Getting Out of a Career Slump: Do’s and Don’ts
It happens to the best of us: you wake up one morning and realize there’s nothing about your job that excites you anymore. In other words: you’re in a career slump. As Jenny Blake points out in her article titled “Career Plateaus: How to Move Beyond the Slump,” it’s important to realize that a career slump is actually a good thing. It indicates that you’ve learned all you can in this position and are ready to advance. Keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind so you stay on the right career track:
- Don’t act impulsively. While you might crave immediate action to combat your boredom and restlessness, never make an impulsive career decision.
- Do consider what you want your next step to be. Do you want a new project, an in-house promotion, a new job, or something else? Think carefully about what would get you engaged, challenge you professionally, and keep you on the right track for career advancement.
- Don’t hold back. It takes vision and courage to make your career objectives a reality. If your next step appears too ambitious, break it down into smaller, more attainable steps.
- Do start learning new, relevant skills. It doesn’t matter whether you learn these new skills on the job or in your free time. All that matters is that you’re expanding your professional skillset and knowledge in a manner that supports your career development. Ways to do this include taking on stretch assignments at work, enrolling in an online course, or assuming specific responsibilities in a volunteer position.
- Don’t discuss your slump with your colleagues. You definitely don’t want your supervisor to hear from someone else that you’re not satisfied. He or she could start questioning your loyalty—and that’s not good for job security.
- Do make an appointment to discuss your career development with your supervisor. Before the meeting, prepare one or more possible solutions that would get you more engaged while simultaneously increasing your value to the company. For example, you could suggest spearheading a new project to bring in more clients or ask for company support to earn qualifications that would allow you to take on a more responsible role in the company.
Remember: There are two ways you can try to get out of a career slump. You can act impulsively and risk making a choice that worsens your dissatisfaction, or you can plan conscientiously, take steps to advance, and get passionate about your job again. Keep the above tips in mind and actually beat your career slump!