We all have good days and bad days. When the balance gets tilted too much toward the bad days, it’s time to evaluate where you are and why. There are visible signs that give you indicators of when you need to assess your job, career and direction. Here are some of them:
- You’ve stopped learning. We all have the capacity to grow and expand our knowledge, skills and abilities. When that capacity is blocked, we flat-line in our jobs and our ability to perform at a higher level.
- It’s harder to get up in the morning. Is it the work itself or is it your attitude toward the work you are doing? Attitude towards your job, boss, work or the people around you all affect your outlook, and many times, your energy level.
- It’s difficult to be excited about work. Repetitive work can be a drag. Is it a project that will change over time, or is work going to be the same boring stuff endlessly?
- Something has happened within the company itself: A change of leadership near the top of the organization, a new boss, a merger, or an economic downturn of the company’s results. These events can directly affect you. You’re out of step with the main stream.
- There’s nowhere for you to go. You see no movement for you to progress with the company. Your career ladder upward is blocked or the organization is restructuring downward, and you see yourself as vulnerable.
- Your rewards don’t match your contributions. You’re not being paid equal to your value or contribution, so you consider downscaling your performing. You may see others moving ahead who don’t deserve it or non-performance rewarded.
- You picture yourself somewhere else doing something else. You know you can contribute more at a higher level of responsibility, but can’t see how in your current position. You are frustrated with your job, boss or the future.
When your performance or attitude flat-lines, you are in fact, falling behind your career goal and peers. Catching up with your career goal become harder the longer you are in a stall. Sometimes a few days off or a vacation will help. But when you come back, if you’re not eager to get back to work, then something is wrong.
So what do you do? Whose to fault and what actions do you take? My experience is the fault is evenly shared between you and your employer. You should be taking new courses, add technological/computer skills, use on-line resources to improve and expand your knowledge, skills and abilities. Your employer should be providing you with opportunities to grow through internal training and development. Your boss should be providing you with expanding responsibilities commensurate with your contributions.
Having a discussion with your boss about a change or added responsibilities may help. If not, consider a more dramatic step.
Work should be fun, or at least enjoyable and satisfying. If not, you may need a major change.
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