You’re not happy at work but you need to stick around until you can figure something else out. The trouble is each day you stay stuck you and feel worse and more uncertain about whether making a change is even possible. Even if it is possible you have no clue what else you’d like to do or what you’d be good at.
Perhaps you’ve been blindsided by job loss. You feel completely overwhelmed, worried and uncertain about what to do now.
Here are 5 common career concerns along with the steps to take to get yourself moving past career overwhelm, indecision, worry, and feeling like you don’t even know where to start.
1. You Hate Your Job
When the thought of going to work on Monday morning has been filling you with dread for months with no sign of improving, I would like to offer a few small steps to take before handing in your resignation letter. They are:
1. Learn to Rest
2. Learn to Connect
3. Learn to Contribute.
It’s not always possible or practical to simply quit a job you hate. To read more about learning to rest, learning to connect, and learning to contribute, check out 3 Small Steps to Take When You Hate Your Job.
There are also steps you can taketo start improving things at work right away. You might feel that your work situation is worth trying to salvage rather than throwing in the towel. Sometimes, it’s worth trying to make things better where you are, if you can. If you are looking for a place to start, here are a few small steps to take to see if you can improve your current situation:
1. View your situation as temporary.
2. Start a list of things you'd change about your job if you could.
3. Start planning something on the side.
You’d be amazed at what can happen when you take control of your situation instead of simply feeling like a victim to it. To learn more, read 3 Small Steps to Feel Happy at Work When You Aren’t.
2. You Want to Find Work You Love
Here are the 3 small steps to take to figure out what you love:
1. Make a list of things that make you happy.
2. Make a list of things you do every day.
3. Compare these lists + adjust accordingly.
Let’s be real. You aren’t going to love everything about your work every single day. Even if you LOVE your job, there will still be frustrations, bad days, and headaches. But if you’re motivated by some aspect of your work it will compel you do a good job and get you through those difficult parts. Check out my article 3 Small Steps to Figure Out What You Love.
Please don’t think that just because you are no longer in your 20s that these steps don’t apply to you! They definitely do. In 3 Small Steps to Take When You're Over 50 Need to Change Careers I dispel some myths about career change over 50. They are:
1. “I won’t be able to compete with the younger generations’ technical skills.”
2. “Nobody wants to hire someone over 50”.
3. “If I change careers at this age, I’ll look foolish.”
These are all beliefs my clients have come to me with time after time. These untruths keep people stuck when it makes sense that your interests and priorities change as you get older. Why not accept and embrace this? You only have one life. Don’t let silly myths be the only thing stopping you from living it wholeheartedly.
3. You Feel Overwhelmed, Uncertain, and Can’t Decide What to Do or Where to Start
Let’s talk about three approaches that you can put into practice to reduce some of the decision-making fear and overwhelm right away.
Just because change is a normal part of the human experience, it doesn’t mean it feels easy or natural. It’s a stressful time and you are feeling vulnerable enough as it is. This is a recipe for decision-making and knowing where to focus tough. This can keep us stuck. Here are three ways to use your mind and your body to reduce overwhelm and help you make progress on your goals:
1. Reduce Information
2. Schedule Tasks
3. Interrupt Your Physiology
Having some go-to tools to pull out during times that feel unsettled can be comforting. Read more about these in 3 Small Steps to Take to Conquer Career Change Overwhelm + Can't Decide What to Do Next.
Once you have some tools in place to get yourself focused and intentional why not start by becoming more self-aware? Take some time to get curious about what make you tick! Think about things like you interests, values, and skills.
When it comes to what interests you, here’s an exercise to try:
1. Pay attention to what you can spend hours doing that feels like minutes.
2. Pay attention to what you are willing to give up all your vacation, time, money, and sleep for.
3. What is it you can’t resist? There’s something that you talk and think about all. the. time. You probably don’t even realize that other people aren’t talking and thinking about this much at all.
Want to dig into your interests a bit more? Keeping reading 3 Small Steps to Figure Out What Interests You.
When it comes to honouring your values, you’ll want to find a way to identify occupations that you might find satisfying based on the similarity between your work values and the characteristics of the occupations you’re considering.
Complete a simple, 3 step exercise to find out how important each of the common work-related values is to you. You can do that in 3 Small Steps to Figure Out What You Value + Why You Should Care.
4. You’re Not Sure If You Should Stay or Go
Look for these signs, if you see one or more it may be time to consider your options.
2. You don’t feel appreciated, you aren’t paid enough, and you feel overworked.
3. You feel a pull to try something different.
There’s pretty compelling evidence showing the important role your work plays in your health. Read more about this in 3 Small Steps to Help You Decide If You Should Change Careers.
5. You Don’t Know What Else is Out There
If you are feeling at a loss about where to get information about the labour market various career options, I share some steps and great resources in 3 Small Steps to Learn About Other Careers.
Even if you feel pretty happy and secure in your workplace, it’s important to stay informed about what’s happening in the labour market to help you plan your professional development, stay marketable, and in the know in case your situation changes at some point. Here are 3 steps to take to get yourself up to speed on the latest and greatest careers:
1. Research Online
2. Network your arse off.
3. Informational Interviews
You might not feel like you have time to fit the necessary activities in to bring yourself up to speed but it’s not optional. It's so much easier to do a little each day, week or month than try to catch up and deal with the consequences after you neglect it for years. At a minimum, it’s a good idea to commit at least a few hours each month to keeping up with what’s going on outside of your own career bubble. You don’t want to wait until something unforeseen happens like a job loss to start networking.
If you are in the unfortunate position of being blindsided by a layoff, firing etc., you’re not alone. In my article, 3 Small Steps to Take When You Lose Your Job, I share exactly what you need to do first. The 3 things are:
1. Square Things Away at Work
2. Contact Employment Insurance
3. Make Some Plans
When this happens you might feel like your entire life is out of control but it’s not. You are still the boss, and worthy of financial and career stability but you need to be in the driver’s seat. Don’t view this set back as more than that.
So get out there and start conquering your career! Starting with these small steps will empower you to take control of your career rather than let it control you.
Looking for more help or one on one coaching? Learn more here.