Stagnation, complacency and lack of motivation are just a few of the career sticking points that can happen to any professional. Whether you have been in your position for 5 years or six months, those thoughts of, "I feel so stuck," or "I hate my job" can creep in and cause damage to an otherwise positive career path. The employment landscape is changing so fast in all industries and you can keep up if you embrace change.
Change 1: Reframe obstacles as skill set development opportunities
Too often professionals are presented with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle or challenge within their work environment and the reaction is to retreat or avoid. Whatever the obstacle, instead of retreating, try to seek outside experiences allowing you to develop the skills necessary to tackle the challenge. For example, consider volunteering for an organization needing to solve a problem centered on or relating to your predicament.
Providing service to a community or organization in need can be fullfilling but it can also be a great networking opportunity. Not only can you develop and hone skills, you can also connect with new mentors while inquiring of other ways to overcome your challenges.
Change 2: Step into new experiences and seek change
When professionals begin to see the cycles of their industry, they can feel like there's nothing new or innovative. The misconception here is you have no control over this experience. The situation is quite the opposite. Creativity and innovation are every professionals' responsibility. Innovation must be fostered and revisted consistently.
This year ask your supervisor for a chance to work on a new or different set of projects. Ask to revamp your annual goals before your review. You could even look to improve efficiency or streamline a program that is already working well. Whatever your situation, try take a look at your industry/area through a different lens. Approach challenges from a lesser known constituent's perspective or completely deconstruct a regular process and rebuild it to see what new comes out of the process.
Whatever path you choose in implementing this change, be sure to communicate to colleagues and supervisors that you are eager for this challenge. Renew your passion for progress and overcome the norm.
Change 3: Set a goal to collaborate more
The mundane functions of day to day operations in many industries can inadvertently create isolation. Kick start a revolution this year and reach out to departments, peers, colleagues and constituents to create something new. Revitalize your area by proposing a service project, use a new technology to be more efficient or ask to rotate common responsibilities among peers to spice up communication.
The point here is to reach out, connect and communicate with others new and old. Don't let the day to day become your prison. Gather your allys, create and innovate to revitalize the mundane.
You hold the key to changing your situation. It is important to use that key and open the door of opportunity. Commit to these three changes this year and take a step toward your future.