You set your alarm and wake up every morning to go to the same dull job that you just aren't passionate about anymore. But you can't quit until you get a new job, so you're stuck in a trap waiting for an exciting new position to open up — which could be a long wait if your career goals are specific or you're further along in your career. But there’s a way to help alleviate the burnout, at least a little bit, and the trick is to make your current job work for YOU.
Typically, we think of our work as benefitting the overall company — after all, that’s why we’re getting paid. And, when we apply for new jobs, we’re always presenting ourselves in terms of “what I can do for you,” and not the other way around. But, a fulfilling career is also part of this equation, and we all expect to be learning something on the job. So, have you considered putting yourself first? This doesn’t mean taking advantage of or defrauding the company in some way, but rather prioritizing the projects that are most likely to benefit you in the long run. Is there something you’ve been interested in learning more about? Maybe you can create a project or set goals for yourself that facilitate this in some way. The project could involve learning a new skill, solving a complex problem, or forming partnerships with different types of companies that you’re less familiar with. Plus, you’ll probably make some great new connections in the process that could help you get out of your current situation sooner. It will also boost your resume — with some additional skills, you might be able to make a career transition that’s a departure from your current line of work.
Think about what’s not working for you now, and identify what you’d like to be doing. From there, you can start to create a strategic plan that may renew your interest in your current company or will at least keep you engaged until you’re able to find a new position. And don’t forget, you can always continue researching new companies and filling out those job applications on the side.
--Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan