by Roberta Balagopal

It’s pretty common to feel lost at some point in your career, and it’s also pretty unsettling. Our careers are a big part of our identities, and our place in society. In that context, feeling lost is big deal, and something you need to get to the bottom of. Here are a few statements we hear quite a lot.

I like my work but I have no motivation to do it anymore.

If you think like this, you have a clue here: something that drew you to this work and kept you engaged exists, or at least did exist at one point. That means it has changed, or been obstructed by something else.

So, ask yourself a few questions:
When your work was exciting or stimulating, what exactly was your favourite part of it?
How would you describe what it was that you liked doing (and how did it make you feel)?
Has anything changed in your work or work environment?
Has anything changed in you (health, family or home)?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you may find a way back to being interested and motivated.

I trained for years to do this work, but, now I am doing it, I don’t like it.

At first glance this can mean you made the wrong choice for you, but while that might have some truth to it, it isn’t very helpful now, nor probably completely accurate. You were, at some point, sufficiently motivated to acquire some skills, and in some form or other you now have them. But careers are not linear, nor are they necessarily clear. Maybe some part of this profession did interest you, but it wasn’t exactly what you are doing now. Maybe you need to approach your career from another direction, and there is always a way to do that, if you do some investigating.

I’ve been out of the workforce a while and I have lost my career path. I don’t know how to start over.

You don’t. You start from where you are, with the experiences you have gathered from your career when you were in the workforce, and whatever you’ve been doing in the meantime. You may find that your priorities have changed a lot since your first career, and trying to get back into it again may be less interesting to you. Or maybe your profession has changed a lot, and now requires whole new skill sets, that may or may not interest you. The first step here is to remind yourself what skills you have, and think about what draws you to re-entering the workforce.


These responses are generic, so they may or may not address what may be prompting your “lost” state, but they touch on some common themes. If you’d like to talk with us one to one about your own career, give us a call or send us a message.