In any workplace, there are clear signals that tell you it’s time to look elsewhere.
Here’s a classic.
You’re good at what you do and take pride in your work.
The department/crew/channel is humming along nicely under your watch. You’ve worked hard to connect with everyone in the group, ensuring their voices are heard and concerns met. There was an overhaul of the rules sometime back and the improvements are paying dividends.
As a combination coach, consultant, and cheerleader, you’re someone that people feel comfortable bringing their problems to. And you’re happy to help.
Everyone seems comfortable, or somewhat happy with their roles and the group is working well together. Any complaints or problems are identified quickly and brought to the attention of the powers that be for their final resolution.
The trouble is, some days, you find the drama is a bit too much.
You’ve been feeling stagnant for a while. You have great skills that aren’t being used. Sometimes you think the bosses don’t really know what else you’re capable of. You’re getting antsy.
You’ve watched while others have moved on to greener pastures, given other tasks, while you’ve remained behind.
You finally screw up the courage to ask your boss for something more challenging. You tell him you need a break from the routine. You give him some great ideas of how you could contribute.
His response is, “I need you here.”
You’ve just been pronounced dead in the water.
Once you hear those words, there’s no hope for advancement in your current position. Your boss’s vision is narrow and he only sees you as a tool that is most conveniently suited for the work you are performing today.
You’re in a trap of your own making. The trap of competence.
In most industries, it’s a telltale sign that it’s time to find a new job.
- Take inventory of your knowledge and highlight areas that you would like to improve.
Update your skills.
- Take a writing course. I recently joined the Story Grid Guild and look forward to some intense networking and learning in the new year. Learn how to use social media to your advantage. If you want something new, challenge yourself.
Shift your focus to what you want to do.
- What are you neglecting? If your novel is suffering because you’re writing too many policies or work-focused documents, stop putting work first. Shave out a block of time in your day and write what you want to write.
Expand your network.
- As a writer, submit to different publications. Take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. Submit to print publications. Write an article for your local newspaper. Try something completely new.
Shake things up.
- Look at other opportunities, quietly. Get a sense of what else is out there and what jobs might interest you. Decide what skills you need and start preparing.
You don’t have to stay in the same place because someone has pigeonholed you. It’s possible to begin again, in a new place or even in a completely new career. Believe in yourself.
You know you can do it because you’ve done it before.