Women In Business

11 ways to boost your career when your job is a drag

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When your job is exciting, you feel really energized and can’t wait to start your day. But, when you start to feel unmotivated and uninspired, it starts to become a real drag, you lose interest in what you’re doing and you even start broadcasting this to the entire world—especially your boss and colleagues.

But there are also times when keeping up our appearances can be difficult and we start to display our worst qualities. One time when this might be a problem is when our job starts to get a bit boring and seems to drag on for what feels like days, even if it’s only been a few hours.

Even when your job seems like a drag and you feel unnoticed — and like your career is going nowhere — there are ways to improve your profile and show just how invested you are in your job and your career progression.

Here are tips on how to boost your career so you don’t fall behind.

Start the Company Picnic or Pub Quiz Team

Initiating an informal or social team activity, even if it starts as a suggestion, can be a great way to boost company/team morale— encouraging everyone to relax from time to time and not think about work.

Starting this kind of activity can also give co-workers, and the boss, a chance to get to know each other outside office hours and in a casual, relaxed setting. And because you were the one to come up with the idea, you’re seen as having initiative and energy (even if your job feels like it’s sapping the life out of you).

Start a BlogOr a Podcast

Starting your own blog or podcast—especially if it’s unrelated to your job—can be a great way for you to take a break from what’s happening at the office or in your field of work more generally. This can show that there is more to you than your work and that you know more about what’s happening in the world than people may think.

It’s also a great way for you to share your opinion on things like politics, pop culture, fashion, etc. and be able to display a fuller range of interests than your chosen line of work.

Mentor a Junior Employee

Mentoring a junior, less experienced—and let’s face it, younger—employee to help improve their skills can help you remember why you chose your line of work and why you wanted to do it in the first place.

A great way to get started with this is to find out who the new employees are in the workplace, and inquiring if the company you work for has a mentoring program for them — or even if there are people doing work experience at the company and are thinking of entering this line of work.

And if there isn’t a mentoring program for new employees or people doing work experience, then maybe you should suggest starting one to your boss and offer to run the program. This again highlights that you are somebody with initiative — and looks great on your resume. What future employer wouldn’t give consideration to somebody who started a mentoring scheme.

Do Something Totally Unrelated to Your Job

You probably have a daily, monotonous routine when it comes to getting up and ready for work, doing your job and coming home at the of the day. And at some point, it may become glaringly obvious that you don’t have much of a life outside of work. When this happens, you’ll probably start to wonder when you’ll get to have some time off to relax.

The thing is, though, you kind of have to make the time, probably by using some of your holiday leave or even just working fewer hours or days. And sure, you probably have a 9-5 job Monday to Friday meaning you technically have Saturday and Sunday off. But, you have to ask yourself… do you actually get anything done on those two days or are you just resting from the previous week and trying to prepare yourself for the next one? Chances are, it’s the latter option.

So when you do finally get time off for yourself and to do things you enjoy, make sure it’s totally unrelated to your job. Otherwise, your time off from work is just like the weekends you spend resting between one stressful week and the next. Plus, doing something unrelated to your job when you have time off can also be a great way to rejuvenate yourself for your return to work.

Learn a New Language

Learning a new language can help you in your job because if the company you work for has offices in foreign countries, it can lead to new career opportunities for you in one of those countries. And if they don’t have overseas offices, the next job you apply for might… picture where you might like to live and work, and then learn a language that could help get you there!

But aside from the potential benefits this has for your job, learning a new language, even if it’s just a hobby, can also be a great way to distract yourself from your job and the stress it may cause you because it’s something you want to do, find interesting and feel that it makes your life that little bit richer.

Focus on Improving

A lot of jobs these days require you to be constantly changing and adapting to new technologies, ways of doing things or thinking, especially when it comes to your skill set. Learning new skills — and improving old ones — can be the difference between you getting a career boost or staying stuck where you are .

The trick here is to improve your skills ahead of time and in preparation of promotions coming along instead of waiting for the promotion to be advertised and then wishing you could do something the job advertisement says is a required skill for doing the job.

Explore Your Options

Exploring your options, such as other jobs or careers, can give you a clear idea of what you want to do in your career and where you want it to go—even if it means changing careers. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to leave your current job, it just means that you’re having a look at what else is out there and what else you can do with your skill set.

Additionally, if you find a job that you like and think is interesting but there are one or two skills it requires that you don’t have or can’t do, then go learn those skills. And even if you don’t apply for that job, or one like it, you can still apply those new skills to your current job to shake things up and show your boss and colleagues what you can do.

Limit Pity Time

If your career isn’t going the way you want it to, don’t worry and definitely don’t pity yourself. You can take control of where your career goes and how you get there by deciding what skills you learn, what job you want and how far up the ladder you go within a particular job/company.

But if you do start pitying yourself over the loss of a promotion or the job altogether, then limit the amount of time that you wallow in misery by throwing yourself a 24-hour pity party and then moving on to bigger and better things — or even just getting back to your work at your current job with fresh energy.

Limiting your pity time is also a great way of motivating yourself to get up and off the proverbial couch and get a move on with the things you want to do in your career.

Fine-Tune And Add To Your Hard And Soft Skills

Fine-tuning your hard and soft skills can be the difference between your success and failure at your job/career. Now, if you’re not sure what hard and soft skills are… don’t worry. I’ll tell you.

Hard skills are ones that you have been taught (and therefore learned), like a degree or certificate you hold in a certain area, knowing how to speak a foreign language, marketing, accountancy, business writing, etc. Whereas soft skills are ones that fall under people or interpersonal skills, like teamwork, communication, motivation and so on. Things that are more ingrained in your personality or character than things you’ve learned in a classroom.

Furthermore, having a good look at what your hard and soft skills are is a great way of seeing which ones you do well and can do with your eyes closed and which ones need improving. To do this, try making a list of all the skills you can do (don’t forget the ones on your resume) and organizing them into a hard skill list and a soft skill list

It may also help if you ask a friend or colleague to look at your skills and your list and tell you which skills they think you need to improve.

Hire a Resume Specialist

One of the reasons your career may not be going the way you want it to is because your resume isn’t up to scratch. So you may want to consult a resume specialist to tell you what is good and bad about your resume and suggest any changes to be made to help improve it and your chances of getting a job interview and eventually the job.

Furthermore, most, if not all, employers are probably using the six-second rule when looking at your resume, which is simply a quick way for them to judge a resume on the way it first appears to them when they open your job application. This can deeply affect your job prospects and whether or not you get the job you want because, if you have a bad resume, e.g. the template you use or the way you’ve organized your information, they may throw away your resume and not give you a chance.

Use Niche Job Boards

Looking on niche job boards can be a good way to find a job that you may not have thought of doing in the first place. Doing this can also be a good way to gain experience in other jobs/lines of work that you find interesting, which can further inform your decision to stay in or leave your current job or career.

But with this one, it’s probably best not to get too far ahead of yourself in terms of applying for and getting an unpaid internship at a PR firm, for example, and quitting your current paid job. Mainly because the PR firm may only want to work one or two days a week for a three month—did I mention unpaid!— period, meaning that you’ll have five or six other days of no paid work, and therefore, no way of financially supporting yourself if you hastily quit your current job.

Basically, have a look at what’s out there, but the saying ‘think before you act’ is also a great way to go.

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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