Do you have mixed feelings about your job? On the one hand, you dread the thought of work each day in a job that no longer fulfills you but on the other hand with unemployment increasing, you feel grateful that you have one? Maybe you’ve even muttered the words to someone, “I mustn’t grumble, at least I have a job.”

Whatever the current external situation is, it doesn’t distract from how you feel about your job, the frustration, the anxiety, the dread work conjures up. Yes, it could be a story that you continue to tell yourself which invariably keeps you stuck as you feel now is not the right time. But the external environment doesn’t have to be the reason not to take action.

In this blog, we look at how you can make your current situation more bearable while you build your career change plan.

Our starting point is to look at how you can take back the power. Feeling as though we are doing something about our situation, stepping out of victim mode can be liberating. If we continue to think there is nothing we can do, there are no changes or plans we can put in place we allow ourselves to remain stuck and we permit the negativity we feel to expand. But how can we take back the power when we feel we have no options, what does that look like when alternative employment opportunities are limited and that inner voice is warning you not to rock the boat and to keep your head down, grit your teeth and get through it.

Firstly examine your current position with an open and honest view. To understand exactly what are the issues that are causing you to feel the way you do. Sometimes the reasons on the surface are just the symptoms but the real problems lie beneath. For example, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work. But is the volume of work the real problem? Is it that you don’t know how to do something or don’t have the right tools, or are you are carrying other people in the team, doing work that actually isn’t your responsibility or maybe you are a perfectionist and struggle to let go of something. Perhaps your issue is that you feel unsupported by your boss. Whatever the circumstances get clear on what is the exact situation, what are you doing, what is not working for you? By shining a light on the root cause of the problem you can start to get clear on potential solutions.

Our next action point is to understand what we can do to modify the situation. What is within your control to change and what is outside your control but still within your sphere of influence if you are willing to speak up and share your problems? Yes, you need to speak up if you want others to make changes, they aren’t mind readers, and they aren’t in your shoes and may have no idea of how you are feeling or the depth of those feelings. In my 20 years as an HR professional, I saw time after time when a resignation could have been avoided if a meaningful conversation had occurred earlier. If you need help structuring your thoughts into a conversation you will find the guidance in this article useful.

But if you are not willing to have the conversation or you feel it has gone past that point, then your action is to start to build your career change plan and find clarity on your next career move.

I always advise my clients to start with the future in mind. What do they want for their future self, if they were living their ideal life what would they want to be able to have, who would they want to be and what would they want to be able to do. To start a career change we don’t need to know our destination, we just have to be willing to go out and explore which in turn will provide answers. A career change is not an instant lightbulb moment when one day we have a flash of inspiration and know exactly where our future lays.  Instead for the majority of people, it involves taking small steps which together combine in giving you clarity and confidence that you are moving towards the right destination for you.

You may not know if you want to stay within the industry, or you may wish to explore changing the nature of your employment relationship from employee to consultant or self- employed. Or you may feel it’s time to move in a completely different direction but you have no idea what that looks like. These questions can all be answered while you keep your head down in your unfulfilling job and as you start to get clarity and as the economy starts to recover you will have the answers to move forward and put your plans into place.

Use this time in a recession to build you plan, to get clarity and as the job market picks up you will know exactly where you want to be and will have a plan to get you there. And maybe by getting clear on your current challenges and sharing these with your manager, your next career move could be a lot closer to home than you first envisaged.

What are the questions you need to answer and include in your plan? In this free video, I show you exactly how to figure out what could be a potential option for you and the pitfall to avoid saving you time and emotional turmoil.

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