The great opportunity for professional realignment

Posted by | March 1, 2022 | Ask an expert, Career changers, Find your mission, For your career, How I got my dream job, How to change jobs, How to make your job a 'do good' job

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By Emmy Petersson

There has never been a better time to ask for what you want.

After 2 years of uncertainty, many are now starting to look forward and plan their next career steps. You’ve likely heard about ‘The Great Resignation’ and it is already impacting Australia and New Zealand with around 31 percent of workers planning to quit their current job this year. Almost a fifth say they will do so without having another job lined up.

For many employers this is a big concern, but you might wonder what this means for YOU as the employee or job seeker? There has never been a better time to ask for what you want.

As a career coach, I speak to people daily who crave a job and workplace that aligns with their values, purpose and where they can feel like they belong. Interestingly, these conversations span across almost every industry from hospitality and sales to academia, for-purpose work and consulting. Many chose to stay in roles they did not love to ‘make it through’ the challenges of lockdowns and COVID restrictions, but they are now ready to make the move. But how do you make that move and know in what direction to move? I’ve got 5 steps for you to start with:

  1. Listen to your deep gut feeling. If it feels wrong, then it probably is. In life and work, we’ve gotten very used to tuning out our individual needs to accommodate other people’s preferences. There is nothing wrong with being flexible and professional, but not at the cost of going against that deep gut feeling that something isn’t right. I can assure you, that once you listen in and notice it, that feeling won’t go away until you take action and back yourself. Which brings me to…
  1. Do a quick audit of your current work situation. I often take clients through this simple, yet super powerful exercise to rate 3 questions on a scale from 1 – 10. It shows pretty quickly where you are at and what parts of your working life needs to change.
    A) How happy are you with the people you work with (leader/manager, direct reports, team)?
    B) How happy are you with your workplace (location, organisational focus and values, work channels)?
    C) How happy are you with your actual role (daily tasks, growth opportunities)?
  1. Identify your values and deal breakers. It’s safe to assume that most people want to be paid a fair wage for their contribution. In my experience, career decisions are gradually becoming less focused on money and more focused on the overall benefits and value to the individual team member. Value can be anything from extra leave and flexible working, to professional training and further education.
    Knowing what your personal values are helps you make vital professional decisions. For example if you value travel and exploring, you’ll feel much more aligned in a company that does not mind where you work from and allows you to take extra leave to fill your energetic bucket. If you value challenge you’ll thrive in a place that pushes you that extra bit, but still encourages healthy rest from time to time. You need to be clear on your values to be able to ask for what you truly want in the workplace.
  1. Always aim for the win – win – win. Most purposeful work stems from a person (you) working as part of a team (the organisation) to deliver value or solve a meaningful problem in the wider community. To focus your energy and find professional purpose, those three areas should ideally align.
    For example, let’s say you want to ask for a promotion in your current workplace. Is the role you want to go for a win for you? Is your contribution a win (key piece) for where the organisation is heading and the impact they want to make? And finally, can you see how your role combined with this workplace is a win for the greater society in solving a problem or adding value?
    Now more than ever, leaders want good team members to stay. It’s expensive, time consuming and disruptive when a good person leaves a gap in their team. If you’re thinking about leaving, work up the courage and chat to your manager about things that would be a win for you (and ideally from your perspective for the organisation and wider community as well). You’d be surprised at what doors open up when you ask and position it as a good solution for all three parties.
  1. Focus on mental and physical well-being. The concept of work/life balance is not always a helpful one. Balance is not a state we can ever ‘arrive at’ because it will always change, just like we do. I tend to think of it more in terms of healthy professional flow.
    There will be times in our life and work that are busy sprints (a once off event or project), but then things tend to calm down a bit. Much like in sports, we can endure certain (challenging) things if we know how long it’s for. Far too often at work though, the finish line moves and leaves us holding more weights than we can handle for far too long, until we’ve had enough. Because not surprisingly; we have other things to deal with outside of work too! The bottom line is, your well-being is the most important thing. If a part of you is willing to take unpaid leave to rest, explore a new skill or hobby that’s ok. If you are bored out of your mind and need a new challenge, that’s also ok.

The global events of the past two years have changed organisations and people in a way many never thought possible. I say it again – there has never been a better time to recalibrate and ask for what you want.

Sign up to watch the replay of our free jobseeker webinar with Emmy on this topic at



About the author:

Emmy Petersson is a career coach and minimalist with a love of travel and adventure.

She’s passionate about helping mid-career professionals to unlock what’s next in their career to truly enjoy and connect with the value they add. She’s a certified coach who has worked with people in transition between career changes, countries and challenging life situations since 2013. Contact Emmy here: and learn more about her 90 minute online workshop helping YOU unpack what’s next in your career at


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