Careers don’t always go as smooth as you might hope. There are sometimes unexpected set-backs, changes, disappointments and tough decisions that need to be made. Always remember that challenges help you grow – both personally and professionally. So the next time you experience a career hiccup, embrace it and try to see the silver lining wherever you can in and you’ll no doubt walk out stronger than before.
1. A Nightmare Boss
I’m sure almost everyone has had a difficult boss at some stage in their career. This can be both emotionally and physically draining. A nightmare boss can come in different forms: The Demanding Boss, the Disorganised Boss, the Clueless Boss, the Know-It-All Boss, and the Poor-Communicator Boss.
Whichever boss you have, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to like him or her. Successful people rise to the top by learning how to deal with difficult personalities. Try to find a way to peacefully coexist by managing your reactions and work within the conditions you face. Do your work as best you can, act with professionalism and show your boss (and those higher up), that you won’t let their poor management or behaviour affect your success.
The silver lining here is that a bad boss can teach you which behaviours to avoid and help you envision the kind of manager or leader you want to become.
(Of course, all of this is assuming your boss isn’t violating human resources laws, in which case you should chat to your HR department.)
2. No Work-life Balance
Are you finding yourself overwhelmed and overworked? This is a very common challenge that people face. When you’re not eating properly, getting too little sleep and living off adrenaline, your performance will start to suffer and eventually cause burnout.
Make an effort to log your daily tasks and keep a record of the overtime that you work and which projects are taking up a lot of your time. When the time is right, you can present this information to your manager or boss to discuss a solution that will help streamline and alleviate some of your workload.
In your personal life, you can reduce your stress significantly by incorporating these quick, easy daily habits: Meditate for 15 minutes in the morning before work; go for a walk outdoors and get some fresh air; workout at the gym or at home to burn off some steam; do some deep breathing exercises at your desk to reinvigorate your mind. There are some great meditation apps and videos on YouTube that will help guide you with de-stressing.
3. Change of Career
Often, we choose a career that looks good on paper, is highly paid or is what we thought we wanted to do many years ago. If you feel like you’re in the wrong job role or industry entirely, it can feel hopeless and daunting at the thought of starting over. No matter your age, it’s never too late to change careers and follow your passion. If you already know which direction you want to head in, then it’s simply a matter of doing the research for study courses best suited to your current lifestyle. If you’re feeling unsure about taking the leap, consider setting up a job shadow or two to ‘test the waters’. If you’re not sure on which direction to go in, consider booking an appointment with me as a Career Development Coach to help you discover and understand who you are and embrace your unique talents.
Being retrenched can have a major emotional effect on your self-esteem. Unfortunately, in today’s tough economic times it’s becoming more and more common. Retrenchment can catch you off-guard in a seemingly stable and secure job, and come at a great shock when you least expect it. The most important thing to remember is not to take it personally. Embrace the change, see it as an opportunity to move on to something better or perhaps take the bold step to start your own business. While you cannot control what has been decided in the past, you CAN influence your future.
5. You Made a Mistake
Mistakes happen to absolutely everyone in this world – we’re only human after all. The best approach is to own your mistake: admit it, apologise and then move on. This shows integrity, maturity and professionalism. Instead of making excuses and passing blame, offer solutions to fix the problem and ways to minimise the damage. Most importantly, forgive yourself and use it as a learning curve on how to prevent a similar mistake from happening in the future.
I hope you found this advice useful in navigating your career path. There will no doubt be bumps in the road every now and again, but this when we rise to the occasion and learn from life’s challenges to help build our character and self-esteem.
If you’re feeling unsure about your career or future path, and are considering a career change or career coaching, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to help you.
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