Are you increasingly finding that you’re waking up every morning lacking the drive you once had to get up and get started on your day? Perhaps the thought of yet another day at work doesn’t bring the enthusiasm it once did. You lack motivation. You don’t really know where your life and career are heading. Nevertheless, you also don’t feel particularly motivated to change the status quo although you recognize that you probably should.
However, there’s also that old saying about fixing something that isn’t broken. All of which leaves you in something of a conundrum. Should you try and break out of what you recognize is a career rut, or should you take the easy road and just continue to let things ride. Better the devil you know ………
The good news is that it is possible to get out of this rut if you really desire to do so. Here are some tips to help you.
Tackle The Hard Jobs
If we have a choice, none of us put our hands up to do the hard stuff. We also have a tendency to put off those jobs we don’t want to do until it reaches the point where we have no choice but to get stuck into them. We take the easy options until we run out of excuses for not doing the hard ones. At the end of the day though, those hard jobs are still going to be there, waiting to be done.
Reverse your thinking. Make a decision to get the hard ones out of the way first and then you can reward yourself with the easier ones. This challenge, changing old habits, could be just what you need to lurch out of that rut!
Excuses Are Out
If you feel at ease in your workplace, it’s likely that you’re just appreciating the convenience of doing something you know how to do without really having to think about it. Nevertheless, maybe there’s a niggling sense of guilt about the lack of challenge, a sense that you should be stretching yourself a bit more. This is a sign that, despite being comfortable, you do want a change. Do it, and stop making excuses for staying where you are.
Find Challenges That Will Reignite That Spark
If you don’t particularly want to look for a new job, talk to your line manager about taking on more responsibility in this one. Preferably doing things that challenge you, and reignite your enthusiasm for your job. You did once enjoy the challenges of working here so it makes sense to think that zest for work will return with some different things to do.
Reinvent Your Skills
Look at the knowledge and skills you’ve picked up over time. Can any of them be used to put together an interesting ‘package’ to offer your employer? Can they be marketed as a unique offer to the world in general, possibly as a business?
Fix Your Reputation
If you’ve been with your current employer for a while, you may have developed a reputation that some line managers use to avoid promoting you. Sometimes these reputations linger long after the person has actually changed. You may for example be seen as a ‘difficult’ person to work with. It is possible to undo an unfavourable reputation but it does take time, effort and persistence.
Perhaps It Is Time To Head For Greener Pastures
Perhaps your lack of enthusiasm is after all a sign that you should just move on. If you’ve explored these, or similar, things and you’re still in a rut, ask yourself honestly if you still enjoy your work. Are you only still there because it’s easier than putting in the effort to do something new? Maybe it’s time to put the skill sets you’ve developed to good use and start your own business, or offer them to a new employer.
Alternatively, the time could be right to move in another direction, one that may still be aligned with your current career but explores new challenges. Perhaps you’re a career firefighter but tired of the frontline work, in which case you can explore other options within the fire service such as Fire Inspector certification.
Regardless, it will take time and patience to get out of your career rut, particularly if you decide to stay with your current employer. However, it can be done.