At the end of every year I reflect back on my professional accomplishments, disappointments and generally take stock of how I'm feeling about my place in the world. Some years are better than others and some can represent an emotional low-point (trust me, I've been there). My time off during the holidays not only to recharge my batteries, but also to evaluate how I'd like to move forward into the next year, which is critically important. I like to remember that Actually I Can do anything I set my mind to! This week's Dear Lo is answered with these things in mind...
Having been in the workplace for over 5 years now, I feel like I'm bored at work and haven't gotten to the place I'd like to be yet in my career. I'm 29 and unsure of what to do next. Any ideas? Thank you!
I think that what you're experiencing is so common - so you're not alone. The better news? It's easy to make some small changes in your professional life that will get you back on the fast track to bliss. Here's what I like to do during the holidays to get my creative engine going again!
First, I make a list of my wins, losses, and new ideas at my existing job. It's important to write this on actual paper. I find it's easier to manifest if you take the time to write it out by hand. In one column I acknowledge and celebrate my wins. In another, I grieve the losses. Doing this is especially important - it allows you to emotionally break free of whatever happened at work that disappoints you. Finally, I write down new ideas...literally anything and everything that pops into my mind or that I've been noodling for some time. Once my list is written, I like to take a day or two simply to look it over to let my ideas really sink in before doing anything else.
After sleeping on it, you should have a better idea of which new concepts you really want to go after. They can be both small milestones (like, wake up 10 minutes earlier everyday so I'm not worried about traffic), to large ones (get that promotion). Once you know which ones feel really good, put a plan into place and start making some headway. Only you can change your alarm clock and email your boss about a meeting early in January, so don't expect anyone else to do it for you!
Next, I like to ask for a raise. Never done that before? If the answer is no, then you most definitely deserve one! Just remember to be brave, you're worth it! Making more money can make you feel valued and recharge you to continue to contribute at your job in a more meaningful way. It makes you feel needed and of value. Those two things are very important.
Another idea: take initiative and come up with an idea that you'd like to spearhead at work. Put together exactly what you'll need to do it, from a budget, to manpower and email your boss about it. Having a plan and a presentation ready to go won't hurt either. I find that taking charge of a project that's exciting to you is a fabulous way to recharge your work batteries for the next year.
Lastly, and this is really a last step towards finding professional happiness...consider if you'd like to do something else! This last step isn't for everyone. Making a career change, starting your own business, or jumping back into business school to further your education is a huge decision. It requires having enough savings to be OK for a while or the mental fortitude to take out a loan and be comfortable with paying it back over time. If your passions are telling you to GO, GO, GO however, then making a big change is definitely worth it. I've taken many professional risks over the years and I appreciate every single one of them, whether they ended up in the wins or losses column. Each experience is a learning one and only helps you to grow into that fully formed woman I know you can be!
Good luck! Join the #ActuallySheCan movement happening right now amongst inspiring women!