Trust your gut – is it a thing?

Posted on: 13/02/2020

Trust your gut – is it a thing?

How many times have you said, “I should have followed my gut” or “I just had a feeling”? This has happened to me loads in the past, and I don’t understand why I sometimes ignore these feelings and don’t trust my gut. Maybe it’s self-doubt that stops us from following these innate instincts within us?

If you think about it, we are often driven to making decisions based on need and weighing up the pros and cons that will best serve that need. I find that often things that look great on paper and has everyone around you telling you it’s great because it will fix the problem or serve that “need”, just doesn’t feel right. This is a prime example of when you need to trust your gut. It could be with someone we date – the handsome guy who everyone loves but there is something missing. The same happens in the job market – you take the job with the best salary and package but are miserable working there because the culture isn’t right or the travel is too much.

Trusting my gut

Recently, I decided to trust myself and my gut at the ripe old age of 38, I mean if I can’t trust myself by now, when can I?

I found myself back in the job market after opting for redundancy, a situation I have never experienced before. However, for the first time ever I followed my gut throughout the entire process.

Firstly, when I heard the details of my option to stay, I knew it wasn’t right for me, so I took the leap and went for the scary option! I followed this behaviour – which is very unusual for me – by turning down meetings with potential employers because I felt (in my gut) I needed to figure out what I wanted to do.

Taking action

After taking a few weeks off, I started the meetings, coffees and interviews and this is when my gut really came into play.  There were numerous occasions when I walked into an office and felt my heart sink, looking at the sterile, soulless reception and wondering why I was bothering continuing with the meeting. I took action, I stopped any process that didn’t feel right in its tracks. I’m sure some recruiters thought I was mad turning down interviews, especially when I couldn’t give much of a reason except for my gut feeling.

I continued down this path and realised I trusted myself and my capabilities and as soon as I knew what my ‘red lines’ were, I wasn’t going to compromise. I met some great people along the way, but I started to notice my own language and feelings. When giving feedback, I noticed I used language like “yeah they were nice” or “yeah I think we got on” or “ they were alright” and so on. Although I could have worked with most of them, if I’m honest, there was something in my gut that said they just weren’t right for me right now. The “yeah” was always said with an element of hesitation or dismissiveness, which highlighted that gut reaction.

So, my advice to any job hunter or potential employer is if you find yourself using such language or fighting such unexplainable feelings, take note and act. Fear of missing out is a real thing but so is the regret of not listening to our gut. I owe some of this to an old friend of mine who once said, “if it’s not a YES! it’s a no.”

Trust your gut, it knows you better than you know yourself! If you want to discuss further or for all things HR  email me on carly@refind.co.uk.

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