Being in a role that does not fit has a tremendous upside. Let’s face it, most of us aren’t self-motivated. It’s only when we’re in pain that we take action to change our situation into one that better meets our needs.
Perhaps you feel stifled in your present situation—maybe you feel restricted creatively or strategically. Maybe you aren’t being challenged in a way that motivates you. Or maybe you’re perfectly competent at your position but it just no longer meets your wish to contribute to something larger than yourself. That’s great!
You now have excellent, tangible indicators to help you craft what you do want. It’s hard to create in a vacuum. That’s why we’re able to tell others what we don’t want, but very few of us can articulate what we do want. It’s hard to imagine what you haven’t experienced.
Make a list of what’s not working and think about what clues it gives you about what will make you happy. Let’s say you’re not feeling challenged. Imagine a time when you were. What types of projects or situations did you find challenging? What is missing in your current scenario? Is your feeling about not making a significant contribution related to the fact that you’ve already mastered your role? Are you motivated by learning new things and meeting new people? Are you so good in your present job that you are isolated and limited to doing something you are “expert” at?
Use your dissatisfaction to your benefit. Now is the time to get a better picture of what you want at work so you can get more of it in your life. You’re unhappy. Fine. Many people are. But you don’t have to remain that way. Once you have a better sense of what you want, see if you can incorporate those types of challenges/situations into your current position. Most managers are happy to have staffers suggest new ways their talents can be leveraged. There is minimal risk involved in letting management know how you can help them further.
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