By BAC Apprentices
Writer: Pavaani Tanggaveloo
Editors: Rachel Chan Sook Zhui & Low Jia Yi
Imagine this. It is 7 a.m. on a Monday and your alarm clock is buzzing, waking you up for another day of work. Do you look forward to the day with excitement? Or do you feel demotivated, drained, and already wishing for Friday to come? If you relate more to the latter, then you might be feeling stuck at your job. While being stuck from time to time is not uncommon, staying stuck in a career rut can have detrimental effects on your professional growth and well-being in the long run. Let’s see some of the reasons you might be feeling stuck or stagnant at your job.
You took the job just for the money!
I am sure we all have been there or at least know someone who took a lucrative job just because the money was too attractive to pass on. Sometimes even without understanding the role and other aspects of the job thoroughly. Taking a job solely for the money comes with enormous hidden pressure. The price you pay is the pressure to stay on even if you realise later on that the job was not the best fit for you. A good salary should be one of the many factors and not the sole determining factor to take up a job. Hence, it is important to assess what you really want from your career, besides good pay. Be honest with yourself!
You are not stepping out of your comfort zone
Let’s face it, we all crave stability, familiarity, and comfort to a large extent. Sometimes, even the thought of doing something new or unknown can be daunting and the fear itself is enough to stop ourselves from moving forward. To keep the stability and familiarity, we end up getting too comfortable and get stuck in a loop of the same old routine. To step out of complacency, start taking baby steps outside of your comfort zone. Assess what you’re scared of, what is really stopping you from making a change, and tackle that. Always remember, outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens!
Your values are not aligned with your company’s mission
Sometimes we get caught up in our career and lose sight of our core values and beliefs, of what is really important to us. Our decision-making is guided by our core values. It is important to sit down and ponder upon this question; what are your core values and deal breakers? Getting clarity on this will guide you to plan on your next move. If the company’s mission no longer aligns with your values, it’s high time for you to plan on your exit strategy. No amount of money, professional development, networking in the world can give you an enormous sense of career satisfaction if you’re working for a company with opposing values to yours.
You are not proactively upskilling yourself
Upskilling is a buzzword that is becoming very relevant, particularly in the wake of Covid-19. If you feel there is no growth in your role, take a proactive step to rectify that. Some of the things you could do are to pick up a new language, brush up on your technical and soft skills, build your Linkedin network, stay in the loop by attending relevant webinars and podcasts and learn to be more digitally savvy. At the end of the day, upskilling is a great form of self-investment; it helps you to move forward productively in your career, boosting your employability and self-confidence tremendously.
You are not surrounded by people who inspire you
If you surround yourself with a passive crowd who does not push boundaries to excel or improve themselves, sooner or later, you will become part of that crowd. On the other hand, if you associate yourself with proactive people, you will be inspired at how they are ever ready to take risks and try on new things. This will motivate you to excel not only in your career but in life overall. Now, this is not an advice to ditch all your old friends, but to assess who you have given access to yourself and to make room for new people who inspire you to do better.
Remember, it’s your responsibility to get yourself unstuck. Break free, and move forward productively in your career. Identify the issues, incorporate baby steps and trust the process. Be patient. It is important to keep in mind that nothing changes overnight. If you are committed to getting yourself out of the career rut, things will start to change and you will eventually see the progress that you desire.