The pandemic has been a showcase of how companies have had to adapt to a new way of working. Although it has brought about feelings of fear, anxiety and uncertainty, it has given the opportunity for people to think and regroup about their career paths and decisions.
Statistics have shown an overall drop in employment over the pandemic and has resulted in furlough schemes, employees trying to find other part-time work and people thinking of more innovative ways to try and make a little more income.
The unusual circumstances that the pandemic has created surrounding the job market is something that you could maybe use to your advantage. Whether that be your new hybrid working schedule or completely working from home, if you’re finding yourself in a career slump, don’t let these unknown circumstances put you off from trying to navigate outside of your situation. A career slump isn’t an unheard of situation and there are certain steps you can take to try and get out of it.
How do you know when you’re in a career slump?
Knowing when you’re in a career slump can help you decide what it is you need to get out of it. A career slump can equate to feeling overly stagnated in your current role, or knowing that you actually want to pursue a career in something else and you’re just going through the motions of your current position. It can also be a case of loving your job, but just wanting to be slightly more challenged in your career path.
It can feel like an uncomfortable space and you might not attribute it to being in a career slump at first, but there are things you can do to outline the root causes of how you’re feeling. The best thing you can do is put pen to paper and write down things that you feel like you need to get done or how you feel about your career and you’ll be able to identify what you need to do to get yourself back into space where you feel your best.
Whether it be a lack of communication or the want to try new things, writing your feelings down will be a great aid to helping you find out what comes next for you and how to get out of your career slump.
Things you can do to help you get out of your slump
Now that you’ve identified that it’s your career that is making you feel stagnated, you can start to implement a few things in your life to make you feel excited about something again, or even remind you why you wanted to do the job you love in the first place.
Part of your stagnation may be caused by doing the same things on repeat, all day every day so to shake this up you could volunteer for new projects. This could be within your own company, as long as your assigned work isn’t affected, you could go and volunteer with other departments. This will not only allow you to find out more about how your company runs as a whole, but might even get you noticed by your current manager and put you in good stead for getting new things to do.
Interaction can play a big part in your career slump, particularly when working from home, so taking the time to interact with different people might help you more than you think. This could be in the way of networking with other industry professionals or even speaking to people who work in a sector that you are interested in. It could be a LinkedIn outreach to coffee to a video meeting. Speaking to different kinds of people could be a great way for you to get out of your slumped feelings.
2. Keep learning
Education can equate to redirection. Taking a class or finding a way to further your skills, can be a great way to expand your opportunities or even open your eyes to options that you didn’t think were possible for you. Getting a certification or qualification may be just what you need to get you out of your stagnation. If you’ve been thinking about pursuing a certain career, there are many part-time educational options now that you can do alongside your job.
Paired with educating ourselves, checking out the lateral movements within your industry or company, can be a great way to switch things up if there isn’t currently a scope for promotion in your current role. Sometimes moving up to a higher level or position can take time, so taking a lateral move might be just what you need to break the career slump that you are currently in. You can action this by taking an interest in the other departments in your company and making note of your transferable skills, and look for an opportunity. You never know, your line manager might even be encouraging of this and you could come back in better stead for a promotional position than you were before.
3. Health and rest
Health and wellness is an essential part of being happy at your workplace as well as at home. Poor health often leads to minimal productivity, anxiety, stress, and unhappiness, in general. Ensure to get enough sleep during your workdays as it’s essential for getting enough rest and recharge your batteries. Exercise regularly to clear your mind of the day-to-day stress.
Taking a break might be just what you need as a way to regroup what you want out of your career. If a sabbatical is an option where you work, perhaps considering taking this time off may be just what you need to regroup and revise your next career step. You might also be burnt out from your current job and taking a break may actually help you realise you still want your role, but you just need to take a break from it. If you’re thinking about taking a sabbatical, speak to your employer about your options and what flexibility is available to you.