It’s that time of the year where you have to review your career progress. Here’s how to tell you are stuck in a rut or are in the wrong career path
Our careers are to a certain degree are our life-long identity as we spend more than forty of our years in the office. But the unfortunate reality is that eighty-five percent of workers worldwide admit to hating their jobs and even their bosses when surveyed anonymously, by an American research company, Gallup. The company also found that only 15% of the world’s one billion full-time workers are engaged at work, meaning these are the people who are passionate and connected to their jobs. This shocking revelation could mean two things, that if you are part of the statistic you are either stuck in the wrong career or just feel the need for a fresh, new challenge for your career growth.
Questions to ask when you feel stuck in a career rut:
Have I called in sick too many times to count this year: We all need a break from time to time, but if you want to be anywhere in the world except your workplace it is a sign you shouldn’t ignore. Being unhappy at work often makes you less productive, miserable or worse, sick. It’s time to reflect on the reasons you are not happy at work, do you feel you need to grow or are you generally unhappy with how your colleagues or boss treats you? See if you cannot do anything to fix the situation before you make hasty decisions of quitting your job.
Am I literally stuck in a role I cannot change? There comes a time when you feel you have reached the highest ladder in your current job and there aren’t new challenges and room for growth. This often happens in a small company and can lead to boredom and a disconnection from your work, especially if you have been there for a long time.
Have I let a lot of opportunities pass me this year? If raising your hand for a new project, meeting deadlines or suggesting strategic ways to grow your company is nothing but a memory it’s possible that you feel stuck in a rut. Like any aspect of your life, the honeymoon phase of your job or role fizzles out in time, it’s up to you to keep the passion alive by upskilling yourself, but if there isn’t room for that in your job then you should consider new opportunities.
Questions to ask when you feel you are in the wrong career
Do people suggest I will perform better somewhere else? Sometimes not all criticism from people around you is meant to break you. People notice and if they compliment certain skills that don’t necessarily match your current job description than consider that, along with finding what your true passion and talent is.
Do I lack the skills for my dream job? I heard on a radio show a few weeks ago that South Africa’s education system is not on par with the skills that job descriptions that companies require from potential employees, especially recent graduates. But that shouldn’t discourage anyone, take up short courses that match the required skills, volunteer if need be and find a mentor that can guide you and introduce you to a pool of their networks.
What makes me happy and fulfilled outside my work and can I add that to my job? Your talents are a map to help you navigate your purpose. It’s important to find a career that matches your passion. And while the harsh reality of the skyrocketing unemployment rate pushes us to have a job that pays the bills, use what you have and where you are as a launch pad to your dream job. It’s possible, you just have to persisit until you find what makes you happy.