Where are you in your career? Are you fulfilled by what you do? Are you using all of your skills and capabilities and therefore fully realising your potential? Or do you feel stuck in a rut and as if at the moment there is nothing to look forward to? Are you looking for a safe and sensible solution because you don’t want to risk what you have achieved to-date? Let’s look together at the best possible solutions?
The gap between where you are and where you want to be
‘Your job is to make your career the way you want it to be’, says Sarah Berry. ‘If you don’t feel satisfied by what you do each day then there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be’.
If your life at work has ground to a halt, what rut have you temporarily fallen into? Listed below are the possible ‘career ruts’ that people fall into. Do any of these apply to you?
The work rut.
Do you feel as if there is only work in your life? Do you feel as if you are on an endless treadmill and that there is no way out? Are you too young to retire? Do you need to carry on working to maintain your lifestyle but don’t enjoy doing what you’re doing?
Solution. You need to get off the treadmill and create some balance in your life first and foremost.
The boredom rut.
Do you want to be following a different career? Are you bored and frustrated by what you do? Are you desperate to do something else?
Solution. You need to explore your ideas and passions for a new career.
The survival rut.
Do you feel as if you are just trying to survive? Has it become easier to try to hold things together? Have you been at the receiving end of too many knocks and disappointments? Are you afraid to look at anything new or different or make any changes?
Solution. You need to be very gentle on yourself. You need to surround yourself with positive people, people who recognise your talents and people who can help you regain your self-confidence.
The ‘me’ rut.
Do you believe that you are the only person who can do the job-in-hand? Do you feel that you have become put upon and over-loaded? Have other people got into the habit of relying on you?
Solution. You need to start putting yourself first again. You need to listen to and respond to your needs and stop feeling responsible for other people. They can look after themselves.
‘The one day I’ll be rich’ rut.
Have you always secretly believed that you would be rich? Do you ignore the reality of your financial situation because you believe that some money will turn up from somewhere, hopefully soon? So why is it that ‘this money’ hasn’t found its way into your bank account? What are other people doing that you could be doing?
Solution. You need to take responsibility for your finances. You need to be aware of how much you are spending and how much you are investing. Financial freedom is possible for you too, if you are willing to look at and change your spending and investment patterns.
Career concerns and career frustrations need to be dealt with; otherwise you could end up becoming out of balance. Are you willing to do something about your career issue? Are you willing to develop yourself personally so that you achieve what you desire in your professional life? If you have answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then you are ready to close the gap between where you are and what you want to be.
Going to the next career level
Moving on in your career isn’t about moving up the career ladder but about defining whom you are and what you need. What really matters to you? What is your work purpose? What makes you feel good? To get out of a career rut, you need to value yourself and express what is important to you in your workplace.
Putting your boundaries in place
You need to protect yourself and your goals in the workplace if you are to stay balance and in tune with your needs. Why? Because if you don’t look after yourself you will get caught up in the frenzy of day-to-day work activities and ‘lose yourself’ in the process. When your needs get ignored, you’ll start to put up with things that you are unhappy about because it seems easier than ‘doing’ anything about them. However, as your boundaries get crossed and ignored, so too do your career needs, goals and ambitions. If you carry on ignoring your needs, you remain in your career rut. Is this what you want?
To move forward you have to redefine your boundaries and re-educate the people around you. What have you been unhappy about? What have you been putting up with? Why have people upset you and what boundary have they temporarily crossed?
Boundaries are imaginary lines around you that keep your work colleagues’ actions and behaviours out. In simple terms, a boundary is the word ‘STOP’. If you define and redefine your boundaries, you and your career goals will be protected from disruptive influences.
You need to work with people who bring out the ‘best‘ in you. What are your boundaries? Do you need to communicate your ‘new’ or ‘redefined’ boundaries to the people you work with?
Putting your boundaries in place
1. Tell your work colleagues when they are breaking a boundary.
2. Explain to the work colleague what he/she is doing.
3. Request that he/she stop.
4. Advise him/her about what change he/she needs to make.
5. Thank him/her for making the change.
And if the work colleague won’t stop or change, then what can you do?
6. Insist that he/she stop.
7. Walk away without an argument.
What do you do if people don’t respond to the new and reasonable boundaries that you have put in place? If people don’t respond to your honest and reasonable requests to change, then they are not willing to change. If people don’t respect your boundaries then they aren’t bringing out the best in you. Is this fair on you? Do you need to find a new place to use your talents and strengths?
If you want to stop putting up with things and need a new vision, we can help you. If you would like to get in touch with what would fulfil you, we can show you. If you would like to be creative, happy and fulfilled we can advise you.
Go to our CV Assessment page to see what we can offer you.