Remote Work

Finding Your Path: From Career Misalignment to Career Fulfillment

Career Fulfillment
I'm Kristin!

I'm a Remote Work, Career Fulfillment and Lifestyle Coach. Check out the blog for tips, guidance and insights on remote work, career fulfillment, travel transformation, and remote lifestyle.

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Have you ever felt like you’re playing the part of a character in a story written for somebody else? The kind of story you would have never chosen for anyone, let alone yourself? Have you ever felt that longing in your chest, the ache that comes from yearning for something different? Something more? If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, you’re not alone. I’ve been there too, and it took hitting rock bottom for me to finally address the root of my unhappiness and lack of fulfillment in my career.  

During the first two and a half years of my professional life, I experienced severe career burnout. The symptoms were blaring: severe stomach issues, depression, inability to think, and a growing sense of despair.

Symptoms of Misalignment

The manifestations of my symptoms ranged from painfully comical to seriously concerning. I vividly remember becoming a regular at my local fro-yo spot, standing in line, too exhausted to care as I reached the counter with makeup streaming down my face. Another time, I rushed myself to the hospital with severe stress-induced stomach pains on the same day I was meant to meet some friends at the Giants’ 2012 World Series victory parade. It got to a point where I couldn’t enjoy my life. Where simple pleasures and exciting events that used to get me out of bed in the morning had become sources of stress. It felt like I had lost the ability to experience joy. 

Tuning into the Body’s Signals

But I still didn’t listen to my body, who was crying out for help. I continued to push through until my body’s alarm system became too loud to ignore.  I remember looking in the mirror one morning, crying as large clumps of my hair fell out while I brushed it. I couldn’t comprehend how this could be happening. Where did I go wrong? Why was my body feeling so brittle? Why was my mind so exhausted? Is this what having a “successful” career felt like? ‘This can’t be it,’ I thought. ‘This can’t be how I feel for the next 40+ years of my working life.’

The Wake-up Call

This moment was an important wake-up call. Seeing my body, mind, and soul in such disarray led me to question everything. Was this really the life I wanted for myself? Was this the path for me?

In short… It was not. The life I was building was one that was dictated by the ‘shoulds,’ societal expectations, and the desires of the people around me. It wasn’t based on my interests, my passions, or what lit me up inside. I realized that I had never paused for long enough to reflect on the direction of my life or acknowledge these hard truths. Let’s be real, I hadn’t given myself a minute to slow down. I was constantly going. I had never connected with myself in a meaningful way, nor considered what I truly wanted. This was the root of my unhappiness.

Career Fulfillment

The Turning Point

Now that I had acknowledged the core issue and the root of my symptoms, I could initiate meaningful change. I sought guidance from a career coach, invested in supportive resources, and actively networked so that I could find a more aligned career path. Until this point, I hadn’t even known that career fulfillment was possible. The idea that I could actually enjoy my work? This was a revelation. The guidance and steps to follow supported me in making my first significant career pivot into the HR space. My life transformed; I could breathe again.

The hair loss stopped, I regained weight, and I had space to think. My social life returned, and I actually had time to date. My stomach issues subsided too, without serious medical intervention. No surprise there, as the body is always giving us signals, and mine was telling me I had made the right decision. I finally felt like myself again.

While this is a tough time for me to revisit and look back on, my experience with severe burnout became one of my greatest blessings. It not only led me to a more fulfilling life, but also gave me the ability to recognize the signs of severe career misalignment – in myself and others. I learned that even though these signals and bodily alarms can be scary and confusing, they hold valuable information and are often there to notify us when it’s time for change. 

Pain to Wisdom

All of these lessons, combined with career experiences I have learned along the journey to follow (like how to spot when your work is misaligned with your values, signs of career stagnation, and more), have given me the tools to support others on their journeys to career fulfillment. For this, I am deeply grateful.

Now,  I am so excited to share this knowledge with you. Drawing from my personal career journey in corporate and tech, along with over four years of coaching experience guiding others to career fulfillment, I have identified the top signs of career alignment and misalignment. In this blog post, I’ll outline these key indicators to help you achieve deeper career fulfillment.

Recognizing Career Misalignment

Some signs of career misalignment can include…

  • Struggling to get out of bed in the morning
  • Feeling resentful (which often stems from a clash of values with your place of employment or the people you work with
  • Feeling isolated or disconnected from your work and colleagues
  • Running on autopilot 
  • Feeling stuck or stagnant

If you see yourself in these signs, know that you deserve to experience the fulfillment of doing work that aligns with your authentic self. You deserve to do work that energizes you, taps into your gifts, and creates the kind of impact you desire.

Recognizing Career Alignment 

Some signals of alignment can include…

  • Feeling empowered, motivated, and excited about your work
  • Recognizing the value and impact you’re contributing
  • Opportunities for learning and personal growth
  • Having clarity on your path and direction
  • A sense of purpose in your work

Finding Your Path

One of the biggest challenges I see with clients facing career misalignment is struggling to identify the root. In the midst of severe career dissatisfaction, it can be easy to attribute unhappiness to other factors. However, in order to create meaningful and long-lasting change, the root cause must be addressed and understood, so you can make sure not to repeat the same pattern over and over again, whether it’s through overworking, ignoring company red flags, or settling for work you don’t enjoy.

This is why I’ve created a career misalignment quiz to support you in uncovering why you aren’t happy in your current position. This quiz is crafted to lighten the load in what can often feel like a heavy and overwhelming time.

Ready to gain clarity on the root of your unhappiness in your work? Take the quiz here. It’s your first step towards creating the changes needed for greater career fulfillment in your career.

If you’re seeking additional support after taking the quiz, I invite you to explore my coaching offerings here. It’s my passion to support others on their journeys to greater career fulfillment.

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Hola, I'm Kristin
Your Transformation + Life Coach.

I'm here to tell you that the leap is always worth it! My story really began the moment I took the leap. I left my 9-5, put all of my things in storage and headed on a 1-month (turned 3-month) solo backpacking adventure. The journey ever since has been more beautiful and magical than I could have ever imagined. 

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Everything feels wrong with your current role - you just want to jump ship! But, if you don't address the root of your unhappiness... this pattern could repeat itself. 


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