What’s wrong with my career?
This is a guest post, written by Steph Staszko, a careers and recruitment blogger for Blue Octopus Recruitment Consultancy.
It seems we spend the majority of our lives dwelling on our financial situations and where our career destinies lie. Minor problems and setbacks within a career are to be expected; if your career is taking over your life and causing you serious problems however, it’s time to address the issues head on and resolve them for a successful and fulfilling working life.
I’m Going Nowhere
It’s normal to encounter feelings of boredom in your job – when you spend an average of 37.5 hours a week performing the same tasks, you can’t expect every minute to be exciting! If you’re stuck in a job you consider to be “dead-end” however, the daily grind can really cause your motivation to wane – along with your happiness.
Many people stay in these dead-end jobs for an “easy life”, but when you actually assess the situation how easy is this life? Financial strains can be a major block preventing people from moving forward in their careers and they end up in a vicious circle of scraping by unhappily on an unsatisfactory wage. In order to forward your career you have to take risks, if you’re genuinely miserable and dissatisfied with your job then is it time to consider a career change? If you would like to explore options further visit the Graduate Prospects website or contact your University’s Careers and Employability Service for an appointment.
There are places you can seek financial help from when changing career – speak to not-for-profit advice services such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or the Greater Manchester Pay and Employment Rights Advice Service. You may also be entitled to additional advice or support from your Job Centre, where staff can advise on schemes such as Access to Work if you have disabilities or additional support needs.
If you have not already done so, register with your University Careers and Employability Service’s Job site or try online jobs board or recruitment agencies with specialist links to careers you are interested in. Also your University’s Careers and Employability Service will have guidelines and job search tips for you.
I Want Their Job
There’s always that one friend who seems to have everything you’ve ever wanted in life – an exciting relationship, supportive family and the perfect job with excellent progression opportunities.
Wanting what others have is a sign of discontentment, and rather than worrying about what your friend is doing you need to address the problem that’s closer to home. Focus on positive aspects of your career and identify areas for improvement. It may be that you’re feeling complacent in your current role, if so, you could try asking for additional responsibilities or an opportunity to work shadow other people/departments for example, or even go for a promotion to give yourself more of a challenge. You could also ask your friend what their key to success has been so far; if they’re a true friend they’ll avoid bragging and provide you with invaluable advice that could give you a whole new perspective on your career.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that people often sugar-coat certain aspects of their lives to appear more successful in front of peers and they might not be as happy as they so publicly claim.
I Hate my Colleagues
Life can really be a drag when you don’t get on with your colleagues – you spend more of your life with them than you do your loved ones! However there’s a difference between being civil with colleagues and being made to feel uncomfortable or bullied within the workplace.
If you feel you’re being treated unfairly the worst thing you can do is keep quiet and meander through your workload miserably.
Never feel pressured by someone to resign, the first thing to do is tackle the problem at its source. Addressing the colleague (directly) who is making your life a misery may prompt them to stop – they may not have even realised they were making you feel that way. If you aren’t comfortable speaking to them yourself, or previous attempts to do so have failed, then take the issue higher up the ladder and confide in a Manager who you trust will take your case seriously.
If it’s a senior member of staff who’s treating you unfairly it may seem like you have nowhere to turn – contact your Trade Union if applicable or try mediation via the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
Progressing in a career can be the most exciting time of your life, learning new skills and working your way up the ladder can be extremely awarding. Almost everyone has a problem with their job at some point in their lives, the key is to address the problem as soon as it arises to prevent it from escalating into an unresolvable issue.