The straight answer is change the wording. Your career is heading somewhere even if it is not in the direction that you want to be heading. You will, like everyone before you, reach retirement age one day. Whether you reach retirement age with regrets about what you wish you had done or achieved or reach it totally fulfilled, it is your choice.
Listen to your feelings about your job and the direction your career is heading
It is important to identify what is triggering the feeling that your career has no real sense of direction. To tune into your feelings you need to consider when you feel like it and what triggers the feeling itself. Different personality types tend to have different triggers. At Career Consultants we use the DISC profiling system to help career-minded individuals understand themselves and thereby develop career development plans.
The different strategies for different personalities
The D-personality types tend to be triggered by feelings of competitiveness – the feeling that someone is doing better than them. They tend to set themselves, goals and deadlines and then get frustrated if they haven’t reached a management position early on in their career; a directorship by the time they are thirty; running their own consultancy by forty or even retired by their mid-fifties.
The I- personality types, on the other hand, seek to gain recognition from other people. They may feel embarrassed that they don’t have a great sounding job title or work for a company that is prestigious with a glitzy head-office with really smart equipment. Career frustration for the I-types is often related to working in an office with no window, no freedom, no perks – no shine or sparkle.
The S- personality types are so keen on seeking comfort and relaxation that they often drift off to sleep with regard to their career direction. They don’t tend to seek any of the pressure or glamour of the D-types and I-types. They tend to focus on their friends, family and home life. They chose a career and a job that is safe, sensible and above all comfortable. The problem is that even the safest jobs are under threat these days. Previous jobs in the public sector that were deemed safe such as working in the local library have suddenly been cut. The safe pension scheme is also under threat. The whole concept of safety and sensibility has disappeared often leaving the S-personality type with a feeling of “Why?” Why did choose to be safe but somehow not end up being safe? Why did something that promised to be so comfortable suddenly end up being so uncomfortable?
What about the C- personality types? Why do they get to a point when they ask the question,“Why do I feel my career is going nowhere? The C-types want to get things right. Time at school and college was great for the C-types. Most of the C-types flourished with tests, exams and carefully control experiments where the questions and answers were pretty predictable and controlled. Usually the first few years in work are pretty good for a C-type. As long as they can find themselves in a research laboratory or a technical environment pretty quickly where they can acquire technical skills then they tend to settle into a role and routine fairly quickly. While the boss tends to take all the responsibility, attend long meetings and account for project delays, the C-type can focus purely on the nitty gritty detail of the programme or task in hand.
The technical environment is great for the C-type as long as they are not too good at what they do – which they usually are. As soon as they get recognised for being good at their job, they are promoted. Promotion often means that the C-type has to stop doing the tasks they loved doing as they take on more managerial tasks with the higher salary. Less technical and more managerial tasks can often lead to frustration and they may even wish that they could wind the clock backwards to be back in a technical role again. Technical work and projects has been replaced by a whole series of deadlines, meetings and, the one thing they hate most of all, criticism.
A career development profile can make all the difference
Each of the different types of personality can have what they really want in terms of a career path, as long as they understand what it is they do want. A simple five minute career development profile can often help people to understand themselves more. Add a feedback and career consultancy session to that as well and a career development plan can be created that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.
Stating that your career is going nowhere will not help you. You need to decide where you want it to be heading and have an individual career plan to hand that will take you from where you currently are to where you want to be.
Some career experts talk about taking a career break and being proactive. These types of concepts are all too theoretical for me. Basically, take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror. Ask yourself, ‘What makes me tick?’ Next ask yourself, ‘What do I really want career wise?’ Next start to action a plan to take you from A to B and then you will soon realise that you never need to ask yourself, ‘What to do if my career is going nowhere?”
Take action now that will determine you future career
To find out whether you are a D, I, S or C-type, why not fill in our career choice profilestraight away? It will only take you five minutes and will reveal much more about you than just the type of personality you have.
If you then want to work with a coach, to move your career forward and out of your career rut, simply contact us for some more information. You may also benefit from having a Skype consultancy session with a Career Consultant to discuss your individual career needs and desires and thereby agree a 5-year career development plan that will ensure you do get what you want from your career.