Once you see that your career is going nowhere, or at least not in the direction you hoped it would go, you have three choices in front of you. You can either give up, start building your life outside of the workplace or steer the course of your career. One of the most common misconceptions about passive life choices is that they are the easiest, when, in reality, the opposite holds true. The accumulative effort in terms of mental strain and stress that this approach presents you with is simply too hard to bear. Therefore, this might not be the best course of action.
As for the idea of building your life outside of the workplace, this is a fine idea, as well as something you should definitely do regardless of the direction that your professional life is taking. Nonetheless, it might not be enough. On average, people spend more than 8 hours in their workplace, while there are a lot of those who find that this is not enough (from a financial standpoint), which may force them to work up to 12-13 hours each day. Spending most of your waking hours on doing something you see as pointless can be devastating in every way conceivable. Therefore, here are several tips that can help you deal with this problem.
Try taking a break
The first thing you may want to try out is taking a break from work and focusing your effort elsewhere. It’s sometimes incredibly difficult to know whether your troubles or the sensation of not going anywhere is caused by a simple exhaustion or a deeply rooted problem of a different sort. During this break, you might want to try and cross something minor off your bucket list, acquire a minor skill you’ve always dreamed off and simply blow off some steam. If things remain unchanged after this, you have a more serious problem that may require a more systemic approach.
Change the company
A loyal employee often ignores more lucrative offers from other employers, while putting themselves at a disadvantage. There’s nothing wrong with checking what’s out there for you, even if you’re currently happy with your job. Proactivity is always better than retroactivity but you need to remember that there’s one person you owe loyalty more than anyone else – yourself. Keep in mind, however, that a job market may be particularly hostile to those who are desperate to change their career. This is why you might want to start exploring your options before things become desperate.
Moreover, you could also try to talk to your employer and tell them exactly how you feel. While you may assume they already know, you find yourself staggered at just how oblivious they can be. You may feel like you’re going nowhere but your employee might see you as their most vital employee, which means that they would be willing to renegotiate your terms of employment out of fear of losing you.
The field you’re currently working in may not be as restricting as the location you’re performing it in. For instance, you might be working at the only company within that particular field in the entire region. The lack of competition might mean that your current employer doesn’t have to fear their star employees getting poached or abandoning them for a more lucrative offer. In other words, with that same set of skills you possess at the moment, you might be able to find more gainful employment elsewhere. Moving to a bigger business hub like Australia and applying for an Australian Work Visa might, therefore, be the solution to the problem.
Acquire a new set of skills
Those looking for a job in a different industry might be unpleasantly surprised to find that their current skills aren’t in that high of a demand. After all, you’ve spent years developing and honing skills that were necessary for your previous job, only to find that your career was heading into a dead-end all along. Luckily, you’re never too old to learn or acquire a new skill, especially with all those online courses and learning materials to be found online. That being said, training yourself in areas that will benefit your future career needs to take a high priority on your to-do list.
Find a second job
One more question you need to ask yourself is whether you’re unhappy with the nature of your work, your chances of advancement or by how much money you make. The latter can, sometimes, be resolved by finding a side-job. Think about it, it would be a shame to quit a job you’re good at and, at which, you might advance in several years, even if the money isn’t that great. This can be solved in other ways like by looking for some side-work online or subletting your current apartment. A prospect of a long-term reward can be a powerful motivator.
Talk to a friend
At the end of the day, you should try talking to someone about your problem. It can be your boss, your co-worker, your HR representative or, better yet, a friend. In this day and age, career changes are a common occurrence, which means that a person you’re talking to probably has a first-hand experience of what you’re currently going through. Even if they aren’t able to offer any valuable advice, sometimes, just verbalizing your problems and concerns may have a therapeutic effect. Either way, you can’t know until you try.
Sticking with a job that you know is bad for your mental health is never a wise choice. At the end of the day, no matter how mentally strong you are, there are still some limitations to what you can endure. In other words, it’s never worth sacrificing your mental health and long-term happiness for some momentary financial gains. Therefore, once you’re 100 percent certain that your career is going nowhere, it’s time to make a stand and start changing things for the better.