I’m writing this post from my couch where I’ve been binge-watching 90 Day Fiancé. I’ve been off for the past 10 days, and as the neighborhood kids settle back into school, I’m looking forward to going back to work. I even have that little pinch of excitement at the thought of getting back into my routine! It’s a far cry from the overwhelm I felt a few months ago. It’s also a reminder that feeling a little burnt out or stagnant in your career does not automatically mean you’re in the wrong field or not where you’re supposed to be. However, I do believe it means that it’s time to rediscover the joy in your career. To determine if it’s time to give more or give your current position the heave ho. That’s why In this post, I’m giving you 5 simple ways to determine just that.
1. Take a Break – I spoke about this on Instagram recently and received tons of comments from women guilty of not taking time off from work. I recently read an article that says approximately 50% of people leave their vacation days on the table and end up losing them at the end of the year. This used to be me. Years ago when I was in my military days, I thought there was no way my office could run effectively without me there. But the reality is, it could, it can, and it did. And so will yours. Don’t learn this lesson the hard way. Whether it’s a few days or 10 days, whether you decide to take a trip or not, give your brain and body an occasional rest from the work grind.
2. Practice Gratitude – Even on your worst days. You can have your dream job and I can almost guarantee there are going to be days that make you second guess your decision to accept it in the first place. When those days inevitably happen remind yourself of not only the fact that you’re thankful to have it but also of all the things you actually like about it. Sit back and remember all the reasons why this was the job you prayed for. Remember, gratitude isn’t about ignoring everything that can be improved, it’s about shining a light on what’s already working.
3. Say Goodbye to Perfectionism – Or at least the thought that it exists because it simply doesn’t. Over the years I’ve learned that striving for something so unattainable comes with unnecessary pressure and with that pressure comes and an unhealthy amount of stress. If this sounds like something familiar to you I ask, how could you possibly enjoy what you do when you feel weighed down as soon as you step foot in the office? So, unless your wrong step at work could be the difference between life and death for someone, I implore you to give yourself some grace to make a mistake here and there and use those instances as opportunities for growth.
4. Always Remain a Student – By taking on additional duties and tasks (within reason) to avoid becoming one dimensional. I think anyone would get bored with doing the same repetitive tasks day in and day out. Most of the people I talk to who enjoy what they do are in positions where every day is a little bit different. So that out of state conference, about some new initiative, go; that professional development course, take it; the temporary assignment change, go ahead and volunteer for it; or the big one, if you feel you’re ready for a promotion, and more responsibility, girlfriend go for it!
5. Journal – Not just about bout work, but also about life, relationships, your day to day, basically whatever you’re thinking and feeling. Use it as a tool for reflection, so that during those days and/or weeks where you’re not particularly feeling any joy in your career you can have an idea if it’s really about work or something else entirely. Do this for a few months and you’ll honestly be surprised at how resentment in other areas of our lives can spill over into work. You find yourself feeling unfulfilled and since we spend so much time at work it must be that when in actuality, its something completely unrelated.
Now, if you ARE completely miserable minor career tweaks here and there won’t cut it and it may be time for you to start seeking other opportunities. However, if you generally enjoy what do but are currently feeling a little down or out of sorts, these 5 really simple things should help you remember why you started! And as i mentioned, help you rediscover the joy you have in your career!
As always, I love hearing from my tribe. Leave me a comment under this post, or find me on social. Let me know if this ever happens to you, and how you handle it? Until next time!