Mid Year Career Crisis: Is It Time To Review Your Career?
July 28, 2016
Midsummer is a great time for career reflection, with many employees suffering a dose of the mid-year career blues. You may have just returned from holidays, and whether you’re feeling ok about returning to work or downright dreading it can be a good indicator of whether your current discontent is just a passing summer storm or a true career crisis.
The middle of the year is also a good opportunity to look back on the career goals you might have set back in January, and establish how much you can still get done before Christmas.
Reviewing your career at this half-yearly point can help you understand whether you need a dramatic career change, a new employer, or just a new energy injected into your current role.
Signs that it’s time to urgently review your career
–You dread going to work.
-You’re not being challenged.
-Your skills aren’t being used effectively.
-Your salary is below industry standard.
-You are being treated badly at work.
-You are not moving closer to your goals.
-You clock-watch the days away.
-You become irritable or miserable on Sunday nights.
-You find yourself complaining about work constantly.
-Your health (physical and/or mental) is suffering.
-Your work/life balance is very poor and impacting on your happiness.
-You don’t feel that your work has meaning.
-Your career path has stalled.
Even those of us in great jobs might struggle with one or two of these things from time to time, but if you find yourself nodding along to much of this list or realise that you’ve been feeling like this for a long time, then it’s certainly time to make some career changes.
Regaining Your Career Passion
1. Go back to your core goals.
Establish whether your current role is moving you closer to your goal, and if not, whether a change of employer, role or even industry is necessary. You might even realise that the goal you made when you were twenty years old doesn’t actually appeal to you that much anymore, in which case you need to create new goals and decide what you need to do to work towards them. If you’ve never sat down and done goal planning before, then this can be an illuminating exercise.
Free yourself to think of what you would love to do if you could, then work backwards to see what you need to do to achieve that goal.
2. Make your current job better.
If you’re bored at work, think about whether you can get more out of your current job. Are there more interesting projects you could request to work on? Does your manager know that you want to challenge yourself? Can you recover your energy by setting yourself some high, exciting goals for the rest of the year and then chasing them?
If you are thinking about moving employers to try and bolster your job-satisfaction, give careful thought to whether you’ll just find yourself in the same discontented state in a few months’ time when you settle in at the new company.
3. Discuss promotion opportunities.
If you feel your career trajectory has stalled because you’re being passed over for promotion or there’s no clear advancement in your role, then a frank discussion with your manager about your career path is required to show them that you are seriously looking for progression. If no advancement is in sight, then a change of employer is probably necessary in order to get your career back on track.
4. Grow your skill-set.
Many employees aren’t engaged at work because they have stopped growing their skill-set. A discussion with your manager about training and development opportunities might open up a whole new world of interest, and spur new enjoyment in your job.
If, on the other hand, you feel your skills aren’t being best-utilised, then it’s worth reminding your manager that you have experience or skills in other areas. If no positive change is offered, then look for new jobs offering exciting challenges for your skill set.
5. Talk about money.
If low remuneration is triggering your lack of engagement, then a pay discussion is warranted. Be sure to thoroughly research industry salary benchmarks and be prepared to back up your request with proof of your sales figures/research results/performance reviews to warrant the increase. If a salary increase is not forthcoming, then consider whether you can be happy working for that employer long-term.
6. Walk away from bad treatment.
If you are being treated badly at work by a manager or another employee and you’ve done all you can to resolve the situation, then request a transfer or move to another employer. Staying in a job where you are poorly treated will just ensure that your mid-year blues become permanent.
There are many ways that you can kick-start your career enthusiasm again, whether it’s through a candid discussion with your manager, a new set of short-term goals, a transfer to a new company, or a radical and exciting career change.