Maybe you’ve been thinking a lot about a friend’s career lately and how you never seem to have the same opportunities- business or other for growth and mobility. Maybe you’re simply getting bored and not feeling the same challenges that you were first excited about earlier in your career. Whatever the reason, many of us experience disengagement from time to time and it doesn’t hurt to explore a few strategies for becoming reengaged. Here are some suggestions that may help you weather the storm, or prepare for a new chapter in your professional life:
If you’ve come to the realization that you’re not as engaged as you should be at work, it might be time to get a little introspective and think about what it is you really want to do or what type of positions in the company you really want to be in. It may not be the boss’ position and maybe it’s not a vertical move at all, but a lateral slide to another department. You may have had your eye on the marketing team and you’ve decided that it looks like more fun over there. After all, they’re always out of the office, out of town and you’re a bit envious of the opportunities provided for travel. Take some time to be honest with yourself and really identify what it is you’re thinking in terms of a possible career move.
Do Some Investigating
If you find yourself thinking about other areas in the organization, maybe it’s time to do a little investigation and talk to some people in that department. That doesn’t mean run over to marketing to ask if they’re hiring anytime soon. What it does mean is asking people real questions about their job. What is it that they like or don’t like about it? Find out what it’s like to work there and learn if there are any roles in the department that may interest you.
You may want to actually go out and look at job descriptions of some of the other departments that would require transferrable skills. Even if you have a background in a specific field, your education and your skills may be transferrable. Another department may have opportunities for upward mobility that your department lacks. Even a lateral move can create new challenges and interest and that helps to create engagement.
Consider a Career Coach for Insight
If you’ve been an accountant for the last five years, and you’re realizing you don’t actually like it, but you went through the education process and now you’re looking for a change, a career coach may be exactly what you need. The right career coach can actually take you through some formal assessments to help you decipher what it is you really want to and can do. By uncovering your passions and talents, you might discover that you have the skill set to do other things- in the organization or outside. In some cases, people have made complete 180s where hobbies and recreational activities outside of work were actually more suited for them. If you currently work in a large organization with multiple departments, you may be able to make a transfer to a different area easily.
Reengaging after becoming disengaged with work is entirely possible under the right set of circumstances. If you’re staying within the organization, your company would have to be able to have a healthy discussion with you to discuss possible options. Maybe there’s a few projects available for temporarily helping another department. In many cases, just being given more challenging work, a role on a task force, even something social can meet some of the needs and give you a chance to reengage.
Remember, it can be traumatic to drop everything in exploration of a new and exciting work experience. But if you’re comfortable approaching your company to ask for opportunities that will still use relevant skills, go for it. It may be exactly the change you’ve been looking for.