You might remember your parents working one career their whole lives. Traditionally, people left school, got a job that they were qualified for or liked the look of, and stuck with it through the ups and downs until retirement. The world has changed, however. It’s now thought that most of us will have around ten jobs during our working lives, many of which will be in different professions.
There are several reasons for this. Firstly, we work for longer. Across the globe, the age of retirement is increasing all of the time. We live longer, we’re healthy for longer and can work for a lot longer. This means that we’re less likely to stick to something that doesn’t make us happy or that we are bored of. In your 40’s, you could realistically still have another 30 years of work ahead of you, would you want to spend it doing something that you didn’t love or weren’t very good at?
We also have greater opportunities today. We still make the decision to stay on to higher education or leave to pursue work when we are 18. But, that’s not the end of it. You’re not tied to that decision for the rest of your life, you’ve always got options, and with the growth of adult education and online study, it’s never too late to learn. Which also means that it’s never too late for a career change.
Financial pressures can also lead to us seeking a career change. Our parents might have had a tight few years while they qualified and gained experience. But, then promotions and pay rises started to come, houses were bought, and their children grew up. Nowadays, many of us struggle to buy a home until our children have left it and some of us are
The high costs of inflation and housing, coupled with lower than inflation pay rises, mean that even with promotions, our financial situation might not improve. People are more likely to look for better-paid work elsewhere than stick with something hoping that things will improve.
These aren’t the only reasons that we seek alternative employment, but perhaps the most common. Unfortunately, however, this isn’t always positive. Sometimes, because we’ve got so many options, and a long time ahead of us, we jump ship at the first sign of trouble.
Our careers halt, and instead of seeing it as a natural down, which will be followed by an up, instead of working hard to get our career back on track, we give up and move on. Only to find ourselves stuck in a pattern of jumping from one unhappy job to another. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can get your career back on track, instead of just moving on.
When we start a new job, we’re keen to learn. Everything is new and exciting and every day is different. Then, over time, even different days feel the same. We stop learning, and we start going through the motions. Our brains stagnate, we begin to take our work for granted, and we lose interest.
If you are a nurse, one of the reasons why you should get a DNP is to learn. Yes, it can lead to promotions, higher pay and greater responsibilities, but it’s more than that. Learning fires your passion. It keeps you interested and enthusiastic and makes you feel as though you’ve got options. See if there are any relevant training courses that you could go on, or ask a superior if they could help you to learn new skills.
Ask for Help, and Prepare for Honest Feedback
If you keep getting passed over for promotions or you feel as though despite your best efforts your career has hit a standstill, it can be a good idea to ask your manager why.
Ask them for an appraisal, so that you’ve got a chance to sit down one on one to talk. Firstly, this gives you a chance to let them know that you are keen to move forward. Don’t just assume that they know if you’ve never explicitly said it, not everyone wants to.
But, it’s also your chance to get some honest feedback. So you should make sure you are prepared for it. Ask them what you could do to improve, and make a future plan together, setting achievable goals and targets to help you to get there.
Unfortunately, a successful career isn’t all about skills, knowledge, and experience. Employers don’t just want someone that knows the job. They want a competent and confident leader. Someone that can sell themselves and bring clients in. Someone that’s a part of the more social aspects of the business.
If you always go home straight away at the end of a shift, and never attend work parties or events, you might not be thought of when the next opportunity presents itself.
Take a Break
Sometimes our performance and motivation falter when we’re tired. Most of us have families to look after, homes to clean, and even a side hustle to give our attention. We try so hard to be good at everything and at some point, something has to give. We work ourselves into exhaustion so that we stop loving our work and instead feel stressed out and tired.
When this happens, the best way to get your career back on track, and fall in love with it again is to take a break. A big break, like a holiday, can be precisely what you need, but only if you commit to avoiding work emails, calls, and social media updates and letting yourself have a real rest.
When you are back at work, you should still be giving yourself a break. Don’t work on your days off and try to stop thinking about work when you clock off for the day.
Get Back to the Basics
Sometimes when we’re so focused on moving forward, we forget the basics. We try so hard to show that we can do the job that we want, that we forget to do the job that we’ve already got. Take it back to basics, make sure you are giving your core job attention and brush up on your presentation. Sometimes the simple things make the most considerable difference.