less, longer days, doubts… “Finding your way is not about enjoying every moment of your professional life. But when we are in the right place, we discover enormous resources: the more we nourish our values, the more we feel “aligned”, and the more we are able to deploy our energy.
Finding your career path over the years
If certain life events act as triggers, sometimes the fed up slowly sets in and pushes you to look for a way out. It was the lack of energy that sparked Ludivine’s ears: “After a BTS in tourism and six years in different travel agencies, I found it increasingly difficult to get up in the morning, I I felt lobotomized. I was about to resign when the health crisis arrived, and finally I was able to benefit from partial unemployment. This is where I decided to train in sophrology, then to supplement with MOOCs in stress management, science of well-being…»
To remember :
If Ludivine had this idea in mind for a long time, what helped her to get started was to let go : “Like many people during this crisis, I was a little lost and unable to anticipate anything. that is. Forced to be rooted in the present, I said to myself “do that, you’ll see later”. Considering this new path as a path that will perhaps lead elsewhere rather than as a destination gave me the click.”
Allowing yourself to fail to be fulfilled at work
A reasoning that Charlotte validates 100%: “The expression “finding your way” really has to come down from its pedestal… It rarely works the first time! You have to allow yourself to explore, to be curious: the more things you test, the more experiences you accumulate, the more you refine what you like and what you don’t like. Finding your career path at 40 is nothing serious.
Even if it means screwing up, sometimes, to bounce back better, like Sophia: “I’ve always loved cooking, so when the opportunity arose, with a not too expensive business in a rapidly changing district, I opened my snack. I quickly became disillusioned. 70% of the job was paperwork, personnel management, invoices… Six months later, I had to close, it was difficult but it allowed me to understand that what I wanted , it was cooking: I went to work in a restaurant in the Southwest. I thought I felt free with my own restaurant: ultimately my freedom is to be able to offer my dishes from time to time, and not to have a lump in my stomach when I learn when I arrive that a waiter…”
If the stories of entrepreneurship are often inspiring, Charlotte is more nuanced: “We tend to fantasize about freedom, but there is a heavy counterpart in terms of responsibilities and stress, and not everyone is made for that. !”
To remember :
Charlotte warns against the injunction to absolute happiness at work: “Work is not our whole life. We cannot ask a job to meet all our needs. Sometimes, finding your way is simply finding a company that trusts you, and a job that you like because it leaves us time and energy to nourish our personal life.