Do you ever get up in the morning and dread facing the day? You practise strategies for being happier, and it’s worked, but it’s hard to get motivated? Perhaps you have been in your present role for maybe three to five years.
- You used to love your work when it was new and exciting. Each day brought new challenges, there was lots to learn. But now the novelty has worn off. You’re good at what you do. Clients and colleagues respect you. It’s like that old pair of shoes; in the beginning they were stiff, it took some persistence to wear them in, then they reached the comfortable stage, they looked great, they polished up well and you felt great wearing them. Then after a while they got shabby and the heels wore down. Work feels a bit down at heel too like the old shoes. You are not learning anything new.
- There is a clash of values between what you need and what you get. Imagine the bright shiny new shoes you bought. They seemed like a good idea at the time but they never did wear in well. Sometimes work is like that. Perhaps you chose it hurriedly because you were either desperate at the time or the job just hasn’t worked out the way you hoped.
- The work is great, you actually still enjoy it but the culture at work is all wrong. It’s like sloshing through mud every day. No matter how often you clean them the stains remain like the ones on your soul. There have been staff changes; the people you used to enjoy working with have gone, or perhaps the management has changed. It’s like having a pebble in your shoe, but it doesn’t shake out.
Here are three possible solutions:
- Take a break, clear your head and get some perspective. Just as it’s not a good idea to wear the same shoes on consecutive days, we need time for rest and fresh air as well. Just being able to step back and view your situation through fresh eyes can make a big difference.
- Look for new opportunities within your current organisation. Plan for promotion, find a mentor and learn new skills. Maybe a lateral move to a different department or section where you can adapt skills you already have, like taking the shoes to a bootmaker to be resoled and reheeled. Dye them a different colour or use some renovating polish.
- Start looking around for a new job. If you are in business look for a new angle, a new product, widen your horizon. You are generally more employable if you are in work, so don’t rush into resigning until you have done your research and made a plan. This is the equivalent of buying new shoes. Take into account what you would be using the shoes for; your trusty joggers are not going to cut it in a legal office. Likewise, black leather lace-ups are not the best for a fitness trainer. Get yourself properly measured up, check the cost, peruse the selection and choose carefully.
Perhaps you have already thought of another solution. Add your comments and questions below and I will respond.
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