How to fix a mid-career slump

VV 30 June 2

Are you getting restless at work and can’t concentrate? It could be you’ve hit a mid-career slump. Here’s how to tell if you have and what to do to fix it

Doing the same job for a number of years without change can lead to a career slump. Your work starts to suffer because you’re not emotional or intellectually engaged with it anymore.

This kind of slump can happen to anyone but there’s plenty you can do to fix it.

How long have you been in the same position for?
A Job Satisfaction Index’ by OfficeTeam found the average length of time people feel they should stay in one job is 6 years. Still, many people spend decades doing the same role, while younger workers (18-24) prefer to spend just 3 years per post.

While it’ll change person-to-person, spending more than 6 years in the same place could lead to job dissatisfaction.

How to fix it: It could be time to look elsewhere or change your career completely. Don’t be put off by statistics saying it takes 10,000 hours to master a new subject. Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, found to become ‘pretty good’ at something only takes 20 hours – or 45 minutes a day for a month.

Have people been promoted ahead of you?
Another easy way to spot if you’re stuck in a rut is that people who join the company after you are getting promoted first. This might suggest either you’re not giving the job 100% or you’re simply not suited for that company.

How to fix it: It might be time to have a word with your boss. If you don’t flag it up, they’re not going to mention it. An Accenture survey found, of the people who asked for a promotion, 17% got a new role more advanced than the one they’d asked for, while 42% got the one they’d targeted.

When was the last significant pay rise?
A signifier you’re going nowhere in your company is the lack of a pay rise. Pay analysts Incomes Data Services found average pay rises are around 3.5% a year. Have a look at your salary over recent years and see what your rises have been. It might be a companywide problem or it could be just you.

How to fix it: Again, you need to be bold and ask for it. The Accenture survey found of those who asked for a pay rise, only 15% got nothing. In fact a quarter got more than they were expecting.

VV 30 June

When was the last time you worked on a new project?
Variety in the workplace can help keep your mind sharp and engaged. Many people get struck in a rut doing the same, repetitive work over and over again. The British Social Attitudes survey shows almost a quarter of people say their job quality has declined because they are now doing less interesting work.

How to fix it: Ask around the office for new projects and make sure you let people know you’re free to work on them. Or you could start your own project and present it to your boss to show you can do other things.

Do you enjoy your work?
When it comes down to it, do you enjoy your work? Job satisfaction is hugely important. It can come from a variety of sources – be it daily challenges, a varied role or simply good co-workers. But the British Social Attitudes survey found the UK is the 6th least satisfied European country when it comes to jobs.

How to fix it: It might be time to change careers or stop working for someone else and become self-employed. ONS figures show self-employment levels are higher than at any point over past 40 years.

Posted by The Secret Businessman