I’m naturally a very motivated, driven person, but I’m also human. I’ve been lost, I’ve been completely useless, and I’ve been stuck when it comes to my career or my future. I definitely felt this way a couple of times during my twenties, whether with something big like my long-term career goals or something small like what to eat for dinner. It’s a confusing time for sure, but there are ways through it.
+ Work on Yourself
I’m a big fan of visualizing your life – but not in the cheesy ass way you see on billboards. I’m talking about thinking about the life (or job) you want and taking the necessary steps to get there. Maybe it’s creating a Pinterest board of what you want your life to look like, reading self-developmental books, or taking a personality quiz to figure out how you work best. You’d be surprised what you can uncover when you’re focusing on learning more about yourself – and then acting on it.
+ Do One Thing that will Further Your Career a Day
I probably sound like a broken record here and I don’t care – this shit works! Do one thing every single day that is furthering your career – the one you have or the one you’re dreaming out. This is especially helpful when you’re wanting to make a change or switch careers. You don’t have to thing super BIG either. It could be things like making a To Do list, sending an email to push a project forward, setting up a meeting with someone, etc. Just something to keep your career moving forward.
+ Find a Mentor
Whose career are you inspired by? Who has a job that you’re interested in? Who do you respect career-wise?
Once you figure that out, try to get ahold of them. If it’s someone you know, ask them to coffee. If it’s someone online, send them an email with some specific questions about their career and the steps they took to get there. If it’s someone unreachable, see if they have a conference, TED talk, interview online that might serve you.
+ Take a Break
Most of us are constantly locked into our phones, emails, etc. that it’s almost impossible to give your mind a break from the constant work cycle. This isn’t healthy! I swear 9/10 when I’m feeling stuck / unmotivated, it’s actually because I need a vacation or at least a few days signed off from work. Do what you gotta do to find time away from your job (especially before quitting) and see if it changes anything.
+ Step Away From the Computer
Something I recently heard that resonated with me is: answering emails is not my job, it’s a TOOL to help me do my job. I understand there are a lot of professions that do get done via email (lawyers, customer service, IT, etc.), but the point is don’t be a slave to emails. Do what you came to do and GET THE FUCK OUT. I used to get stuck in my inbox for hours upon hours. Having a baby has helped me kick this absurd use of time and be more efficient and productive on the computer.
+ Consider Different Avenues
Even if you’re content in your career at the moment, it’s not a bad idea to stay in the loop on other opportunities. Sign up for a job newsletter (Create + Cultivate has a great one), attend conferences or workshops that excite you, network, etc. You never know when something might fall into place.
+ Learn Something New
Whether it’s listening to a podcast, taking a class, learning a language – or something more directly related to the field of work you’re in or interested in, learning can be a fun way to refresh. Not only can you use it in the future, but using a different part of your brain can actually be energizing. (FYI this is one of my favorite things about Paul, even if it annoys the shit out of me at times. He’s always extending his knowledge and it’s something I deeply respect about him.)
+ Find a Side Hustle
Before I started blogging, I was in the fashion industry in a more corporate role. I started this blog as a passion project on the side because I knew I needed something more creative and hands-on.
If you’re stuck or bored, think about your hobbies and figure out if there’s a job opportunity behind it. If there is, start small on the side. Even if a company or job doesn’t come from it, I guarantee you’ll be a happier person spending time outside of work doing what you enjoy.
+ Accept Lulls
One thing I don’t love about the self-help generation is the idea that everyone is happy 24/7. Social media plays a big part in this too, but it’s simply not real life. I also think that as millennials, a lot of us crave satisfaction at all times and if we are a little bit bored, we’re on to the next. Our attention spans are so short that we’re constantly jumping from idea to idea, always wanting to be entertained. Again, not real life.
Sometimes work sucks and sometimes it’s amazing. I think accepting that not every week (or month) is going to super exciting is helpful in the long run. If you’re constantly feeling bored / under-challenged / not happy, that’s when it’s time to go to the other ideas on this list.
I’d love to know, what’s your current job? And what’s your dream job?