You start a job on a high note. And by the time you reach the middle stages of your career there’s a sudden thud and you feel stuck. You force yourself to come to office and feel exhausted, frustrated and irritated through the day. Demotivated, you wonder if you will ever find a sense of purpose to your life.
We’ve all heard about the mid-life crisis. But a mid-career crisis remains a best-kept secret among professionals. This, despite the fact that it impacts all, even those of us in ostensibly fulfilling jobs. Research has shown that job satisfaction of the average employee deteriorates dramatically in midlife. However, the good news is you don’t have to wait for someone to come and rescue you from a career slump. You can rekindle your passion for work by:
Consider taking some time off. Apply for leave and go on a relaxing holiday to clear your mind. Alternatively, take a few days off to stay at home and spend time with your loved ones. You’ve worked hard for several years now and deserve some time to yourself. Sometimes a well-deserved break is all we need!
Sit down and look back, reflect. What do you think has caused the slump? Is it stress at work, or is there some deeper underlying reason that has led to this state of affairs? Identifying the factors causing the slump is a prerequisite to addressing the problem.
Take a hard look at your life and career. What is your contribution to the organization? What is your organization’s contribution to society? Finally, how much does your job contribute to your self-growth and evolution? Everyone wants to find meaning in life and the answers to these questions will help you find the meaning in yours. Once the cloud has lifted from your mind, chances are you will realize that things are not as bad as they initially seemed.
Then, remember the first sale you made. Or the pitch that won you a client. Looking back on your milestones can help you recall how much meaning your career has brought to your life. By recalling the simple moments and focusing on happy new ones, you may be able to reconnect with your work.
You can rid yourself of that aimless feeling by setting small targets for yourself at work. Those would include finishing a report within a specific time frame or closing tasks that will help you regain your confidence and encourage you to move on to bigger goals.
It is entirely possible that the tedium of doing the same thing over and over again for many years now has led to disillusionment with your career. To break the monotony, add challenge to your job. Ask your boss to incorporate new tasks or give you a new assignment.
If, after trying out everything, you are still unhappy, don’t be afraid to make a change. Find better. Choose what you want to do wisely, plan and assess well, and take the plunge. It is better to take a risk in the hope of future happiness than stagnate in misery.
The best way to pull yourself out of a career slump is to find a deeper meaning to what you do. Seek out fresh challenges, embrace new skills and find a mentor who can guide you along the road ahead.