If you feel like you’re in a rut at work, you might be reaching a plateau. Don’t worry, all of us have been there.
Career roadblocks happen all the time. Sometimes, it could be that you feel overwhelmed with tasks at work and are losing motivation. Or it could even be because you feel like your job no longer challenges you. Whichever the case, the feeling stagnant is something that needs to be addressed.
I have a friend Simon who is a highly motivated and independent content creator. He has been working in the field for over 6 years. Simon is just a diploma holder but, his willingness to learn and pick up new skills has allowed him to climb the ranks quickly in his industry.
Recently, he shared with me about a time he hit a roadblock in his career journey. He had been headhunted for a job that offered to pay him significantly higher than current salary and that provided him several opportunities to expand his knowledge and pick up valuable new skills. Thinking that this opportunity was worthwhile, he then decided to leave his current job despite being in very good terms with his colleagues and having a great track record there.
However, his new job was nothing like it seemed in the interview. Simon had to wear several hats and was constantly overloaded with work from the very beginning. He was asked to do tasks that were completely irrelevant to his field. Worst, he found it difficult to foster a good relationship with his boss and colleagues.
He slowly started losing interest in his job and dreaded going to work every day. He felt like he was being stuck in his position. He realized that he was not given freedom in his job and that made him feel like he was hitting a plateau. He felt like he couldn’t leave his new work place either because he had just started not long ago.
Recognizing that he was becoming stagnant, he decided to come up with an exit plan. He decided to commit to the current job for a few more months to absorb as much experience as he could before moving to the next job. He eventually did find a job that promoted self-growth while paying him well.
This experience helped him realize that money does not equate success. Despite taking home a higher salary, the job left him feeling stagnant and unfulfilled.
If you’re feeling unmotivated at your current role, do you really need to stay on at least a year? Do any of the below reasons resonate with you?
1. You’ve Taken a Job Without Fully Understanding the Roles
Like Simon, have you found yourself accepting a job offer without fully understanding the ropes of the trade? It’s completely normal to take on a new job because of the attractive pay, however, it is important to consider that this salary might come at a high cost. In Simon’s case, it made him lose his work-life balance and placed him in an unfortunate position where he felt like he no longer had control over his career.
If you are in this situation, it might be high time to have a conversation with your boss. Explain how your responsibilities have changed from what you expected and how this makes you feel. If you don’t get a good response or find that your boss is not accommodating to your needs, it is time to start deciding on an exit plan.
2. You Have No New Opportunities to Grow
Work can easily become an endless cycle of different variations of the same tasks. If you’ve stayed in your job for years, it can be very possible that your career progression has stalled. To remain relevant in the working world, you have to constantly learn and pick up new skills. Being too comfortable in your role can cause your value to diminish.
An easy way to tackle this is to approach your boss for new tasks and responsibilities. However, if you feel like you have enough on your plate at work already, try exploring areas that interest you apart from work. For example, if you’re interested in crafting or designing join clubs that help you expand these hobbies. It could potentially be a value add to your resume and could open up your network to new career options as well!
3. You Are No Longer in Touch with The Company’s Mission
When we are too focused on our job, we can sometimes lose sight on why we began this career journey or our values in the first place. Other times, the longer you work, you might realize that you no longer feel passionate about your company’s values or culture.
For example, I had a friend who signed up to be a writer for a company that seemingly prioritized helping the community and spreading kindness in Singapore. She was thrilled about the job because she felt like it aligned with her own morals and values. However, not long into the job, she realized that the company was actually more profit-driven than she had initially expected. She felt censored in her speech and limited in her reach to the community. She eventually left and managed to secure a job that was more aligned with her goals.
If you feel like you’re in a similar position as my friend was and that you are not able to fully achieve your goals in your current position, figure out your action plan to make your goals a reality. Whether this means changing your job or finding your passion outside work, start planning for your future now.
We all go through plateaus at work, the most important thing to do is to recognizing and overcoming the stagnation. Quickly start plotting your transition towards change!