Top 7 Reasons Your Career Has Dried Up & 7 Solutions
By Suzanne Freiberg
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Managers and executives experience burn out and need effective solutions. This article outlines the top 7 reasons for burn out and gives practical solutions you can apply today.
- Reason #1, you must identify one specific area in which your career has gone off track. Take a 10,000-foot overview and find that area which is in the most need of repair. If you are having trouble identifying this area ask others whom you know and trust to help.
- Reason #2, identify your specific difficulty. There are four difficulties and four solutions common to dried-up careers. Those difficulties are doubt, disinterest, discouragement and dissatisfaction.
- Reason #3 is doubt. Doubt takes on two forms, one being self-doubt and the other is external doubt. Self-doubt is the little voice that whispers “what if.” What if you mess this up? What if your skills aren’t as sharp as they were in the past? What if your strategy is outdated? Once you start listening to the voice that is saying “what if”, you begin to feel dried up.
External doubt is self-doubt projected onto your circumstances. Maybe your boss doesn’t recognize your potential. Maybe your boss hasn’t made the connection as to how your potential will benefit the company. Or, maybe you have convinced yourself that your career has stalled because your particular market is slow. You can choose to blame current circumstances on external factors or choose to overcome whatever you face.
If doubt is your difficulty, your solution is belief. Choose to believe in yourself more than you believe in doubt. You’ve been successful, and you can be successful again. You still have the skills you had when you started your career, choose to believe in your ability. If you doubt your current strategy, work with a career coach to develop a new strategy. You can be the voice that tells yourself “I can.” When you tell yourself that you can do something, you are washing away your self-doubt.
If you have externalized your doubt, then you need to step up and take control. If someone isn’t recognizing your potential, point it out to her. If someone isn’t recognizing your benefit to the company, point it out to him. If your market is slow, be innovative and find ways to overcome this challenge. You can take the power and you can overcome your doubt.
- Reason #4 is disinterest. If your difficulty is disinterest then the root cause lies in one of two areas. Either your motivation to succeed is based on selfish pursuits or you are bored. Selfish pursuits are great motivators to start a career. Having a designer wardrobe, or plenty of cash to support your life style are great motivators and keep everyone moving forward, at first. However, interests that only benefit you only last a short time. Everyone needs a greater purpose in life. If you find that doing your job is not as fulfilling as it once was, then you are doing your job for the wrong reasons.
If you aren’t excited about your career and find more reasons for staying home than going to work, you are bored. Maybe you aren’t challenged, maybe you have mastered your job or maybe you have been doing the same thing for too long. If any of these sound familiar then you are are bored.
If disinterest is your reason for being all dried up, then reconnect and commit to a higher cause. When we are committed to something greater than ourselves we get re-energized. If the company you are at is not making a difference then you can commit to making a difference in the lives of people you come into contact with at work.
Not into making your co-workers lives better? Then find a cause you believe in and start contributing either monetarily or with your time. The energy you will generate from participating in a greater cause will bring new life to your career.
- Reason #5 is discouragement. The two main symptoms of discouragement are envy and, a focus on how things were in the past. Discouragement has its’ roots in envy and lack of focus.
If you look negatively upon others who have moved forward, then you are envious. You may be finding reasons why they had an advantage, but if you are convincing yourself that others have something you don’t, then you are envious.
Maybe your discouragement is rooted in external factors. Are you convinced that the leads used to be better, there were more opportunities in the past, or the competition knows something that you don’t? If you have convinced yourself of any of these, then you are discouraged.
If discouragement is the cause, go back to basics. What is it you did before you got off track? Make a list of the basic skills you leveraged to get your career started, then go back and start applying them again. Next, make a list of what it takes to move beyond where you are and start applying those skills until you have moved forward.
- Reason #6 is dissatisfaction. Finally, dissatisfaction is often the root of a career that is off track. Dissatisfaction is impatience and a feeling of not being happy. If you find yourself spending less time doing your best and more time finding short cuts then you are dissatisfied. If you find yourself doing enough to get by and are being passed by, then you are dissatisfied.
If dissatisfaction made you loose your way you can get back on track. First, acknowledge that you aren’t pleased with where you are right now. Know that you can begin to change now. Switch your focus from feeling dissatisfied to focusing on “this is what I can do to be satisfied.”
- Reason #7 is your reality. Now that you have identified your specific difficulty, along with its’ solution, you can determine your reality. Make a decision to reject the reality of your past and substitute it with a new reality starting today.
© Copyright 2006 Suzanne Freiberg. All Rights Reserved.
Suzanne Freiberg, with 20 years of executive experience, founded SmartWork Career Coaching to empower women in management and leadership to make the changes necessary to become break through leaders. She has received extensive training in emotional intelligence; leadership development; and managing stress for executives. She is a Certified Career Coach and a Certified Executive Coach, as well as a member of the International Coach Federation. [http://www.smartworkcareercoaching.com]
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Article Submitted On: November 29, 2006