Tricky Stuff

10 Signs You Need a Career Change

 

If you are unhappy at work, you are not the only one. When 2016 dawned, it was predicted that by the end of the year, half of us would be in a new job.

This could mean changing your employer, or it could mean a complete career change for some, with home learning courses presenting a real possibility for the 60% of us unhappy in our work to make a change.

It can, however, be easier to stick with what you know, with the old adage of ‘the grass is not always greener on the other side’ ringing in your ears. It may be that the time has come to swap the drudgery of the commute to a job you dread, to commuting to one that you love (and look forward to!).

But how can you tell?

Here are 10 signs you need a career change…

#1 Sunday night dread

This doesn’t just affect just Sunday night but can impact on any evening before you are due to go to work in the morning. If you work a Monday to Friday job and slump on a Sunday evening on the sofa, dreading what Monday will bring, it may be time to look at making a change. More importantly, if you lose sleep over work, the time has REALLY come for a change.

#2 Your future – full of promotions or murky, dim and full of menacing shadows

Is it a job or a career? There is a fine line between the two. Some people seem happy to turn up. Do their thing and go home, confident that at the end of the month they can pay the bills. If, however, you want something more – like a promotion or a career ladder to make your way up – and your current job is not offering these chances, maybe this is enough to convince you to look elsewhere.

#3 The passion is gone

Work is a relationship. When the passion is gone and the va-va-voom non-existent, then the soul-sucking starts. The feeling of being stuck, being used and of no real future in it makes you feel degraded and unchallenged. The time has come to change… and we are only reason number 3!

#4 Feeling undervalued

When you feel undervalued the outcome is obvious is all to see – de-motivation. It is the key cause of someone feeling rubbish about what they do, feeling they achieve little and that frankly, if they didn’t turn up tomorrow, it really wouldn’t matter.

#5 Trapped

This can be a physical sense as well as a psychological one, and being stunted by not being able or allowed to grow in your role. It may be that you are doing a disservice to yourself by sticking with something that is essentially, unfulfilling. Isn’t it time you tap into your true worth?

#6 Just soul-sucking all round…

Some work place cultures are created when management are not transparent, with one false promise after another. The truth is, some workplaces are just not healthy work environments and the negative impact of this on you and your emotional well-being is not to be underestimated. Unless you are seriously in love with your workplace, it is time to hot foot it out of there.

#7 Dragging-clock syndrome

We all know the agony of watching the clock tick slowly by. Every passing minute seems to last for hours and hours. Constant boredom kills passion, motivation and any sense of self-respect that you started your job with. If your eight-hour shift is passing so very s-l-o-w-l-y the time has come…

#8 The pay is rubbish

In some cases, low pay is part and parcel of economic conditions but some people find that when they compare their rate of pay with that of others in the same or similar role with another employer, they find that their rate of pay is incredibly low.

#9 The green-eyed monster

When you hear the joys expressed by friends or family as they talk about work, do you mask your envy with a wide grin? If so… you know the drill.

#10 You no longer recognize yourself

When work is a source of an identity crisis, there should be no other reason that you need to start looking for a new job. But rather than heading for the same old job, doing the same old thing, why not consider re-training with a home learning course?

 

This blog post was provided by NCC Home Learning in the UK who offer a range of home learning courses that can propel you from a job to a career. Better still, they offer incredible support packages that make learning from home even easier. Making learning fun again is key for many students, something that many find is part and parcel of working with a leading online home learning course provider such as NCC.

Should you help get your co-worker fired?

by Kathi Miller-Miller

Is it time to get that inept co-worker fired?

Be honest, you’ve silently wished for the day your co-worker ‘Joe’ (not his real name of course) would hear two little words that would make your life SO much easier.

Once you realize you’ve spent more time dreaming about ‘Joe’ hearing, “You’re Fired” than wondering who Donald Trump will offend next on the campaign trail, it’s time to quit watching ‘The Apprentice’ reruns and start planning your approach.

Offer a Hand.  Offer a What?!?  Trust me I realize the only help you probably want to give ‘Joe’ is to pack up his desk.  But until management decides to take that path, it’s your responsibility as a team member to play nice.  Think of it like this: Being shunned at work sucks when things are going well….and it really sucks when you add performance problems to the mix.

Mind your Own Business.  At the risk of being overly blunt (sorry I’m a direct communicator!) ‘Joe’s’ performance is likely none of your business.  Instead of spending all sorts of time and energy trying to imagine what office life could be like without him, put that same enthusiasm into your daily assignments and you may just be surprised what you can accomplish!

Consider what you Don’t Know.  I know it’s hard to image but it’s quite possible that your boss (and maybe even your bosses boss!) are aware that ‘Joe’ isn’t really doing a great job on your project.  But it’s also quite likely that they have a very good reason for not showing him the door.  Perhaps he has a unique skill set that’s hard to replace.  Or maybe he is having some personal issues and they are trying to be supportive while he works through them.  Regardless, chances are pretty strong that you don’t know everything (or perhaps even anything!) about dear old ‘Joe’!

Tell and Run.  If you absolutely believe that no one in management is aware of the urgent need for ‘Joe’ to be relieved of their duties, then and only then, it may be time to share your concerns with management. But here’s the tricky part, it’s absolutely critical you share your info in a calm professional manner and then…walk away and focus on doing your own job.  Why?  Because while most bosses appreciate a heads up once, continued efforts to get ‘Joe’ fired do one of two things.  You’ll end up looking like a trouble-maker or potentially worse…someone that has no confidence in management to handle the situation.   Neither of which are a quick career path to the C-Suite.

Ignore. These six little letters can certainly be a big challenge.  But sometimes it’s simply best to ignore something rather than be consumed by it.  Once you’ve offered to help, considered what you may not know and talked to management, there may literally be nothing else you can do.  Never a fun option for sure!  But trust me you’re much better off moving on than burning down over something you can’t control.

So what approach will you take?

 

Like more career tips to go? 

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How to maintain your career credibility when things go bad

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There’s not much worse for a manager than receiving unexpected bad news.

(Even worse when it comes by text or email…and you can’t even ask questions!)

Not only is a manager unprepared – they have been unable to set expectations up the management chain. And they have not been given the chance to, perhaps, even help the situation.

Not everything goes right in business all of the time (massive understatement) and not everything is in your control (see previous comment) but sometimes these situations are a chance to, at worst, maintain or even improve your career credibility.

Keeping your boss informed about the progress of negotiations or a developing situation is a chance to demonstrate your thinking and your ability to manage tricky situations.

Career Tip To Go: Keep your manager informed – regardless of whether the news is good or bad.

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Are you stuck in survival mode?

 

by Yvette Bethel 

We use the term survival mode when at work to refer to a stressed or overwhelmed state. The word survival conjures an image of someone facing a life or death situation. Massive amounts of adrenaline are coursing through the system and at least two perceivable options. Should I stay and face the situation, as contentious as it may be?  Or should I turn around and run away with all I’ve got?

Survival mode is adopted as a way of existing in environments where employees are not allowed to be who they are, share ideas or disagree with senior management for fear of the consequences.  They also fear failure, the unknown, not keeping abreast of changes, or even bullying. You get the idea of how fear infiltrates the psyche of the workplace and causes employees to shift into this state of being.

In some circumstances, fear can surface after employees accept a job offer based primarily on the need for income instead of because it is something they are qualified to do. These employees are initially willing to do anything to get in the door. Organizations contribute to this dynamic by making an offer to the best of the applicants, not necessarily the best person for the role.

When fear is interwoven throughout the fabric of the organizational climate, coworkers learn to play power games at work to survive. This happens because when survival is the primary concern, self-preservation becomes more important than collaborating. These employees form dysfunctional alliances, disparage their fellow employees, and do whatever it takes to position themselves as indispensable, all in the name of survival. Unproductive conflict, maneuvering, and the decimation of trust are all by-products of survival tactics.

For instance, Jenna started working for her current employer three years ago. Prior to being hired, Jenna was unemployed for a year, suffering through multiple rejection letters, family sacrifices, incessant bill collector calls, and dead ends with interviews. Jenna earned a degree in IT but she accepted a job in the HR department, inputting salaries and benefits. Jenna’s manager has a difficult personality.  She is abrupt with Jenna and the rest of the team, using threats to coerce them to work overtime to meet aggressive deadlines. Every day Jenna comes to work, she asks herself if today will be her last.  She is destabilized by the daily threats.

There is an interesting difference between survival in the context of a life or death situation and survival at work. When survival instincts are activated in the wilderness, a person views themselves as being alive and wanting to remain alive. In the workplace, employees like Jenna who are in survival mode are dead inside, disenfranchised and afraid of losing a job or the business that is supporting their lifestyle. It is an internal death that happens where there is no hope, spark, or purpose.

Jenna faces threats almost every day and, as with others in survival mode, she works hard to meet her manager’s expectations. If her manager blames her for something, she defends herself, she even blames others.  She is programmed to survive, defend, survive, and defend.  Jenna is stuck in a perpetual loop driven by belief systems like, don’t rock the boat, survival of the fittest, do as you are told, it’s all about me, and there are limited resources.

No matter which beliefs drive survival behaviors, they become a filter for everything and if challenged, they can trigger a variety of unproductive emotions. To make the leap from being disempowered to engaged, it is time to shift your thinking by building new mental models based on empowered thinking.

The Journey to Engagement

Jenna is frustrated and concerned about her job security so she hired a coach to help her shift her mindset and herself into the career she prefers. The first thing Jenna’s coach said to her is that only she can empower herself. No-one can do this for her.

The first step Jenna took to move from this state to an engaged one is to acknowledge what she is feeling because she realized a critical step in mastering her situation is to master herself. So Jenna learned to identify and acknowledge her fears and the patterns associated with her fears like blame, cover-up, and impatience.

When you are considering how you can shift to engagement you can ask yourself this question: “I always have a choice, so why am I making the choice to remain in this position?” In Jenna’s case, needing the income and the memories of the uncertainty and sacrifices made while unemployed are an obstacle is the answer to this question reason but other possible answers to this question are, “I don’t have a degree and would not be considered for a job with similar complexity and pay.” or “I have worked here for so long that it is daunting to think of a change.” The possible reasons are limitless.

Once you identify your fear(s) you can start to transform your thinking by asking yourself follow-up questions like:

  • How is this choice affecting my life?
  • How are my emotions influencing my decision?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • Given what I am passionate about, is this the right career for me?
  • Can I achieve my goals in a workplace like this?
  • Under the circumstances, what can I do to develop and empower myself?
  • What does the empowered version of me look like and what steps can I take to get there?
  • What are my options?
  • How can I mitigate the risks of any alternative action I may decide to take?
  • What’s stopping me and how do I remove those obstacles?

In addition to your thinking, you need to be especially aware of the emotions caused by the thoughts that are driving your actions. There are employees who have a difficult time identifying or acknowledging their emotions because there are so many survival layers obscuring their perception. So self-awareness is vital, otherwise only the symptoms of your disempowered state will be addressed and real change will elude you.

Once you recognize or acknowledge your emotional and mental frameworks you can start to identify the patterns of reaction associated with these thoughts and emotions. At this point you can begin to self-manage by reframing situations using the series of questions above and any others you may feel are appropriate. These questions can help you transform your perspective, navigate your emotions, and shift yourself into actions that can lead to a state of engagement.

What I am describing here are steps you can take to develop your emotional intelligence.

The great thing about emotional intelligence is you can enhance your emotional quotient if you choose. Developing your emotional intelligence can have a profound effect on your life, your business and your career because self-regulation has a transformational effect on your relationships.

 

About Yvette

Yvette is an HR and change consultant, emotional intelligence practitioner, trainer, and author of the book EQ. Librium: Unleash the Power of Your Emotional Intelligence; A Proven Path to Career Success.  . She is a Fulbright Scholar with over 25 years of experience. During her tenure in the banking industry, she served in senior capacities in corporate strategy, marketing, PR, training, and human resources. Yvette Bethel can be reached at http://www.orgsoul.com/. Her book E.Q. Librium: Unleash the Power of Your Emotional Intelligence; A Proven Path to Career Success is also available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0578083604/ and other retailers.

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