It’s easy to feel like you’ve reached a dead end in your career after a certain period of nothing changing. Even sitting at the same position for just a year or two can begin to make a person feel as if they’re going to be stuck doing the same thing for the rest of their lives. While this boredom at least means that nothing is going “wrong,” sometimes it can still feel wrong all the same.
In these situations, it can be hard to find something to increase motivation and get your drive back. However, a simple change in perspective may be all you need to totally rejuvenate yourself back to full working order. You see, those times of stagnation that everyone experiences during their careers are actually the perfect opportunities to start seeking new ways to increase your knowledge, skills, and your overall work experience.
1. There’s Always Room for Growth
Even if you feel you’ve done everything you can do in your current position, you may not be considering every possibility. There are always ways to improve work performance.
For instance, times of boredom provide you with a chance to reevaluate your workflow and see what you’re doing wrong. If you type 60 words per minute, aim for 65. Then 70. Keeping track of yourself and setting little goals is a fun and time-consuming activity that also promotes growth and development. Keep in mind that any skills you develop during your current job are yours — they stay with you and can serve you in the future.
2. It’s Not Always Just About the Task at Hand
A big drain on the outlook of a lot of workers is the feeling that the tasks they are performing at work are monotonous and unrewarding. Most work positions require repetitive tasks to be performed. After a certain amount of time on the job, those repetitive tasks can really start to wear you down.
If you’ve already mastered a task, there’s not much personal development to be gained by continuing to perform it over and over. In cases like these, while you may not be able to further develop your hard skills, you might still be able to develop your soft skills.
3. Take Every Opportunity to Grow Your Interpersonal Skills
Many people undervalue the importance of soft skills when it comes to furthering their careers. Hard skills, or the technical knowledge and prowess directly applicable to your specific line of work, are certainly crucial for career development. Soft skills, however, or the general human knowledge you gain from your work, are just as important. Soft skills continue to be developed everyday regardless of the meaning and value monotonous tasks present you with. In fact, just learning to accept the down times in your life is a soft skill in and of itself!
4. Keep a Positive Attitude
One of the most important soft skills a career-oriented individual can have is a positive attitude. By viewing the lulls in your career as an opportunity for growth, you are taking charge of your attitude and honing your will towards becoming your best self, both on the job and off.
Other opportunities to develop soft skills include improving your interactions with coworkers, managers, supervisors, customers, and pretty much anyone else on the job. A few big aspects of soft skills are your social and emotional intelligence, as well as your general social skills. By becoming a ray of light shining on those around you regardless of your feelings towards your current lot in life, you may be able to manifest future growth.
5. Focus on Professional Relationships
Soft skills often go unnoticed by employers because they are hard to quantify. While certain social and life skills may find their way onto your resume, many others simply exist inside you, invisible to others. Without proper communication, those in charge may never truly find out how special you are and what you have to offer that others do not. For this reason, developing consistent and trusting social relationships with both leaders and peers at your workplace can make a huge difference for your overall workplace fulfillment.
While it might not be the best idea to simply walk into your manager’s office and say, “Hey, I need something to do,” developing a personal relationship will give you space to have these types of conversations in a professional way later on. Additionally, the experience of learning about your peers, leaders, and even underlings on a personal level will certainly add many layers to your growing assortment of soft skills.
6. Take Advantage of Training and Incentives
Many workplaces will offer very real opportunities for training and development to any current employees who may be interested. These can include lectures and seminars, certification programs, business trips, and classes. Often, these employee training programs and other incentive programs are not advertised openly to employees.
Consulting with a supervisor or manager about potential steps you may take to grow might grant you some opportunities you didn’t even know existed. As well, it will show those in charge that you are anxious to take on more responsibilities. You may even be able to take part in a mentorship program within your company or leverage your current position into a mentorship program with a different company that you’d like to work for.
7. Try to Align Your Current Job With Your Next Move
While there’s pretty much always room to grow in any workplace, “up” isn’t always the direction you’ll want to be going. Sometimes, the prospect of making it into your manager’s shoes might not seem like the ideal step forward. There are many aspects that come together to make a job fulfilling and rewarding, and those might not always be found at your current workplace.
In these cases, you should simply start looking for a way out. In this way, you can take your current position at your job and use it to try and secure an equal or greater position at a company that you feel more of a passion towards. Passion, as always, is the key.