The dream job we have managed to get with such difficulty does not always remain favorite years later. Over time it often becomes clear: you are just a cog in a big car for your company, and you will be doing the same job month after month, year after year. And you wanted something completely different: a gradual increase in responsibility, professional development, and career growth. As a result, you feel the fatigue, and Sunday mornings become the most unpleasant time of the week ( we are talking in this case about UAE where week das are Sunday to Thursday). This way begins the middle age career crisis.
We won’t speak about the global crisis affecting absolutely everyone, like the Great Depression of the 1930s, but about the crisis that each of us faces personally. As a rule, it is connected with our professional activity. What shall one do when there is a difficult situation in your career, how to overcome this problem, or how to prevent or avoid it?
A career crisis is a very common phenomenon. Moreover, almost everyone is exposed to it, from young professionals who have just a couple of years of the career to employees who have vast experience, but as a rule, this state is labeled the mid-career crisis. The loss of interest in what you are doing in the office, as well as the routine, do not meet your expectations of drive and interesting tasks. Having worked for many years in one area, you look back and understand you want to do something meaningful. If such thoughts are familiar to you, then you probably already know what a professional crisis is.
Symptoms of a career crisis
Difficult career moments are easy to recognize. Here are the main signs that you are having a crisis.
- You are bored. Previously, you have always hurried to work and looked at it as a professional challenge, and now you have to force yourself to get out of bed and go to the office. This condition may be due to the fact that you have outgrown your position. But, first of all, try to figure out and determine if your boredom is not simply a result of overworking, which is easily treated with two weeks of vacation.
- You spoil the relationship in your team. People, for the most part, feel each other’s moods very well. And your colleagues are no exception to it. If you are tired of the team, and your workplace colleagues become annoying for you, they will most likely feel it and will try to contact you as little as possible. The same goes for everyone else.
- You do not see anything good. If earlier, when you heard a question about what you like in working for this company and in this position, you could list a lot of positive things, now you simply answer that work is convenient for you due to your location and proximity to the subway. Such thoughts are the result of your frustration and desire to change something.
- Stress has become a regular guest. While doing your work, you constantly feel that you are on the verge of what you can do, very often you have to force yourself to do at least part of the tasks in order not to lose your job. This state of affairs, of course, causes stress, insomnia, and breakdowns and brings about other unpleasant phenomena.
Now consider what can be done to cope with this state and get out of such a situation.
Ways out of career crisis
To overcome a career crisis, first, assess what is hindering your development and whether it is possible to overcome these constraining factors. Sometimes, for example, there might be a lack of knowledge that does not allow one to move over to the next step. This problem is surmountable – decide on continuing education, attending courses, training, and possibly getting some other type of education. In such cases, to resolve a career crisis, it is not necessary to change a job.
Another reason that you feel being in the career crisis is that you get simply bored with what you do and start thinking that somewhere else, even a when doing similar job, the situation would be much better. The cause of it may be the human element that we often may think that the place where we are not may be much better than the place where we are now. The solution to such a state is trying to look at the present situation objectively and finding the interesting apparts withing the existing job responsibilities. A course on, for example, self and time management, may greatly help to see the things differently.
Even in cases when a career crisis has gone too far, and it seems that there is only one way out of this situation – outside the door of your office – you should not make hasty conclusions. At least three options are possible for the development of events that will help to overcome the crisis.
- Resignation. Yes, this is probably the easiest and simultaneously the most radical way. It is worth doing only if you are sure of what you do. Otherwise, you risk regretting it. Remember that in a stressful situation, people tend to overestimate reality and believe that somewhere they will feel better. In any case, never make spontaneous decisions. If you want to resign, you can make such a decision, but with a “cool head” (for example, go on vacation to think things over). If, after all, this is, in your opinion, the best option – secure yourself with new job options, and only then write a statement. And, what can also happen, if you are a valuable person and come to your boss with the message that you want to resign - you may get a better offer in your existing company. However please make sure to not to use such an approach as the way to get better terms in your existing job - this may not work and you can end up being with no job.
- Attempt to fix the problem on the spot. If you’ve realized that you are in the epicenter of a career crisis, try to assess the situation soberly and think through the most obvious ways out of the situation. First of all, talk to management openly and directly. Try to explain that you are experiencing a lack of interesting tasks and are ready to use your potential for the benefit of the company. Just do not overdo it, so as not to get lost in huge amounts of new work later. If the responsibilities are OK, but the salary does not please you, these things should be discussed too. But keep in mind that in case of a manager’s refusal, it is possible that you will have to quit after all.
- Time to think. This can be considered a continuation of the previous paragraph. Do not rush to make a decision, think properly, and take a vacation. If you have a career crisis, it’s time to take a breath and get a little distracted. It is best to allow yourself a small but entertaining journey to change the environment and to stop thinking about work. Such “reset” will help you to look at many things from a different perspective, and to re-estimate your actions, to work on your mistakes. It is possible that you will no longer want to leave.
- Do nothing. Understanding that your professional perspectives do not satisfy you, you can also take no action, and just go with the flow. Over time, the situation will no longer seem so hopeless, and the need to change something will no longer be acute. This is also a strategy that will lead to certain results and simply doing your job well may result in your advancement in your job position.
- Ask for help. If you do not see a way out of this situation, seek help from specialists. That is why there are career coaches who help handle problems and see things from new perspectives. You can also talk to an HR at the same time getting information about free vacancies in the company you are working in. Companies do not like to lose good employees and would rather prefer to move you to other postion or deparment than to lose you.
Career crises have one unpleasant feature – they happen from time to time and can last from a couple of days to weeks and longer. The main thing is to recognize them in time and not to react too emotionally. It is possible that you have just imagined things or have been too tired. And once you face it - do your best to categorize and understand its roots and possible solutions. Maybe you have grown out of your position, or feel tired because you are overloaded and do not know how to handle your tasks with ease.