Career: Dealing with stagnation

Posted on May 15 2019 - 9:00am by Samantha Clark
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Feel like you’re going through the same old routine? You’re not alone! 7 in 10 of us would love to pack up our jobs and start over. And being in a career rut it partly to blame. That’s a shocking statistic when we have to spend so much of our adult lives working.

But it doesn’t need to be this way. Even if you feel you’re not able to change jobs or careers, there is still plenty of things you can do to reinvigorate your work.

In our latest careers feature we help you identify when your career is a little stagnated and what you can do to change things.

Signs that your career is a little stagnated

Everyone, from time to time, will exhibit some of these ‘symptoms’ but if you’re experiencing these on a day to day basis, you’re in a rut!

  • You find yourself day dreaming at work or are bored
  • You get Sunday night blues
  • Your job is routine- it’s no longer challenging
  • There doesn’t feel like an opportunity to progress
  • Your role hasn’t changed in a few years
  • You’re not learning anything new or using your breadth of skills
  • In performance reviews your ‘meeting expectations’ or have ‘adequate performance’

How to overcome career stagnation

It doesn’t always have to be this way. There are things you can do, even within your existing company and role, to help you feel more energised.

Ask for more challenges

annual review

Arrange a meeting with your boss and ask them if there is another project you can get involved with. Let them know that you no longer feel challenged or that your time isn’t being used effectively.

This will not only give you a new challenge to focus on and sink your teeth into but it’ll show a willingness to your boss that you’re eager to get more involved. You may find they come to you with additional challenges or projects and if you succeed in the project you tackle, this can help with progression.

Be sure to review your position periodically

Your annual review is a time for your employer to reflect on your performance over the last year but it’s also a benchmark for you to see how your career is progressing. However, this shouldn’t be the only time you review your career.

Use this time as an opportunity to stipulate to your employer of what it is you’re looking for and what you hope to achieve. This will hopefully pop you on their radar for as and when projects come in or to find ways in which to re-engage you if you’re struggling.

Outside of the annual review, ensure that you review your progress periodically to see if you’re meeting your targets. We recommend doing this every 3-6 months. Determine what you’re unsatisfied with and what changes you can make to move in a satisfactory direction. Actively look to review and take action in your career and education. Otherwise years will pass and you’ll likely be overlooked for any promotion or opportunity in any case.

Expand on your skills

Studying

Malcom X once said: ‘Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today’. It couldn’t be true. The world is constantly changing and technology is always advancing. Nothing is stagnant anymore. So, it pays to stay ahead of the curve. Read more and understand how the landscape in your field is changing; explore part-time and short courses to develop skills that would help advance your career- diverse skill sets are also very appealing to employers. It is also helpful to get involved with other areas of the business if you’re hoping to progress within the organisation. This can help you to identify opportunities elsewhere, contribute ideas for efficiency and collaborate with different teams where it can help to meet business objectives.

Look for a new job

If the above options are not possible, or you’ve tried but are still finding that things aren’t improving, you may hace no other choice but to search for a new job.

You may continue in a role similar to what you’re doing now but for an organisation with more career progression. You may diversify and use your skills in a separate but similar role or you may consider doing something new altogether.

The job market is still pretty saturated at the moment so be sure to read our tips on how to make your CV stand out from the rest. We’ve lots of other career articles on our site. From how to inspire creativity to how you can start your own business. We’ve shared a few of our top careers features below but be sure to head to our careers page for our extensive segment.

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