Feeling Stuck? Tips to Regain Your Passion in Your Career
So, I bet you all are feeling a bit restless being at home these past 8, or 10, oh, my, ?....I’ve lost track of the number of weeks we have been quarantined!
It’s ok to feel restless. I bet many of you, since working remotely, are feeling bored, undervalued, worthless, or losing passion for what brought you tremendous joy.
Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of professionals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy but they lacked the confidence to actually take that step. My mission has been to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long, especially during this pandemic.
Some of you may be moms spinning even more plates, now taking on the additional responsibilities of homeschooling, while still doing all you can to get your daily work done and continue to provide value to your company. I know you’re the kind of person who works hard, with commitment and persistence. When you know what you’re doing, nothing will stop you. But you’re also questioning what will happen in the fall when schools are supposed to start up again, or if summer camps will just be at home virtually.
I want you to remember something: Passion for your work may be gone because priorities have changed. And that’s ok! Perhaps, more responsibilities at home, changes in your field, and work culture have left you feeling that your career is no longer meaningful, failing to align with your values.
If you’re feeling stuck, here are some tips to regain passion for your career. Take time to work through the process and know that, no matter what, you’ll be getting closer to where you want to be.
Begin with the right mindset
If you went into a restaurant with the mindset of —“I’m not hungry. There’ll be nothing here I want to eat. I don’t want to be here”—the menu isn’t going to look appealing and it’s unlikely you’ll find food you’ll enjoy eating.
The same principle applies to regaining your passion. If you’re convinced that regaining your passion is hard, or that it’s not going to happen for you, you’ll remain closed to possibilities. You’ll block the little nudges, pulls, and signals that guide us all. After all, how can you expect to find fulfilling work if you don’t believe it exists?
One of the best ways to strengthen this point of view is to surround yourself with people who are living examples. Look at people in your industry or at your company who are passionate about their careers. Associate and be inspired by those who are inspired by their work. Follow them on LinkedIn. Get on Zoom calls. Schedule virtual coffee dates. Get around highly passionate people!
Make time for a plan
While in this quarantine, it may be a bit harder than before to make time for yourself. But it is critical! If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy at how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.
Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there. Having a strategy is incredibly important AND satisfying; a plan helps you see the future when you may not be as passionate.
Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your calendar where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking and journaling. Work through everything that makes you happy, what doesn’t make you happy, and where you want to go. Then you can map out the steps to take in order to progress in the direction you want – your passion!
Set up or update your personal brand
Jeff Bezos defines personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!
Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. It’s about being your best REAL you. It’s about OWNING your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others. (A little secret, when you start shifting your focus to something positive, like building your personal brand...your passion will start to shine!)
So how do you go about it?
Well, what do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities. Trust me, the more confident you are in who you are, the more confident hiring managers will be in wanting to bring you on board.
Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. LinkedIn is the best place to show up – just make sure you’re consistent. I highly recommend posting content daily on what drives you, what you’re good at. You start to get excited about your career again when you post online and see others in your network engage with your posts.
Get out of your comfort zone
Oh, our comfort zones are our safe places, aren’t they? For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone and release the blankie.
It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck at home and unhappy in your career, than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change.
This is how we tend to think: that you have a boring unfulfilling job and that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off. WRONG!
If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.
So to get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then tackle that in small steps.
For example: you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking. But public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job. Then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.
You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a ‘get out of your comfort zone club’ where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.
This is the perfect time to set up those groups too – we all want to feel as though we are a part of a community, and when we are involved in inspiring groups, we feel happier and more confident in moving closer towards regaining passion in our careers.
Ask for help!
It can be hard to ask for help, it can make us feel vulnerable, especially as women.
No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a troupe of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks, and people who can join us to celebrate successes.
I highly suggest writing down all the things you may need support with when trying to regain your career passion – interview practice, building a resume, making new connections, facing doubt, etc. Then write down next to each item, the names of people who can help! Finally, you need to take action and actually ask that person for help.
You got this. Give yourself some grace too. No one person can be passionate all the time about their career. But if you take these actions and put them to work, you’ll start to get that fire back for who you were designed to be in the workplace!
Vennessa is an executive career and business coach helping leaders leverage their innate strengths to increase their impact, while overcoming burnout. Read more from Vennessa at vennessaMcConkey.com
Note from Jena: If Vennessa's tips resonate with you in your career and you're ready to make a change, I'm here to help you get unstuck! We're opening up a new course in June to help with this. And in the meantime, you can snag my freebie on 6 Ways to Know It's the Right Time to Change Jobs – so that as you figure out your passion, you can figure out if it's time to change jobs....or stay put.
And if you need some help with refining your personal brand on LinkedIn, we've got you covered there too with LinkedIn by Lunch. This program will help you polish your profile, attract your dream career, and do it all before lunch!
Feeling Stuck? 5 Tips to Regain Your Passion in Your Career
May 21, 2020