It’s inevitable that at some point in your life, you’ll find yourself in an unfulfilling job. If that’s you right now, here are a few tips for getting yourself out of that rut and cultivating a fulfilling life.
In a culture that places a lot of value on careers, it’s easy to feel discouraged if you’re not exactly where you want to be or if your job doesn’t meet the millennial social media standard of cool. Last October, I accepted a position that was (and still is) less-than ideal, but gradually, I’m learning to be content where I am while I take steps towards where I want to be.
Look for Hidden Opportunities
Ask your boss if you can attend webinars, take online certification courses, or shadow someone in another position. Of course, not all managers will be accommodating, but there’s no harm in asking. No matter what field you’re in, there are tons of online workshops, courses, and even podcasts that can help you develop your skill set and explore potential opportunities.
Focus on Personal Growth
Most people don’t start out in their dream job, so it’s important to find worth and fulfillment in other places. For me, this often takes the form of hobbies. I’ve always loved to play and write music, even though I’ve never tried to make a career out of it. Find something you love that doesn’t necessarily relate to your career and make sure to devote some time to it each week. Whether this means attending a yoga class, exploring nature, or starting a new hobby, it’s a great way to grow and find fulfillment in new places.
We tend to put a lot of focus on networking—and there is value in that—but make sure to prioritize relationships with the people you love even if they can’t help your career. It’s always great to be friends with your coworkers or people in your industry who understand your struggle, but make sure to foster your other relationships, too.
Don’t get caught up in the productivity trap. It’s okay to spend a Saturday reading or watching TV in bed without pressuring yourself to do something. Sometimes, a restful break is more helpful to your mind and body than a weekend filled with checking off items on your to-do list. Embrace doing nothing every once in awhile—and refuse to feel guilty about it.