Is it a bad patch? Will things get better? Is it just the thought of returning to work after time working from home or being furloughed? We all have times when we struggle to get motivated for work, but how do we tell if it’s more than a blip and that we need to take action?
Your first step to answering the question is to get honest with yourself. How do we really feel and how long have we been having these feelings? Let go of any guilt that may creep in because you have a job, when others around you may not, or to the outside world, it may appear as though you have it all, this is your life, no one else's. Burying our head in the sand is not going to resolve the situation, it is not going to help us feel any better. We need to get real with ourselves and acknowledge our feelings and how long we have been feeling like this. A temporary blip is not 6 months.
Here are 7 common signs that it could be time for you to get moving and focus on saying hello to your next chapter.
- The job doesn’t excite you; you are feeling bored and stagnated.
- You don’t get on with your colleagues and/or struggle with your manager.
- You consistently feel stressed, anxious and negative about work and it may be starting to affect your physical and mental health.
- You don’t feel aligned with the company, you don’t believe in the company anymore.
- Your performance is beginning to suffer, not because you aren’t capable but you just aren’t feeling the same way about the job.
- You feel your skills and experience aren’t being utilised.
- Work is taking over your life; you have no time for friends and family or even for yourself.
For me, it was the first and the last. I had simply fallen out of love with my job and as a result, I felt I wasn’t giving my best. I knew I had a lot to offer the world but my corporate job was not it. I also had let work take over my life, it dictated where I lived, what I did in my spare time, I was closed off to romantic relationships because they had to fit in with my career, but couldn't be someone through work, so how was that going to happen!
Which of these is resonating with you? Like me, it may be a combination. Capture it, acknowledge it, say it out loud and write it down. It doesn't have to be your dirty secret anymore.
But maybe you feel the time isn’t right. It’s too risky, you worry about the economic environment, you’ve got the bills to pay and you have no idea what else you could do that would improve your situation.
Consider these two questions:
1. By choosing to stay in your current job, what can you do to make things better?
- Understand what is missing, what do you need to change in order for you to be happier at work?
- Is this something that can be achieved? Is there an opportunity to get involved in something new? Can someone help you?
- Would you prefer to put up with this dissatisfaction than take the risk of something new? Consider how you are currently feeling about your job and your career. Now imagine yourself in 6 months’ time and you have managed to make changes to the areas of dissatisfaction, how will you feel? If you decide the best option for you is to stay, set yourself a review date in 6 months’ time and see if you still feel the same way.
2. By choosing to leave your job, how can you reduce the risk of being in a worse situation?
If you make a change you want to have the confidence that it's going to be for the better. We want reassurance we will find greater fulfilment and we can earn enough to pay the bills. To do this we need to:
- Get Clarity: What will make you happier. Start with the end picture. Imagine your life 12 months from now and you are thriving in your job, you have the balance you want, you are surrounded by people that get you, you are using skills that you enjoy and are good at and your work is interesting. Now think about your life outside work what do you have, who are you, what are you doing. Get clear about the vision you are creating, because this becomes your checklist. Any move you make needs to take you closer to this.
- Take Action: No one got a job by staying in their head. To know if a potential career change is going to take us closer to our ideal vision, we need to explore at a deeper level, we need to test our assumptions and get the facts. Taking such action will help you answer the uncertainty you may be experiencing. Often what we think a job is, what we imagine it is like to work in an organisation can be very different. As you become aware of careers that could be viable options, find ways to test them such as speaking to people already doing the job, look for opportunities to get involved and learn more.
- It's a Journey: A career change is not a single move but many small actions. To find a career that is going to work for you, can take time and can be an emotional roller coaster, the elation as you commit to taking action, the highs when you have a breakthrough, the downs when you feel you have hit a dead end. But know that there is support out there with people like me. Know you are not alone and find your community who are working through similar challenges as you and find inspiration from others who have been there and done it.
We spend a lot of time thinking about work and being at work for us not to enjoy what we do. Is it time for you to take control? Let's face it some of us need a helping hand, someone to guide us through a framework to help uncover the answers to 'what can I do?; how will I know this will be better?' If this sounds like you, you may be interested in a free introductory call with me to find out about my individual tailored programs and my group offerings. Just click, book a time that works for you and let's start to bring the changes you want for your life.
Other blogs you may find useful include:
- Planning a Career Change in a Recession
- The job isn’t for you darling it's too risky
- My 10 biggest bugbears about career change advice
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