Are you in need of a career reboot?
How are things at work?
It’s an innocent enough question, but our immediate gut reaction to it can tell us a lot. We all go through ups and downs in our careers, but how do we know when our daily frustrations are signalling a deeper issue? We asked a few experts for their advice.
Signs you might be in need of a career reboot
“This usually starts with burnout,” says Candace Barr of Strategic Resume Specialists. “You are not enjoying your work like you used to, maybe even dread going to work.”
Burnout can happen to anyone, and it’s important to listen to your body if you’re at or nearing that point. For more on burnout and how to beat it, click here.
“Sometimes it’s because the corporate culture has changed – this is very common today in the age of mergers and acquisitions,” Barr notes.
Career transformation coach Pat Roque shares this checklist to compare against your situation.
She says you might be ready for a career reboot if you…
- Sense that nagging feeling that you’re just not happy.
- Dread waking up and heading to work in the morning.
- Feel frustrated that even the simplest of activities don’t feel appreciated or that your voice isn’t being heard.
- Feel invisible.
- Feel passed over for a much-deserved promotion.
- Feel overworked and underpaid with little else to make up for that empty feeling.
- Love your job but can’t afford to pass up a lucrative buyout.
On the flip side, sometimes job changes are not a matter of choice.
“Career change can be foisted upon [us] unexpectedly, so it becomes very important to constantly look ahead in your career whether or not you are thinking of making a career change,” says career coach Tara Orchard.
She recommends taking stock of your current job skills and career interests on an annual basis and identifying the areas you’d like to develop. This process of assessment will help you clarify your own “career brand,” she says.
“Regularly gather information on the future opportunities, trends and needs in your career field or industry or even your current employer. Join professional groups or find people on LinkedIn and network with people who are in careers of interest to you,” she says.
“Often our careers are limited not by our skills, but by our lack of awareness of the possibilities available to us.”
How to fall back in love with your job
Maybe you don’t want to change your career altogether, maybe there are just a few wrinkles in your current job that you need to iron out.
“It is entirely possible to fall back in love with your position,” Barr says, “but it requires more than a mindset shift – you will need some changes made on the organization’s side.”
First, says Barr, you’ll need to identify what is lacking in your job and what you need to be happy.
“Then speak with your direct managers, clearly articulating these changes and the value they will bring in job satisfaction, better performance and engagement.”
How to move on and make a change
Sometimes falling back in love with your job is simply not an option – and that’s okay.
“It’s not easy to get a company to change for you, and if you’ve tried to no avail, finding a new opportunity is the way to go,” says Barr. “Start exploring options while you are still employed and can run a proactive, selective and targeted job search. Identify what is lacking in your current role and target companies that fill the gap.”
Roque breaks down her tips for navigating a career reboot into three essential pillars: mindset, skill set, and tool set.
- Get clear on what your strengths are.
Understand your non-negotiable priorities by doing some career soul searching. (You can download her free assessment tool here to help figure out if it’s time to move up within your company, move over to a similar organization or move on to something else entirely.)
- Articulate the value you bring to the table.
- Understand what your dream role looks like.
- Connect the dots from where you’ve been to where you want to go next.
- Level up the tools you need to “speak your truth [and] be heard and respected as an expert in your field (and your organization).”
- This could include publishing content, beefing up your LinkedIn profile, writing a book, starting a podcast or serving as a speaker at an industry event.
“If you are ready to make a change in your career path, the best way to step forward is to uncover the possibilities ahead,” Orchard says. “Once you open yourself up to the idea of change you are much more able to see and accept a new path. Adopting a growth mindset can be a great way to open yourself up to new opportunities.”
Here’s one thing to remember: Although it can be daunting, change is good – and rather unavoidable.
“Constantly preparing for [a] career change is imperative in today’s always-changing career market,” says Orchard. “Becoming complacent can lead to a career dead-end.”
Orchard also recommends working with a professional career coach and/or finding a career mentor.
“Having a growth mindset that includes both ongoing learning and skills development tied to involvement in new opportunities and meeting new people will help [you] navigate the constantly changing job market.”