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Losing your spark at work means it's time for change

By Jana Angeles | 10 February 2020


We all have come across moments in our career where we realise that we deserve better. Perhaps you’ve felt defeated in your current job because it’s no longer giving you the purpose to make a difference, or you’re just working for the sake of that steady paycheck.

It becomes dangerous to adapt this mindset of working to live because this can result in disengaged employees who have no clear career goals, simply wandering aimlessly during their career trajectory. In 2018, a Gallup report found that only 14% of employees in Australia and New Zealand were engaged in their jobs. From the same report, it was found that a staggering 71% of employees were not engaged with their jobs.

There are many reasons why employees would lose their spark at work. In all fairness, some may be pursuing different career paths, experiencing job burnout or simply need further training to help them grow and develop their skills to receive a job promotion. 

Either way, change is necessary to encourage people to overcome career stagnation and it allows them the opportunity to truly flourish in their professional career. Without change, they may find themselves in a never-ending cycle of working to live instead of actually getting the real satisfaction of a job well done. 

Change is necessary for better career outcomes

smiling young woman working from cafe

Christian Eilers is a career expert at Zety (online resume builder) and has mentioned the best time to make a job switch is when there is no urgency to do so. This is interesting as millennials normally get the 2-year itch when it comes to changing jobs because there’s either more movement between roles, a higher salary, attractive work perks or having less commute time. 

Eilers has mentioned that people who desperately want to get out of their current job are most likely to lower their requirements and accept mediocre job offers. Eilers encourages those who are looking to change jobs to find a role that will challenge them as this can be seen as an investment in your future.

He says, “People who quickly learn new skills and gain experience from various places and situations are more easily adapted to the professions of the future.”

If your desire is to see new horizons when it comes to your career, don’t steer away from change. Losing your spark at work may push you to seek out other opportunities that provide you with new challenges, taking you outside of your comfort zone.

Being open to change means you allow yourself to work in a new environment, network with other people and move forward when it comes to the future of your career. This means you shouldn’t be afraid of taking on a chance that enables you to move closer to your goals as a professional and embracing the opportunities that lie ahead when it comes to a new job. 

If it does not spark joy, it’s time to leave

Chris Westfall writes on Forbes, “Appreciation can be the first step in discovering the joy that's been missing. And, if you can't find any gratitude in your attitude, maybe you need to tidy up a bit - and look in the direction of change. Perhaps it's time to thank the things that don't serve you and send them on their way.”

The focus of Westfall’s statement above is inspired by Japanese decluttering expert, Marie Kondo, whose mantra is keeping your house tidy and removing any items that do not spark joy. 

From this context, the same can be applied when it comes to your career. Have you given up because you think you’re too old to change careers? Not clear about what direction your career is heading? If you resonate a strong ‘yes’ to these questions, maybe the job you’re currently in isn’t sparking the joy you desire.

If you feel it’s time to take a leap of faith and pursue other opportunities within or outside your current workplace, you shouldn’t hold back from this decision. If anything, you’re making a positive move when it comes to all things related to your work life. 

Have other options to explore? Talk to your boss

male boss listening to employee, in a one-on-one meeting

It can be a daunting experience approaching your boss when it comes to talking about your current role and where you see yourself in the next few years. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up if you know you’re ready to spread your wings and explore other opportunities that you’re curious about. If anything, you should feel encouraged to do the following: 
 
  • Openly discuss your career goals: being transparent about your career goals is a good foundation for a positive working relationship with your boss. By doing this, you allow them to have insights on your career trajectory and they can then find ways to support you throughout your journey. They could encourage you to undertake responsibilities that relate to your ideal role or even give you more autonomy when it comes to certain tasks that they have strong oversight of. 
  • Talk about upskilling: if you’re serious about making moves with your career, discuss the possibility of pursuing further study with your boss. You may want flexibility when it comes to undertaking a course that works with your lifestyle, so online learning may be your best option. Upskilled has plenty of online courses to choose from in business, community services and IT and generally can be completed within 12 months. These can help you develop the relevant skills and knowledge needed to help pursue your desired career opportunity. 

No matter where you’re at in your current job, it helps to pay attention to the signs that it’s time for a change. When you lose your spark in what you do as a career, it’s important to look at the options available in your current workplace and outside of it. 

If you know that it’s time to move on, know that change can be very positive and encourages growth in your career. Changing jobs means you’ll be able to expand your knowledge and skills in ways you didn’t think were possible, opening up doors like further study and training that can help you thrive as a professional. 
 
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