Our work and careers can get pretty complicated today. That’s why one of my favorite things to do is to answer YOUR real-world, real life questions, like the one below.
It’s your turn. What’s the career decision YOU need to make? Click the button below to ask me now. I answer ALL questions (as long as they come from real people, not bots). I also NEVER reveal your name (unless you say I can), and work hard to answer quickly.Click Here to Ask Your Career Question
What’s the Career Decision You Need to Make? Advice to A Reader
Here’s a recent email:
I have been in my current role for 3 years and for about the last year and a half I have felt like I need a change.
The first few years I stayed engaged as I was learning, and the job has a lot of great benefits like flexibility, reasonable hours of work, and a fun environment with colleagues which I value, but those are the only reasons I stay. There is no option for me to do or move into anything else, so I have been losing motivation lately.
My employer also wants me to spend money on courses to become even more of an expert in the field, and I am struggling with this as I almost wish I could spend the money on education unrelated to my field as I am feeling bored of it and feel I need a change.
Because of this, I have been looking for other work but I only seem to be able to land job offers for the exact same thing I do now.
I have an offer for quite a bit more money at a new firm, but I feel underwhelmed mainly because it’s the exact same position with little room for growth. I am becoming bored and disinterested in the industry. Do I take the new job simply to avoid a bad situation at my current place where I feel pressure to invest in a career I know I don’t want long term? I feel that if I take the new job I will still be spending all my free time trying to break into something different as I feel like I have taken this field as far as I want it to go.
Thanks in advance for your help!
What would you say to B? Here’s how I replied:
Hi B, and thanks for writing.
What jumps out in your letter is that you’re bored and ready for a new adventure. For many of the smart professionals I work with, once you’ve mastered one area, you’re not interested in doing it over and over again. You’re ready to master something else.
It’s the difference between the mountain climber who gets to the top and builds a cabin to live there, versus the climber who is now looking for the next mountain.
I’ve seen a lot of jobs seem at first like a big mountain to climb (for example, perhaps there’s a need to create new structure, build different client or customer relationships, or get a project or product moving forward, etc.)
But once you’re at the top of that mountain—the structure’s in place, the clients are there, the project is complete—the company needs someone (often, you) to maintain that status.
In other words, they want you to build the cabin and move in.
But you? Well, you’re ready for the next mountain to climb.
Is that you? If so, here are some thoughts that can help.
1. It’s Time to Get Clarity
I hear you saying you’re getting new opportunities –which is great–but they’re offers to do the same thing that’s boring you now. That’s not great.
So that says to me it’s time for you to do the work to get career clear.
Do you know what you want the next mountain to be? What direction you want your work (and your life) to move toward?
(If that’s not crystal clear, grab my free worksheet, “Creating Your Personal Vision,” by texting “MYVISION” to the number 44222.)
Why is clarity so important? Once get clear on what you want–-not just what you want to move away from–-you can start to evaluate new opportunities (and even opportunities inside your company that don’t exist yet) against what who you are and what you want now.
2. Once You’re Clear, Don’t Give In to Pressure from Others
One of the hardest things to do once we’re clear on what we want is to stop focusing on the needs and demands of others.
Sure, there are times we need to do things we don’t like to do to get along. But we need to hold our own boundaries and make our own decisions.
So don’t give in to pressure by your boss or leaders to spend your own money or time on classes that you aren’t interested in. If an organization really needs someone to obtain a particular skill or knowledge, they will eventually need to make the investment in training, in hiring someone who already knows it, or in figuring out how to do without it.
Learning something new is great, but there are millions of things to learn. Why would you make a personal investment in a skill you don’t want to use?
3. Trust Your Gut
Finally, trust that your gut is telling you you’re ready for the next thing.
It takes practice, but you can shift your energy away from being frustrated about where you are and point instead toward paying attention to what excites you, interests you, and what might be possible in the future.
These words probably only scratch the surface, so stay in touch and feel free to ask more questions. I believe in you and know you can do this!
YOUR TURN: What’s the career decision YOU need to make? Ask your confidential question here. I answer all questions (as long as they come from real people, not spambots), NEVER reveal your name (unless you say I can), and work hard as I can to answer quickly.Click Here to Ask Your Career Question