If you a runner, you know that sometimes during a long run you “hit a wall.”. You trying to catch your breath, your legs don’t work, and negative thoughts start flooding your mind. You have two options: you can quit, or you can do something. The same goes for our careers. Sometimes we hit a wall, and we are not sure what next steps to take.
No matter what your job is, it is nice to feel that you can progress and that you are growing in some way. Outgrowing your job is only natural in today’s economy, so never be afraid to grow and embrace the change related to it.
It’s nice to feel that your job brings fulfillment other than the paycheck you receive at the end of every week. However, if there is little or no room for growth, then this begs the question, is it time to leave, or can you make it work? It then becomes a matter of whether or not it is time to change jobs or if you should wait and hope for a gradual improvement.
When you realize that you have outgrown your job, there are few things you can do:
1. Fix Your Job
You won’t perform like a star in a job you hate, and if you hate your job, why would you care to outperform? It goes both ways.
It’s important to make a change to refresh your relationship with your work, especially after years and years of doing the same job. Identify aspects of your job that doesn’t feel right, even if they once did, and do something to address those issues. Discuss with your manager what responsibilities you can change or what you can do to give your job duties more variety. If you don’t want to leave the company, you can always try to get a new job in another department.
2. Create New Challenges
When your skills exceed the challenges, you become bored. And when the challenges exceed the skills, you become anxious. Remember, your strengths are developed through your responsibilities. Take complete ownership of your work, and give 100% to the task at hand.
It’s also important to keep your work fresh to continue to love what you do, so change things up from time to time. Even just reorganizing your office could help usher in that shift you are looking for.
3. Learn to Relax
You lack the energy to sustain interest in anything. You easily fall off balance and feel burned out? Accept that you don’t have a source of inexhaustible energy and that you are not made to run at high speed for long hours.
We all need to recharge our energy levels to get more done in less time. Your physical, mental, and emotional energies need to be recharged to let you last longer. Focus on one task at a time, and work in a distraction-free environment. Take a holiday but leave your company phone at home. Working during your vacation will not help you to recharge your batteries; you will end up more exhausted than before.
4. Don’t Stop Learning
Even when the job gets stuck in a rut, never become complacent. Look for industry- and career-related opportunities to learn new skills and develop different aspects of your life.
Set aside time to look at your career over the past year to better prepare yourself against the unforeseen. Are you volunteering your skills, putting in an effort, and making the most of the opportunities at work? Be sure that you aren’t the one sabotaging your growth. Always consider whether there is actually any opportunity available for growth. Talk to experienced staff members who have been there longer for insight. Don’t be negative.
5. Speak with Your Boss
If you feel the company is seriously impeding your growth, talk to your boss. For example, in cases where your employer uses old tech or practices, make a business case for adopting new technologies or practices. Try to explain how the current setup is limiting your abilities and efficiency.
6. Take a Sabbatical
Sometimes, a two-week vacation is not enough to reset your batteries. What about the whole month or two? Taking a one-month sabbatical could find the energy you have been looking for years. You can get new ideas during that time, which will help you at work. When you finish your sabbatical, the old job will look like a new one to you. And sometimes, you can realize during your sabbatical that you would like to do something else.
When all else fails, consider a move. Sometimes, the move is your last resort, but if you tried to make changes and they’re not working, it’s the best thing you can do. Don’t be afraid to make a change. When you don’t see an improvement despite your best efforts and your expression of your dismay to the higher-ups, consider a move.
This move should occur when your current job no longer challenges you or provides meaning if you get no career benefits from working there, or if the people you work with are no longer a good fit, then it could be worth examining other opportunities available to you.
In resigning, a key rule is never to burn bridges. It might look very satisfying in movies to see a resigning protagonist flip the boss off before exiting the office in style, but in real life, burning bridges is never a smart move, no matter how much you hate the job or employer. Always keep your exit clean and professional. You never know in what companies you are going to meet your ex-colleagues.
Keep in mind that people change and grow over time. Moreover, if you have outgrown your job or need more satisfaction from the results you contribute, then a change could be just the thing to keep you stimulated, engaged, and ready to tackle new challenges.
Work is a big part of one’s life, and without meaning, it can be a hollow victory, even if everything else goes well.