Saying bye bye to your job once it gets stagnant?
You are excited about the prospect of a new job. You drive yourself day in and day out to be the best you can to climb up the career ladder. Then reality strikes.
You get stuck in the daily grind and feel that you have no way to move forward because of the situation at work. What’s next? Do you just resign to fate and go with the flow? Should you necessarily leave the company and find “better opportunities”? It’s easy to freeze or leave but staying on to fight is tough. How then can you re-focus and do what’s purposeful to propel you forward?
Reach out to others
Whenever I’m feeling stagnant or jaded from the daily work routine, I’ll speak to people and try to gather their views on my situation. This helps me assess, “Is it really as bad as I thought or am I simply just tired and require a short break?” Very often, an outsider’s point of view can help cover your blind spots and unlock some troubles you are facing at the moment. By listening to their sharing, whether it’s in a directly relevant context or not, it often sparks new ideas and with a bit of reflection, the “Ah Ha” moment comes!
It’s normal to feel apprehensive, especially for Asians, because most of us do not like troubling others. However, I must say that interestingly a lot of people I spoke to are very willing to share their experiences and lend a helping hand. The problem? The lack of opportunity! By reaching out to them, you might actually be helping them too! Jokes aside, I believe it’s the sharing and giving part of things that matter the most. It isn’t about what you can gain out of it at times, but rather how you can give and add value to others. So don’t be afraid to reach out when you feel lost and helpless. Help is in abundance as long as you are willing to take the first step.
I wasn’t quite a books person until recently when I came across Laszlo Bock’s “Work Rules”. Wow, that blew my mind and made me realize what reading can help you achieve. It truly broadened my perspective and since then, reading became a habit. I was excited to pick up a new book, in particular self-help books, to learn something new on a regular basis. After all, if you feel like you are not getting help, what’s better than getting a self-help book?
Just like speaking to others, the book is actually telling you something. When you are engaging with the book, you are somewhat translating your problems and contextualizing the content to try and solve the issues you are facing. It has always helped me clear my doubts and gave me a lot more ideas on how I can approach tough situations. After all, what’s there to lose besides some time well spent?
Draw inspirations from tangential experiences
A friend of mine shared the term “tangential experience” with me sometime back. What that means is basically to draw relevance from experiences that are not directly related to your problem but that allows you to gather inspirations and apply to your situation. For me, an example is Basketball and HR. I often use my idol in basketball, Kobe Bryant, to motivate me to do well in my profession. Kobe being the hardest worker and having a strong drive to achieve results has helped shaped my mind as a HR professional when approaching tough situations.
We all have our individual passion, interest and unique experiences. All these can be inter-linked in one way or another if you bother to think about the commonalities. Back to the example of Basketball and HR, some commonalities I can think of is that basketball is a team sport and as HR professionals, I’m there to help shape teams to perform at a higher level. It’s not rocket science so start thinking and I’m sure you will find what you need from there!
Build skills that complement your core
Finally, learning is a lifelong journey. If you believe that you have already learnt everything necessary in your core functions, it’s probably a good time to start branching out and exploring skills beyond that. Consider equipping yourself with skills that can complement your core areas to make yourself even better.
As a HR professional, I’m often dealing with stakeholders ranging from senior management to my line divisions. Communication is therefore a key skill that will help me do my job better besides the functional knowledge that I have acquired over the years. That brought me to Toastmasters where I started getting involved in the public speaking space. What the activity taught me was how to better craft my messages, different ways to deliver a message effectively and achieving the desired outcome through proper framing. These skills definitely made me a more effective communicator when I work with my stakeholders at work. Without which, I might just focus solely on the technicalities without understanding if others are taking in the information effectively. There are definitely many other ways to do it but this is one example that worked out pretty well for me.
It is easy to find reasons and justify why things cannot be done or blame others for your plight. But what makes a person stronger is when you are brave enough to find many ways to get the thing done under the toughest situation. Instead of channeling your energy on the negatives, why not utilize it to do more and achieve better outcomes from there?