If you’ve been working in a career for 15 years and the joy has gone out of it, and you feel like you’re running out of time to go after what you truly want — this article will make you change gears.
I’ve noticed three major mistakes that keep people from truly having a sense of career fulfillment. These mistakes include:
1. Comfortably Uncomfortable
One of the most dangerous places you can be in your career is when you are comfortable in your discomfort. You are neither hot nor cold. You don’t enjoying what you’re doing, but there is not enough discomfort to make a decision to move. Or, there is not enough drive in you to go after what you truly want. Then you wonder why there is so much pain in your present career. Much like the frog that is slowly being boiled in a pot of water and doesn’t even realise that it is being boiled alive, only when there is a massive amount of pain do you make a decision to leave a job you hate.
The moment you begin to feel comfortable being uncomfortable is the first indication that you need to consider either looking for a new job or changing something at work. Don’t wait until you’re desperate before you start making changes.
2. Directional Ambiguity
The more people I speak with about their careers, the more I discover that people are very unclear about where they want to go. An ancient proverb goes, “If a man chases two rabbits, he’ll catch none.” Being uncertain of where you want to take your career, will slow down the speed at which you travel. I like to clarify with my clients the key criteria they are looking for in a role; this helps in identifying a next move. The criteria can include: salary, geography, work environment, skills, knowledge used and responsibilities taken.
3. Delayed Stock Take
After having worked for a period of 3 to 7 years, you should have a relatively clear perspective of what type of work you enjoy and don’t enjoy, what you’re good at and what you’re not. If you haven’t paused to do a stock take of which tasks, activities and people you enjoy working with, then you may be engaging in many activities that you don’t enjoy without even knowing it. Various areas you can do a stock take include: personality profiles, identifying over a period of two weeks which tasks you enjoy, which people you enjoy working with, and what concepts you enjoy talking about. Familiarity with these areas will give you more opportunities to find work that you enjoy.
Make a move now before you’re desperate. Reflect on what you have enjoyed so far in your career, then use this knowledge to get a clear picture of what your next role will look like.
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