Wed. Feb 20th, 2019

What to do if you feel stuck in a (wrong) career

The beginning of every Year is an exciting brand new journey for one to travel and explore. It offers positive energy and hope. As we head back to our corporate spaces, we are eager to learn about what 2019 has in store for our career aspiration and personal development.

We are ready to kick-start the year; well rested, energetic and in good spirits. But is the ambiance going to last throughout 2019? The only way to find out is to probe intensely and reflect on your career.

  • Is your job boring or stagnant?
  • Are you underpaid and overworked?
  • Do you often feel no growth or development in your role?
  • Are the working conditions and environment and suitable?

If you answered yes, it’s time to MOVE.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

It is not rocket science that job dissatisfaction (especially in your 20s and 30s) can influence your mental and physical wellbeing. “Most people spend almost half of their waking life at work and it’s important that you are able to find some joy during this time.” Jonathan Dirlam, a doctoral student in sociology, told CBS News

A few research scholars from The Ohio State University (including Dirlim who was the lead study author) conducted research using participants who were from the ages for 25- 39.

The study found that individuals with lower job satisfaction levels throughout their late 20s and 30s have worse mental health compared to those with high job satisfaction levels. Those who initially had high job satisfaction but downwardly decreased over time also had worse health.

Locally, South Africans seem to be experiencing the same. Employees are more likely to suffer from depression​, sleep problems​ and excessive worry, over job performance and possibilities of contracts ending and or retrenchments.

Towards the end of 2018, EWN published an article about a male employee who jumped off Discovery’s sixth floor building in Sandton, the man was identified as the company’s employee. He survived the suicide attempt and has since been receiving counselling.     

Employees suffer in silence when dealing with work pressure and stress

A month before that, Sandton Chronicles Newspaper reported an incident about a 40-year-old Sports Marketing Manager who allegedly left a suicide note on his desk, before he jumped of his company’s fifth floor balcony. Unfortunately, he did not survive.

Both these men we suspected to be suffering from depression most likely triggered by the work pressure and stress.

Before life threatening events occur, there are always warning signs. If you are no longer feel any sense of purpose for the work that you do and carry a sense of hopelessness or feeling like you have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do.  See this as a warning sign that you are not only losing passion but also interest. This can be soul-destroying on many levels.

Top reasons why most people are not moving up the ladder or out the company

  • Financial security

Money is very important but so is job satisfaction. While income is imperative in your launching your first career, it may be more beneficial to take a job with slightly less pay if that job will give you higher job satisfaction.  It is not recommended to stay in a job purely for financial security. If you stay in your job, despite feeling stuck, you may end up putting yourself at risk of burnout or even depression.

  • Comfort

Comfort zone is popular among people that have secured permanent position and enjoying benefits and incentives offered by the company. Very little attention is paid to growth and career development. When you complacent; nothing will become challenging and exciting.  Performance level drops to mediocre as you no longer feel excited or challenged. People often very comfortable in an environment that they know. No one grown in comfort.  


When your job bores you, the chances of being unproductive are very high
(Image: wisebread.com)
  • Fear and uncertainty

We are often stifled by the fear of the unknown, fear of being too old, or fear of being unable to pay bills.  My car will be repossessed, My girlfriend is going to leave me, where will I live ? what will I eat These are the thoughts in your mind each time thing think about taking a risk of leaving a job that is not  good for you.  Fear can real, but it can also be an illusion. Confront your fears and find out what has to offer.

  • Inability to deal with pressure

Pressure and stress come as part of parcel especially with high paying jobs. However, some people have the tendency to bite off more than they can chew. If its stress and pressure form the workload that makes u feel frustrated in your career, you need to learn stress management and how to properly deal with pressure.  Not only that but you should speak out often and delegate some tasks when you are not coping. Stop impressing at the expense of your health and sanity – remember that when a company loses an employee, they will always find a replacement.

  • Unhappiness

It could be that you are consciously or subconsciously comparing your job to other people and that is why you are unhappy or unsatisfied where ever you go. Learn to choose happiness. Be positive and have a great attitude. If there are people that you like within the company – spend more time with them. Find something (at least one thing) about your job that will make you happy and navigate your energy towards it.

Are you planning on leaving your job? What is holding your back from resigning today?

Leave a comment in the section below

Sources:

https://www.fin24.com/Finweek/Featured/feeling-stuck-in-your-job-heres-what-to-do-20

https://www.talent360.co.za/article/5-signs-you-re-on-the-wrong-career-path/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/job-satisfaction-in-your-20s-and-30s-may-impact-your-health-later/

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