Career Rut Explained: A dull, unproductive feeling that lingers; a common phenomenon for almost everyone in a job culture. Working hard for long, going through the same twenty four seven "rut-tine", the result- no satisfaction, inability to show enthusiasm, no motivation for the next task, eventually losing interest and focus. The right determination, latent, now does not turn on due to the recurring schedule and the uninspiring passing months. Not being able to excite ourselves too much, when it comes to our professional front, given the option of saying no is reduced. All these are the signs of a career-work rut.
Yes, some of the things have been turned out to be beneficial to us, such as working from home also meaning working in as much comfort as we want, not to mention, the all-day-pajama-day yet we have also seen the effect on productivity, procrastination due to convenience of opening the laptop literally at any time of the day or night. And then we have ended by saying "more grinding than ever at work from home".
So, when you feel like the work is constant, you need to gear up for a chance to see yourself growing, prospering, professionally as well as personally. Getting out of that career rut starts with recognizing the situation and acting sooner.
Changing jobs also does not seem like a great and easy decision to make as even after more than a year with not much subsiding covid situation; we might be really stuck in a work rut!
Here is What You Can Do to Get Out of a Career Rut
It is important to maintain the same enthusiasm as you generally have during the honeymoon period of your company. Otherwise, you won't be able to grow- constant challenges, sometimes saying Yes to the hesitant No, taking up the right opportunities. Isn't it? While being faced with a consistent 10-12 hour schedule, and factors affecting your challenges, you might be finding yourself stuck in a repetitive schedule. Understand the growth that you always wanted and get out of this Career Rut. Here is How-
1. Understand limitations in your work
For any work to become a success, it requires ideation and then execution. You could be creative and bring in wonderful ideas. But, to execute the ideas and make them successful you have to work on the same thing, look for the glitches, and re-work again and again to overcome the obstacles and make your idea successful. This execution process may also make your work look like a routine one and bring in boredom.
Also, some companies focus on increasing productivity by assigning the same tasks again and again, so that you become an expert in that task. Especially, during covid times, training is greatly affected, and many seniors are trying to get more work by assigning the same tasks. This could also lead to monotony.
Understand what is going on in your workplace. The former case is all about dedication to make your ideas successful and an integral part of any work. The latter case can be subjective and could indicate that your boss is not inclined to give you new work and affect your learning. If so, talk to your boss and explain how it is affecting you and how new learnings can be a win-win situation for you and also the company.
2. Take breaks that keep your determination high
You might be even bored of just those tea breaks or phone scrolling breaks. You need to keep up that motivational level and your break should help you in that too. A song that cheers up your mood, a call/ talk to your mentor, a talk with yourself, just retrospection, a walk that ups your energy, or a power nap- use a variety of breaks that does not let you fall back in the routine the similar way.
3. Set and Expand Your Goals
Goals always give you much-needed direction. Unless you have a goal you don't know where you are going. You either are satisfied with the little achievements or crib by looking at others' achievements. You won't be able to utilize your full potential without a goal. Also, you may not motivate yourself to try new things and just work on matters that just come to you. Slowly, you lose interest in the work that you do.
So, make sure you have a well-defined goal, based on that learn new skills. As you achieve each milestone, you feel more accomplished and helps you avoid the feeling of monotony.
4. Do the same thing differently
This is a good way to get out of a work rut, which also allows you to do things differently. Many people focus on completing the work. They even don't bother improving the method/ process defined by their boss. This scenario is definitely the most boring act. Even if you are the one who developed a method of working, every now and then, look for new ways of doing the same thing. Apart from avoiding the boredom in your work, who knows, you could come up with a major breakthrough.
5. Bring a change in your Work Desk
Change how your work desk looks like;
Change your laptop, notepad position a little;
The pin-board needs some change too- get rid of old quotes and pictures;
Pin a new Goals List maybe just freshen up the last list;
If you are working from home, you may even relocate the whole desk setup Handle change- here is how
6. Work on that Daily Routine
Sometimes, the schedule force you to do certain things. If you have the habit of starting at
9 am sharp, taking breaks at a fixed time, then twisting it a bit may help with the rut. Even if you log in at 9, try doing background research of the current tasks to know more about it, or just go through some of your previous work to bring a small change and start your day with a different and fresh perspective.
7. Finally, Say Yes to some Nos
You might have been holding yourself back from doing a few tasks that you don't feel very confident about. Go tell your manager right now to assign that to you. It will indicate your fearlessness to take up new projects and the opportunity might give a good push to make you better.
8. Work on that lacking skill
You might always want to become the better coder, or a better designer, and you may even have that want to do attitude but not the time; this may be the time to get yourself out there to work on that skill, get better, and even help yourself with the work-rut. So, take up the course you need and add a great skill to your resume.
9. Helping others can help you too
Working with different people, teams, cross-domain projects(if allowed), can help you get the necessary difference in the environment. Each person has a different style and approaches towards his/ her work, you can learn a lot from that too. Also, you may be able to find people in your situation, and hence you can see their set of practices they try to help themselves with the rut.
To re-iterate, even the most creative jobs include repetitive tasks, that lead to boredom and gives you the feeling of being in a rut. Overcoming this feeling is as important as developing any other qualifications required to stay relevant in your job. Whether you follow the above tricks or follow your own way, make sure you overcome this feeling and become successful in your work life.