Mid-career slump
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How to deal with a mid-career slump

13 Dec 2016

Are you feeling unmotivated in work? It could just be the festive season, or you might feel unchallenged in your role and need to shake things up. Or it might be the company itself. Whatever has you facing a career slump, Hays Recruitment is here to help you get out of it.

In these situations, it is important to step back and think about how you got to this point and how to overcome it. Ask yourself questions such as: what were my passions and ambitions when I began my career? Have they been fulfilled? Have they changed, and if so, how? Now use your answers to create a list of goals.

Getting out of the slump

The way in which you pick yourself out of the slump depends on the nature of your goals. For instance, if your ambitions surround career advancement, look at opportunities within your organisation that appeal to you. Set up a meeting with your manager and explain why you think you could be suited to that role, and how you can get there.

Your goals may be best achieved through various educational options. For example, you may want to make the switch from sales to marketing whilst remaining within your current company. Are there any relevant in-house apprenticeships within your organisation? Is there a budget for external courses?

Perhaps your goals need to be realised through someone who has already achieved them. Is there anybody within your organisation who inspires you? What is it about them that you want to replicate? By speaking to the people who you look up to, you can gain some perspective and experienced advice. An estimated 75pc of organisations use mentoring programmes for this very reason, so it may be worth finding out if your company is one of them.

Overall, in order to get out of the slump, you may need to communicate your goals to your organisation, and find out how they can facilitate them.

Getting out of the company

For whatever reason, your objectives may not be met within your current environment; be it through budget, lack of opportunity, or you just simply want to move on. If this is the case, then consider the alternatives.

Talk to a recruiter or career adviser who can help you to navigate the range of roles available elsewhere, finding the best one for you and your career progression.

If your goals require education, look into cost-effective and even free ways to upskill, such as webinars, books or online training courses. Attend talks, motivational speeches and networking events – perhaps you will find a mentor here. You don’t have to rely on your existing organisation to lift your mid-career slump – the power is in your hands.

Once you identify whether or not you have reached the mid-career slump, it is easier to overcome it. You must firstly ask yourself some key questions in order to draw up a list of aims.

The next step is finding out which strategies will achieve these, which may include a change of role or undertaking educational and mentoring programmes. Lastly, it is important to decide whether or not your current employer can help you implement these strategies and whether you want them to. If not, perhaps it’s time to look to yourself as well other companies who can.

By Christine Wright

Christine Wright was appointed managing director of Asia operations in April 2012, the latest function in her extensive 20-year career with Hays.

A version of this article originally appeared on Hays’ Viewpoint blog.

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