Could Career Frustration Be a Gift?

We do a lot to avoid of change. Even when our comfort zone has become uncomfortable, we resist moving into the unknown. But what if our career frustration actually held the key to our happiness?

It sounds strange, but it’s actually true!

After working with 100’s of professional women over the last decade, I’ve come to know that frustrations at work are a universal sign telling you that you are meant for something more.

But first, you have to listen to what they’re saying.

More often than not, we put our effort into avoiding our frustrations, rather than listening to them.  For example,

  • Retreating to the basement with a glass of wine and binge watching Downton Abbey as a means to recover from a stressful work day
  • White knuckling it all week through meetings and deadlines and then collapsing Friday night only to have to ramp up and do it all again Monday morning
  • Pretending that 10-day beach vacation to the Mayan Riviera compensates for 10 months of drudgery
  • Unloading on our friends and loved ones as we incessantly complain about our boss, coworkers or clients.

All this avoiding prolongs our career frustration and erodes our confidence. What’s worse, it can lead to damaging our reputation, as we grow increasingly bitter and disengaged. But life shouldn’t just be something we suffer through.

Instead of turning away from our frustrations or denying them, look closely at them.  They will always provide answers.

It can be scary. I know, I’ve been there. But the best things in life are often the scariest things at first. When we take the time to examine that disappointment and frustration, and I mean really get right in there and look all that ugliness in the eye, you’d be amazed at what you find. You’ll discover the necessary career adjustments that lead to the life you really want.

Your career frustration is a gift

For example, maybe you are:

  • A Therapist that loves changing lives, only the bureaucracy of the health care or education system is making it impossible for you to have a real connection with your clients.
  • A Corporate Lawyer that’s tired of hiding behind your desk and you long to work with a team of like-minded people and make a tangible difference in your community.
  • A Mechanical Engineer that’s done with the 9-to-5 grind, office politics and feeling like you’re just a number in a huge corporate machine. You want the freedom to chose your own projects!

So you see, when you look at it that way, your unhappiness can be a sign pointing the way to where you’re really meant to be in your life and career.

You’ll never know until you take the time to work through it.

So there you go. Your career frustration is a gift you didn’t even realize you had! You can stop suffering and leverage that gift to shift your life in the way you’re meant to.

And if you discover something amazing about yourself or your situation, I encourage you to share it with me. Send me a quick email to I’m all about hearing success stories!

Heather Petherick is a master success coach for high potential business leaders, having established her private coaching practice in 2007. Since then, she’s coached hundreds of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs from around the globe to overcome the mindset traps that keep them playing small so that they can realize their potential and create the impact they’re meant for. Her areas of speciality are: • Mindset • Confidence • Communication • Speed of Implementation Her clients include corporate rising stars at WestJet, Agrium, Suncor Energy, Manulife Bank, TD, Royal Bank of Canada, KMPG and PepsiCo International as well as big-thinking entrepreneurs from around the world. She has been featured as a career and success expert with Women Engineering The Future, The Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Living Magazine and Chatelaine magazine. Heather’s journey from growing up on a humble sheep farm on the prairies of western Canada to building a global coaching business have lent to her signature coaching style that combines both wit and humility, style and business savvy. She holds a Master’s degree in Management and lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband and two children.

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  • Get close to the things you love | Heather Petherick :

    […] Last week I shared with you that career frustration could actually be a gift and that the only way to find that gift is to get up close and personal with it. Sure, career frustration is unpleasant, but it always provides answers.  (Read about it here) […]

    2 years ago