Wednesday, 5 September 2018
Thursday, 30 August 2018
Did you wake up with a foreboding sense of deja vu? Like you've lived the exact same day over and over again? If so, you are not alone.
Before we go any further, Let me give you some perspective.
I met 2 people yesterday. The meetings were held at the same coffee shop. I ended up ordering the same things in both the meetings. Both meetings lasted for 1 hour each. The takeaways from both meeting were, however, very different. 20 mins into the 2nd meeting, I lost interest! I quickly realized that I was talking to a career sleepwalker.
Who is this, you ask? Let me tell you.
A career sleepwalker is a person who has let his / her professional career go on auto pilot mode! These are people who think, 'Life is OK. I do not like job. I am getting through the day. But hey, I get a steady paycheck!' Now, I understand that with all the burdens and commitments (Read EMIs, bills etc), it feels like it is just okay for life to take it's own course as far as there is money coming in. If there is no danger of losing the job, people feel no reason to rock the boat and let the career move on cruise control.
Having spent some time sleepwalking myself & after having spoken to many others over the years, here are some common reasons / excuses:
1) Too risky to switch jobs now
2) Fear of the unknown
3) “I do not want to start over again”
4) Loss of confidence
5) “Don’t know what to do / which career path is right for me”
6) Not skilled / educated enough
Here is what I have to say. It is okay to sleepwalk. It is okay, as far as you realise that. Because, forget the money, you could be missing out on a great career that would make you a happier person.
Gain control of your career! As LinkedIn says, it is time to make a #CareerPivot.
I know that all this is easier said than done. So, I am going to my bit by telling you about how I overcame this and made a successful #CareerPivot!
1) Know the signs: If you find yourself asking the question - “If there more to it than this?” everyday, then there is indeed more to it than you are doing! When you start thinking about this more often than tending to your daily task list, you know it. If you are restless at work, you know it. If you think of a vacation everyday, sitting on your work desk, you know it.
2) Make a check list: Making a simple checklist is probably the biggest and significant step in acknowledging the state of mind. The checklist could include your strengths (that could convert to a career path), interests and look for opportunities accordingly. If you like your current job, but have stopped learning / growing, maybe, look for alternatives / ways to make things happen & not wait for your appraisal to come around! A checklist is like a routine check-up that will put a lot of things in perspective.
3) Research: Once you have something to shoe in the interest / strength column, it is easy to look ahead. Do some research online or get a friend / family to help you with it. Ask around. This could be a good reality check before venturing into the unknown. Aspects like, what designation, salary expectations & job expectations could become very clear and help you make an informed decision.
4) Look for a mentor: Now, this could be a person within or outside of the organisation. An insider could help open a few doors for you, whereas, an outsider, could help you with a broader picture / perspective and help you get ready. Reach out to people & be truthful about your state of mind. It always helps in calming yourself & getting better and quicker solutions.
5) Give that hobby a spin: If you have a hobby / skill that you have been honing for a while and you feel that it has the potential to become a sustainable business, give it a shot at nghts / on weekends. Give your hobby sometime. It helps in de-stressing you and also figuring out if this can become a way of life.
6) Become a part of networking groups:These groups would help you in broadening your network and thinking. A leadership group would push you to think in a way that you haven't thought because you are too stressed with your current role. Surrounding oneself with motivated individuals will certainly help you grow.
7) READ: I cannot stress this point enough. This might not help you in getting a job, but will certainly help you in motivating yourself in figuring out ways to keep climbing that corporate ladder.
It took me almost 8 years to make a #CareerPivot. I too, like many out there, was running on the treadmill with my career going nowhere. With the help of my family and a few motivated friends, I was able to get out of the rut and make a bold move. Yes, I made a couple of mistakes along the way. It is bound to happen, though. Just take the small step in acknowledging that you are sleepwalking and try and move to the next step in a week. I am sure you will find success.
Take steps to stay active in your career, so that you are happy everyday in the work that you do. #YOLO could be a popular hashtag, but that does not mean you can have only one career. Make that move. Life will be better!