So you just aren’t as enthusiastic as you used to be about your job – is it time for a vacation or do you need to look at some alternatives? Are you bored and need a new challenge or are you feeling stifled and unable to use all of your talents? What has changed that may have altered how you feel about your job? Are you thinking about going in a different direction?
If it is just plain time for a vacation, then schedule one and soon! Sometimes people wait too long, reach the boiling point and spoil what they do have going at work by venting at the wrong time to the wrong people. Schedule a vacation to help clear your head.
If you are bored and need a new challenge, meet with your boss. Find out what else you could be doing in your position that is more challenging, discuss the possibility that you have outgrown your position and want to look at alternatives or (if the company is large enough) going to another division. Even if making that kind of move involves a lot of training, it is better than languishing where you are and getting more frustrated by the day. Feeling bored and/or stifled is not helping you in your career and certainly not to the advantage of your company where you could be more of an asset.
If you feel that recent changes have altered how you feel about your job, ask yourself – is that carved in stone? Or is it just a policy change or change in job description that isn’t working for you? Once again, a visit with your boss is in order.
If you want to explore a completely different direction, seek out an agency which does thorough aptitude tests. They can give you some ideas in terms of other possible career paths by combining/analyzing test results with your background and experience. A different career path may be in order.
What if you ARE the boss? Then you really need to do some soul searching and find out the WHY of your lack of motivation. Speak with some of your business colleagues and ask if they have gone through spells like this. Sometimes it is as simple as getting it off your chest, clearing your head and checking out associations in your industry where you can have regular conversations with peers to get different perspectives. Often when you have a chance to talk with people that still have the passion and enthusiasm for what they do, you get your own mojo back.
Most of all, talk with your family. They should know you better than anyone and might be able to share some ideas of why you are wondering if it’s time for a change. They might say YES, do it – you haven’t been “up” for a long time now.
What if none of these investigative tactics work in terms of getting your “happy” back? Then it is time to look at other things. It would be a good time to contact a recruiter who specializes in your industry and discuss what is going on in the employment market in your particular arena. Ask the recruiter (confidentially of course – you don’t want to jeopardize your current position) to start keeping an eye out for potential opportunities. Also speak with business friends that you can trust. Let them know you want to confidentially explore some options at this point.
What if you are close to retirement and are really ready to hang it up? It depends on how close to retirement and it depends on whether it will make a difference in vesting, bonus, etc. If there is no appreciable difference in retiring today or in six months then why not go for it? Many people retire and go on to have a very fulfilling 2nd career in consulting using all of those years of experience. Others go laughing and giggling right down the retirement path once they make the decision.
How do you know if it’s time to move on? No one is going to hold up a big sign that says “Next” or “Change is good” or “The grass IS greener”, but there are ways to help you get to a decision that will be right for you.
Ronni Anderson is a VP of Business Development at Morgan Consulting Resources, a healthcare executive search firm celebrating over 20 successful years in business.