Our entire lives we prepare ourselves to become well-adjusted adults through education, interests, and developing skills. We automatically assume that if we follow a number of steps that we will graduate school, land our dream job, and live happily every after. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Plenty of us will experience the feeling of being stagnate in our careers almost like we’re lost. There are a number of reasons that could contribute to this perplexity.
One of the key factors could be that the job is no longer challenging us. There is a lack of opportunities that spark the mind and creativity. The job has become a monotonous motion of our daily lives. People naturally have this insatiable desire to want more and make continuous progress. When this progression has slowed, we begin to feel anxious and stuck.
Another reason could be due to the work environment. Almost every time a co-worker has left or is hired, the dynamic changes. This new dynamic may not suit what you need in order to do your job well and be happy. It could also be that the atmosphere is toxic and not sustainable for anyone to work in. This may lead to someone feeling like they don’t belong.
Another possibility is that the company has a lack of benefits and appreciation. When I say benefits, I don’t mean 401k’s and insurance. Those should be automatic. What I’m talking about is taking it a step further; fringe benefits. A company who truly appreciates their employees will take care of them. This could be through added benefits such as paid maternity/paternity leave, bonuses, flexible hours, and being able to work from home. Why would an employee input their hard work for a company that does not notice or compensate them?
If you are starting to notice that work isn’t enjoyable anymore, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to re-invigorate your career and make some necessary changes.
- Go back to school. I know you are thinking how difficult school can be, but it can open pathways. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, consider going for your master’s or at least a certification that will make you stand out from the crowd and showcase your ambition.
- Request to work on a new project. This can help lessen the dreariness of your current position while showing your employer that you can take initiative and be a leader.
- Request a raise, promotion, extra benefits, or a transfer. These changes can help adjust your mood and reconsider your position within the company. It is important that you go into this meeting well-equipped with reasons why this would be a valuable adjustment for the company. Part of the preparation should also include the possibility of rejection.
- If all else fails, it may be time to consider leaving the company. The odds of changes happening whether with you, the environment, or the company are slim at this point. Prepare your cover letter, resume, and references. Be sure to follow up any application request or interview with an additional reminder of your interest and abilities. A thank you note is always a nice touch.
- The most important part is that you are not alone in this struggle. Plenty of people have been in the same exact spot. Open up to others and share your experiences. You may know a number of people who can give you additional insight.
It all boils down to making changes and taking control of where you want this path to lead. If the initiative is never taken, then nothing will ever change. The new challenges and possibilities of rejection can be scary, but you have to be willing to risk your pride if you want to continue on this upwards journey.