Being Stuck in a Job You Don’t Like Can Be a Bit Like Ground Hog Day

February 16th, 2022

It's the same stuff over and over and you don't look forward to coming to work.

We spend so much time at work, more time than we spend with our family, friends and loved ones. Why stay stuck in a job, doing things you don’t enjoy, with people you don’t like?

When I first started my coaching business almost 20 years ago, I worked with relatively new managers who were unhappy in their job. I would focus on what else they could do, and what other roles would appeal to them. However, this usually led to resistance and all the reasons in the world why they couldn’t leave. Often this related to benefits that are linked to the role that they didn’t want to lose. Such as: end of year bonuses, discounted interest rates for mortgages, long service leave just over the horizon, accrued medical leave, and so on. So now it is about helping clients discover what they do enjoy in their role.

Changing your perspective, and working out what you can enjoy about your role can be liberating.

Feeling stuck in a role happens when you feel you have no control over your situation. Taking back control can reduce this feeling of overwhelm and start to open the space for you to find ways to enjoy parts of what you do. Taking back control doesn’t mean doing more and more and becoming even more overwhelmed! If you are a manager, it means understanding what you should be doing at your level of seniority and what your team should be doing. Put the effort in to get to know your team, and step into their shoes. What are they good at, what do they like to do, and how can you help them achieve that? Level up your communication skills and have open and frank conversations with your team. This gives you a chance to focus on the work you enjoy doing.

I’ve worked with leaders and watched them go from stuck in a role and very unhappy, to unstuck and loving what they do. This is inspiring. They now love what they do, and their team loves working together. Watching their overwhelm diminish and their thinking change is exciting.

Being unstuck requires new skills, be prepared to become a learner again.

What are some of the things you love about your role?

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