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What to do when you are facing a job slump.

Posted by: Ian Piper


That overwhelming feeling of being stuck in a rut, de-motivated or just plain bored at work happens to the best of us at some point or other.

Everyone has a few off days, but what if these feelings are spanning weeks or months?

Being stuck in rut decreases your productivity, your happiness and your career path. Simply ignoring these feelings and trying to get on with things is not the solution. Addressing the issues and dealing with these feelings is what will help you bounce back and set you up for the future.

Here are four simple steps that you can put into place in order to overcome this slump, remain positive and get your motivation back.

1. Acknowledge. Before you can begin to work your way out of this slump, you must first come to terms with why you feel like this. Take some time to self-evaluate. Consider your environment, your progression, your team etc. But be painfully honest with yourself in order to pinpoint exactly what is at the heart of it. Think back to when it started – was there a “trigger”? Do you feel like you’re drowning in work and are lacking support systems? Do you feel that you’re not getting the right training? Do others get promoted over you? Or are you simply bored and want a career change? Perhaps the slump is not directly work related; personal issues can follow you into the office and impact your enthusiasm and performance. Whatever the answer, the sooner you face reality, the sooner you will be able to conquer the slump.

2. Clear your head. Now that you have pinpointed the problem, you need to completely clear your head to remove your current mindset and start afresh. You can do small things like exercising, reading or even just cooking your favourite meal. Or you could take a break somewhere and use the time to refocus; you don’t have to go away it could just be a break from your daily routine. Making time to do something that you enjoy will give you space to think freely and focus on making changes.

3. Organise yourself. Don’t attempt to juggle too many plates at once. Having too much going on at the one time often just results in inaction and feeling overwhelmed. Instead, take time to plan tasks for work or just your daily life and systemically work through them one by one. Your plan might include setting aside time for job hunting, talking to your manager about your current workload, looking at opportunities to improve your qualifications, or even something as simple as clearing out your inbox. But they should all be in the name of getting re-focused.

4. Recognise that you need to make a change. A job slump can often be boiled down to losing sight of what drives you or put down to making a decision that you’ve been avoiding. Whatever the issue, now you’ve identified it you need to take action! Despite any discomfort, only confronting it and changing it will mean you can stop this feeling and move on from the rut.

The worst thing you can do when you’re in a slump is nothing at all. Productivity is the ultimate cure for stagnation; acknowledge and evaluate, clear your mind, organise and re-focus in order to make that change.

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