Are you getting frustrated and bored in your job? Do you feel that you’re not getting recognised or getting the promotion you deserve?
You know you want to change things for the better but it’s sometimes difficult to know how to go about it.
If you’re unhappy in your job, it’s tempting to think that a complete change is the answer. We can all daydream about what it would be like to do something completely different. You may feel that you’ve had enough of corporate life and that setting up your own business is the answer. Or you may feel ready to give it all up, travel in the Amazon rain forest for a year and write a book about it!
But how much change?
But is this what you really want? Change doesn’t always have to be dramatic. It’s possible that some smaller changes can make the difference you want, such as moving to a different role in the same organisation with new responsibilities and new colleagues. Or you may decide that you really like what you do but that you need a change of organisation, or even industry.
In reality, it takes a certain amount of initiative and assertiveness to make change happen where you already are. Yet there may be things you can do to re-boot your current job. For example, could you take on a project outside your normal remit that would raise your profile or could you give a presentation at an industry event on a relevant topic? Maybe you could enhance your skills with an additional training or a qualification that will be valued by your organisation?
Get your boss onside
As a starter, how about discussing with your boss how you could develop and progress in your current role? Maybe they don’t realise that you’re not very satisfied with how things are at the moment. The key in these conversations is not to be overly demanding, but equally not appearing as a pushover either. It will take a degree of assertiveness, which involves the ability to appropriately communicate and express yourself in an honest but respectful manner.
Some tips for these conversations:
- Make sure you know the outcome you would ideally like and prepare how you are going to present your ‘case’;
- Clearly define the benefits not only for you, but for your boss, department and the company as a whole;
- Choose an appropriate time to maximize receptivity and impact. For example, don’t schedule it when you know your boss is particularly busy or stressed;
- Keep the discussion positive and constructive at all times, resisting the temptation to moan or complain;
- Don’t expect instant answers. Most people need time to digest information especially if the changes you propose also impact others;
- Be patient. Most changes take time to implement.
Or is it time to move on?
Of course, if you find that your suggestions are not well received, or things haven’t moved on in the way you would like, you will then need to dust off the CV and LinkedIn profile and consider an external move.
It’s normal to become frustrated at certain points in your career. The temptation then is to make a big change. But what’s at the heart of your frustrations may be fixable with some self-awareness, planning and assertiveness. You may find that you can achieve your career goals in your current organisation, or even your current role. If not, a change of organisation and culture may be the answer.
Remember- life’s too short to do a job you hate!