This article is published in Psychology Today by Heather Edwards and Mark Banschick. It is entitled, “
Getting Unstuck: Revitalizing Your Work Life
Five Ways to a Better Job”.
Let’s face it. We’ve all been there, running full speed
in the hamster wheel of work-exhaustion and
discontent. Job dissatisfaction can bring you down
and effect all areas of your life, if it is not addressed.
People often feel burned out and under-appreciated
at work. “I feel so disrespected.”, “I’m bored with my
job and I deserve a promotion.”, “I’m overwhelmed, I
don’t enjoy my work anymore.”, are pretty common
expressions of burn out. These are obvious
indicators that it’s time for a career make-over. If you
put in the time, effort, and soul searching required,
you can create the career you want! It seems like a
daunting task, but the alternative is not an option.
How does one turn that formidable rodent wheel of
work exhaustion into the grand Ferris Wheel of job
and life fulfillment? Here are a few tips for re-defining
your professional self and getting on your way to a
purposeful and inspiring career.
Name Your Talents:
What are your special skills and strengths? Everyone
has strengths! What are yours? Notice the
challenges and tasks that you enjoy. Identify the
activities that give you energy, and a sense of
satisfaction. Shift your focus to the responsibilities
you savor. What are the small success within each of
those that you’ve mastered? Use this information to
develop the job description you want. Consider
industries in which those assets are valued and
sought out. “Hide not your talents. They for use were
made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” – Benjamin
Identify a few options. Based on your answers to the
previous questions, what can you do differently
today? Leverage your successes to ask for what you
want. Here are a few ideas for how to do so. Talk to
your boss about gaining more responsibility, or
peruse the internal job postings in other departments.
Consider starting your own business, or begin the
task of updating your resume and exploring external
options. Perhaps your interests lie in a different
industry altogether. Whatever your direction, stay
true to yourself. The more you enjoy your job, the
less it will feel like work! “Use what talents you
possess, the woods will be very silent if no birds sang
there except those that sang best.” – Henry van Dyke.
What do you need to know? You’ve completed the
first steps of career exploration. Now that you’ve
identified what’s important to you, search out
industries and companies that match those
preferences. Make a list of your top five target
organizations. Begin researching their history,
mission, and products. Go to networking activities,
such as industry conferences or business networking
groups. Speak with people in those businesses. Do
your homework to avoid jumping from the frying pan
into the fire!
Training and Education:
Is there a certification or license that would push you
over the next hurdle in your career? Find out what is
required to achieve it. If you’re planning to pursue a
different field, explore the education and credentialing
requirements for those jobs. Collect informational
packets from professional schools and universities
with programs in your area of interest.
Remember, “The journey of a thousand miles begins
with one step.”, Lao Tzu.
Choose a Deadline:
This is a crucial factor in the process of self discovery
and change. Creating a deadline helps you stay on
track in defining and aligning your path in career
development. It keeps the journey time limited,
focused, and easier to manage by breaking down the
steps into weekly, monthly, and/or annual goals.
What do you want to accomplish by the end of this
week, this month, or this year? Write it down. Share
your intentions with others. Accountability to yourself
and those you love will provide the structure and
support necessary to follow through on your plans.
Throughout the process, be good to yourself. Job
hunting and career development can be
overwhelming! Maintain life balance. Establish
healthy boundaries. Spend time with friends, family,
exercise, and have fun. Be patient. In the words of
Buddha, “There is no path to happiness: happiness is
the path.” So continue to embrace and be grateful for
the things you cherish.