Have you lost that loving feeling for your career?
If so, you’re not alone. According to most recent edition of The Conference Board’s Job Satisfaction survey (June 2014), a dismal 47.7% of survey respondents reported being satisfied with their jobs.
If you’re feeling the effects of job dissatisfaction, there’s good news! You can absolutely get back to a place where you enjoy your work again. You don’t have to be relegated to some career prison to simply do your time. If you’re ready to heart your career again, follow these five vital steps to git ‘er done!
Adjust your mindset. Nip the “I can’t”, “woe is me” and Eeyore attitude in the bud. Understand that no one will be as invested in your career happiness as you are (or at least should be). Now’s the time to become the CEO of your career, and embrace a positive, can-do attitude to take it in your chosen direction.
Assess yourself and your situation. Get in touch with your why (i.e. what’s your motivation?). Be clear on why your work: as a simple means to an end, for growth and advancement potential, and/or to fulfill your calling (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2012). Also, explore why you chose this particular career and why you chose this particular job.
Remember what you enjoyed and still enjoy about your job, and ask: what’s changed? Workplace discontent can stem from any number of things such as:
- Lack of fulfillment or purpose
- A desire to relocate
- Changes in lifestyle, priorities and/or values
- Money issues
- A simple desire for something … more (even if you can’t quite put your finger on what that is).
When you’re in the thick of it, it’s sometimes hard to see the forest for the trees. Enlist your colleagues, family, friends, a mentor, or a career coach for objective direction and perspective in your career reinvigoration efforts.
Consider the future. Think about where you want to be. Ideally, what will your career look like one year from now? In five years? Get clarity on the direction you’d like to go in but understand your limitations as well. Know what you can control, accept what you can’t control, and proceed accordingly.
Put a plan in place. Develop and write down your reinvigoration success plan. Revisit it every so often to modify and reassess it as needed.
Explore your options. Some ways to get started are:
- Talking to your boss. Cultivate a plan that addresses your preferences while also demonstrating how your proposed changes will benefit the company’s bottom line. Possible fixes include (but are not limited to):
* Exploring promotion prospects.
* Increasing your task variety or your level of responsibility.
* Changing functions.
* Changes in compensation (i.e. a raise).
* More recognition.
* Increased career development efforts.
- Stretching yourself. Sharpen your skills through continued professional development; upping your game just might be what the doctor ordered for your career woes. Also, be open to challenging yourself and doing new things such as heading a new project, public speaking, becoming a mentor, etc. You might enjoy your something new more than you expected.
- Networking. Get out of the office and get connected. Talk to your fellow colleagues and seasoned professionals who have been where you are to get back on track. Listen to their advice on how to best move beyond your rut.
- Considering a career change. If you find, when all is said and done, that your heart is no longer in this job, now’s the time to discover what your ideal career really is.
Remember, there’s no one size fits all option for bringing life back to your career; what works for you may not work for someone else.
Ok … time to get back to happy in your career! Keep these three things in mind before you jump in:
- Career planning is a process, and things may not happen as fast as you’d like.
- This is YOUR career story, and you dictate how the story goes.
- Take care of yourself, and enjoy life. Don’t let work consume you.
How have you successfully breathed life back into your career? Share your story in the comments below.
This article was originally published on the Careers in Government website.