Sitting here this morning working from home (I’m a real estate agent), I turned on the television. One of the best daytime shows of all time was presented: The Price Is Right! Bob Barker, what a race! What if he hadn’t seized the opportunity when it presented itself 35 years ago? How did walking through that door of opportunity change your life? I’m sure it would have been successful elsewhere, but would it have been on the same level? Nobody really knows the answer to that question. But we know the answer to what made you say “yes” to that opportunity!
What about you and your career? Have there been opportunities that presented themselves but you refused to “walk through that door”? If so, why not? Is the fear of the unknown a fear so intense that it freezes you in place? Is the comfort level such that you don’t want to upset the apple cart?
Change is something that we as humans do not embrace, at least enthusiastically. Even in your current position, do you ever come across changes in rules or procedures? What is your initial reaction? Are you so ingrained in your ways that adapting to change creates stress? Sometimes change is good. I heard it said once, or maybe I read it somewhere, that if you “always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” There is truth to be found in those words! Isn’t there a better way to do what you do?
Dissatisfaction with your current situation is a sign that you need to implement some kind of change. Maybe it’s just a procedural modification? Maybe it’s a new approach. When things get stuck, we often suffer from tunnel vision. Opening up to new ideas, new methodologies, is the first step to recovery – recovery from the disease of stalled career syndrome.
What are the symptoms of stalled career syndrome? Some of the symptoms include lack of enthusiasm, seeing the glass as half empty (pessimism), repetitive processes without positive results, and unsatisfied satisfaction (oxymoron?). These manifestations, when combined, leave you in a state of confusion. Confusion about your future. Confusion about what to do next.
So how do you respond to stalled career syndrome? First of all, don’t focus only on failures. Sure, you need to identify the things that are working. They may not be producing results to the level you want, but they are positively contributing to your career goals. You must also identify the things that are not working. Write all these activities. When you put problems on paper, the image will come into better focus. Put the goal or objective on paper.
What are some changes that need to be implemented? Maybe it’s something as simple as getting an education or additional skills. Maybe it’s just the environment you’re operating in? Do not forget that those around you can be the anchor that supports your career? It could be that the processes you are doing are appropriate, but the environment does not support your success. Let’s say you are a farmer. You have mastered the technique to plant a garden. You know the time of year to sow, the types of crops that your environment favors, how to operate the necessary equipment, all the steps. However, if the soil (environment) is not suitable for the desired results, nothing will ever develop. If a harvest is the result of your efforts, it may not produce the greatest harvest for the efforts invested. To maximize the return on efforts, the farmer simply needs to plant in the right soil, or amend the soil with fertilizers, to maximize his return.
After all, this analysis requires that the only modification be a change to your environment. However, a modification in the environment. Is it time to make a change in your environment? Recognize the situation for what it is and plant your crop in new soil! You may have no idea how big the harvest will be. Taking advantage of available opportunities and resources may be all it takes to cure this thing: stalled career syndrome. Good luck and may your harvest be bountiful!