In my work, I get to hear a common set of beliefs from people who feel stuck at a challenging point in their career. Here are some examples.
I know I have a unique vocation - but the universe hasn’t yet shared what it is!
I’m definitely not one to challenge spiritual beliefs but waiting for the universe to deliver can be a long-tail strategy. In the meantime, inspiration follows the action! To see opportunities, we need to get curious, research, be open to new perspectives, develop self-awareness and have meaningful career conversations. When the universe does send you an update, you can adjust your sails.
A good job is always interesting, challenging, rewarding and well paid.
A book that hit the bestseller lists a few years ago was 'It's Called Work for a Reason'. Such a great title! There are times when our work is tedious, annoying, boring, repetitive and frustrating. That doesn't mean it's not also positive, worthwhile and career building! Being clear on how your current job supports, or doesn't support, your career is professional. Grand gestures are not!
Things will improve once I ... (get on top of my emails / get organised /get more staff / have a holiday)
We’ve all been there, when our work wears us down and we need some meaningful support. There's a realistic period when its manageable ... and then, it's not. If you find yourself relying on hope to get a long-standing career situation righted, draw on whatever reserves you have left, assess, seek help and take the steps you need to get your career (and possibly health) back under control. I think it can be the most difficult time to make a decision, so at the very least, seek guidance and support from a trustworthy advocate.
Life is fair / effort is rewarded / my employer will look after me!
Life is neither fair nor unfair. Career effort and achievement routinely overlooked. An employer might be great and still likely to take care of themselves first. It's naive to depend on others to recognise your efforts or foster your career. You are the only person who can make your career a priority, and nurture and shape its direction.
We can all have periods where we feel stuck, worn down or lack confidence in our direction. Your career is full of decisions, including any decision to remain passive. Similarly, you can thrive and get excited about where your career is headed by getting active, being thoughtful and taking charge of your career's direction.
If you want to learn how you self-manage your career, come to one of my April workshops. They’re not pricey, and you'll get some great insights and develop your confidence to steer your own career.