Staying in the same job for a while can be great for those who crave security and routine, but even the safest players among us need a change every now and then. It’s not unusual to feel as though you’ve been pigeon-holed into one career, or to have difficulty moving into a new industry or profession. The good news is that you’re not alone, and there are plenty of positive steps you can take towards the career you really want.
Get inside your own head
Before you can counteract the unhappiness you might be feeling in your current job, you’ll need an understanding of what’s causing it. Ask yourself why you’re no longer satisfied with what you’re doing. It might be that the work is too simple or monotonous, or that there’s something else you would much prefer to do – a passion you’re yet to chase. Only once you know what you’re missing can you fill that void, and you might be able to do so without changing careers.
Expand your education
Picking up a new skill is always a great idea, especially if there’s a chance it will help smooth the transition into future career opportunities. If you have an idea of your next move, you might spend some time looking at courses and work experience opportunities, or just strike up a conversation with someone in your broader network who has contacts in your area of interest.
Acquiring new skills (or refreshing old ones) is made even easier today, with the proliferation of online schools and colleges all around the world. From nursing to beauty therapy to those covering business or accounting, online courses offer the freedom for enterprising individuals to both study and work at the same time, without too much compromise either way. The next move you’re planning may even lead you overseas, in which case, a new language under your belt would be of immense value. There are plenty of options for bettering yourself. Even if they don’t lead to a new position, new skills are guaranteed to make you more of an asset to your employer.
Talk the Talk
Beyond your own power of influence, the person who has the largest bearing on your job satisfaction is none other than your boss. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to let your boss know how you’re feeling and ask them to help you carve out a new direction for your working life, there’s never been a better time, or a more important conversation to have. Tell them what you envision for your career path, and ask for their input on how you could make that happen in your current role.
Boost Your Health
A healthy body and mind are extremely important tools on the road to success and happiness, so if you’re struggling with physical, mental, or emotional challenges, now is a good time to address them. This might mean taking some time off from work to relax and recenter yourself or changing up your daily routine to incorporate more healthy habits, like going to the gym or preparing fresh food at home. These small changes may not reverse the work-related challenges you’re facing, but they will change the way you feel about yourself, and that can make a world of difference.
Appreciate the Positive
It might sound cliche, but concentrating on the good things and successes you have already earned in life will make it far easier to enjoy whatever job you happen to be doing. Without a positive attitude, the most worthy of pursuits can start to seem pointless or uninteresting, so keep your mind focussed on the contribution you are already making to society. This way, your influence will grow, and you’ll be more attractive to potential employers and co-workers, not to mention a better team member within your current workplace.
Disengaging from your work is a natural response to feeling trapped in a job, but it won’t help you find a way out. One of the best things you can do in this situation is to try using the skills you have in new ways. You might like to start up a side project, or try your luck as a freelancer for other companies – anything goes, as long as you find something to ignite your passion and turn you back towards your work.
Plan Out Your Pathway
There are often multiple ways to work towards a single goal; the way that works for someone else may not be the right fit for you, and vice versa, but by envisaging your ideal path towards your happy (work)place, you’ll give yourself a point of reference. Like with any significant goal, breaking down your ideal outcome into steps will make it seem that much more manageable and achievable, and ultimately dissolve that “stuck” feeling. Once you have a goal in mind, start looking and applying for new jobs that might fit the bill, and with a killer cover letter, you’ll be on your way to a new desk in no time.
Remember that no job has to be for life, especially if you’re no longer enjoying what you’re doing. If you’ve tried to make your current job work for you without success, use your dissatisfaction as momentum to propel yourself towards the job of your dreams.
If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out How Failure Can Lead You To Your Life’s Purpose