It might be the autumn blues, which comes with its host of summer holiday-past remembrances, but the reality is that many professionals experience the sensation of being stuck at a point of career monotony around this time of the year. Many of them decide to quit their job for it (like this former animator-turned-Internet meme famously did), even though what they might truly want is a change of pace, more challenges, or even an entirely different career track. It’s always a good idea to consider what you really want from a job, weigh all your options and take an informed decision, if you’ve reached a threshold of career monotony. If you feel you’re in a rut, the five perspective shifting tips and tricks below might help you delve deeper into the problem.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
This is a particularly useful question, as it is important for those experiencing career monotony to understand that it is a legitimate question at any age. For the purpose of this discussion, however, hark back to the carefree days of childhood. Remember what you dreamed of, back when you didn’t have a mortgage, outstanding debt, or bills to pay. Do any of those dreams tell you something relevant about what truly makes you happy, on a professional level?
Why did you choose this job?
… or did it choose you? Oftentimes, people end up feeling dissatisfied with their career choices, because those choices weren’t their own to begin with. They were either dictated by their families, never moved up and out from their first post-graduation job, or stuck with the one job that paid them best. This is what can be called a ‘blind decision’ and in order to avoid making the same mistake in the future, one needs to acknowledge having made it to begin with. It always pays to know your past, before attempting to forge your future, and this certainly applies to career monotony and strategies to avoid it.
How can you make your dreams come true?
In adulthood, dreams can and do come true, but it’s not by magic, or even by life altering changes. Most often, it’s because of the far more subtle changes determined by adaptability that they become a reality. Say you dreamt of becoming a police officer when you were young – and today you’re an accountant. It would be somewhat unlikely for you to quit accounting in order to pursue a career in fighting fire. But think about what attracted you to law enforcement when you were young. Was it a sense of justice? Was it the many challenges of different cases? Learn about your underlying desires, in order to pursue more appropriate roles for yourself within your current field or at your current workplace.
Are you sure a change is what you need?
People tend to believe that a change would do them good, irrespective of the actual circumstances. That’s when they leap in, head-first, into decisions they don’t really take the time to consider. If a completely different career is what you need, in order to escape your current sensation of career monotony, then start laying your ground before taking the leap. Learn of current opportunities that match your dreams. Network within your field of choice. Build connections and make sure they understand your goals for the future. Do some volunteering to acquire some experience in that field. Most importantly, though, give yourself a lot of time before taking a decision you might later find difficult to overturn. Allow all the information you reveal in this process of self-discovery to truly sink in – it all makes more sense once you give it time.