I’ve worked a variety of jobs in my lifetime. Some amazing, some mediocre and some terrible. If you are working at an amazing job that aligns with the fabulous person that you are and allows you to use and share those incredible talents that you have…then this post isn’t for you! That’s great news. Go out and celebrate. You have an amazing job that you love.

If you are feeling unfulfilled, stagnant or find your current job is just not the right fit then keep reading. Because when something doesn’t quite fit it’s time to determine: Is this a bridge job? Or do you need an exit strategy?

What is a bridge job?

A bridge job is where you are doing ok. It may even be mediocre. But at the end of the day when you leave work, the work stays there. It’s paying the bills. Things are kinda coasting. Not fulfilling. Just there.

This job isn’t aligned with who you are. You aren’t able to sparkle and shine like you should. Your talents aren’t being used to the fullest. It’s that “meh” kinda feeling at the end of the day.

If something isn’t fulfilling it’s time to find something that is.

Easier said than done. I know. We have all been there!! But the beauty of a job that you can leave behind at the end of the day is that all it takes is a little shift in perspective.

This is your bridge job!

This coasting along, unfulfilling job…it’s just a bridge until you get that next plan in place. That amazing, rock your socks off job that aligns with you is out there. And maybe it takes a few bridge jobs to get there. But the key here is when you are feeling like you are coasting…you are actually just bridging to the next adventure ahead. This simple shift in perspective can open you up to what other possibilities are there. Even if you can’t see them yet! By putting it out there that this is just a bridge job as you explore yourself and what you want you are saying to yourself and the world “I’m open to the next possibility! This job is just guiding me to my next opportunity.”

So why is a bridge job different than an exit strategy?

An exit strategy is a more immediate need. You are working at a job that sucks your soul. You are exhausted. Drained. Disheartened. Work doesn’t stay at work. This kind of havoc on your personal health and well being needs a more decisive action plan. An exit strategy needs to be in place. Even if the next step is a temporary reprieve to get you realigned and re-energized.

My first job after I completed my HR certificate was as an HR admin. I was SOOOOO excited to FINALLY get a job in my field because it took months to find something straight out of school. I started with so much excitement. Only to quickly discover this was the wrong fit on SO many levels. It was devastating. Over the months I was there I became depressed. Disengaged. Disheartened. I needed out and I needed out fast. After only 8 months there I quit to work as a dog walker. Yes…a dog walker! I even took a cut in my already low pay because I needed out. Funny enough after only a month the dog walking gig ended up paying MORE than my HR admin job. You know why? Because I was happy. I was engaged. I was my enthusiastic self again. The customers loved me. My bosses loved me. They worked to keep me happy because I was helping grow their business.

This job allowed me to take a breath. Re-align myself. And take a look at what I really wanted to do. And as the world works in funny ways it ended up that one of my dog clients hired me to be an Executive Search Consultant for her firm because she got to know me, my background and saw the potential.

So it’s important to check in with yourself

Ask yourself:

  1. Is this a job I leave at work when I leave?
  2. Aside from the odd deadline or extra workload is this job typically stress free?
  3. Do I dread walking into work everyday?

If you answer yes to number 3 – you need an exit strategy. That kind of heaviness and stress is never worth it.

But if you are feeling like this is something that you can coast on for a bit…then this is the perfect bridge job until you are ready for that next step!

There are no simple answers to the work/life balance of things. But your body knows the truth. Take some time to tap in and listen as you think about your job as a bridge job. Does that feel lighter? Does it take the pressure off needing to find that perfect next step right now??? Then great.

But if your mental health is in serious jeopardy…you need to ask yourself – is it worth it?? No one can know what is best for you but you. You should never have to dread going into work over a prolonged period of time. Having an exit planned can help ease that stress.

You have an amazing internal compass that can help guide you through this job uncertainty. Take time to quietly tap into how you are feeling. Ask yourself some questions and see what feelings come up.

You have amazing gifts to share. You deserve a life where you shine from the inside out.