By now you’ve probably heard of Chris Cuomo’s existential meltdown. Last week, the CNN journalist, who is the brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, revealed that his coronavirus diagnosis and the pandemic made him rethink his career.
“I don’t like what I do professionally,” Cuomo commented. “I don’t think I mean enough, I don’t think I matter enough, I don’t think I can really change anything, so then what am I really doing?”
Misfortunes and uncertainties can lead to radical changes in our thinking and how we perceive the world.
During or after a crisis, like coronavirus and cancer, what may have seemed fulfilling or important last month or last year can suddenly lose its sense of purpose.
There are many factors that can shift your working life.
You may be working longer hours than usual. Juggling childcare alongside work demands. Experiencing salary cuts. Or even losing your job.
Unless you are an essential worker, spending the prolonged time at home during the lockdown is a great opportunity to reflect on your working life.
What’s working? And what’s not working?
Health crisis threats — like cancer, coronavirus and other serious illnesses — can lead to a greater sense of fear and uncertainty. This is a normal reaction when we’re facing our own mortality.
Just like Chris Cuomo’s battle with coronavirus led to his existential awakening, physical illness can lead to greater awareness of our emotions in our search for meaning.
Facing our own mortality is a good motivator to start living with intention.
Why you’re here in the first place. Why you’re in this job, in this relationship, or this group of friends, or this community, at this moment in time.
Try questioning everything that’s in your life: your relationships, your commitments, the events on your calendar. Try asking yourself “Why?”
The key is to approach this exercise without judgment. Instead, ask “why” from a place of genuine curiosity. Curiosity is an underrated superpower - it brings you into the present moment and into your creativity.
Why am I in this job?
Why am I in this relationship?
Why am I going to this fundraiser?
Why am I spending time with these people?
Why do I live in this country, this city, this house?
Then go a level deeper. And a level deeper.
Note: only you need to know your answers. Only you need to *like* your answers. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
What if the journey is as important as the destination?
When you dig deep, you can begin to understand what drives your emotions, and therefore your behavior. From that insight, you can make better choices about how to spend your time and energy at work (and at home).
Tell yourself the truth about your working life, and dare to make a change.
A cancer experience has its own unique challenges. Coronavirus or not, if you are struggling with creating a work balance, setting boundaries or if you need help with your career direction and change after cancer, get on the waitlist for my Assess Your Work after Cancer FREE course.
I started with my career change six years ago.
Over time I transitioned from a corporate executive role to becoming a full-time life coach. My work suddenly had meaning again. I was helping others. Finally I was in the flow. And I want to help you get into the flow.
Cancer or not, if you are dreading your work life and contemplating change, book a call and let’s talk. I'll help guide you in choosing work that works for you. Finding a career that gives you meaning (both at work and in life) is possible.
Can the truth set you free?
Only if you are willing to trust yourself and embrace change one step at the time.