Experiencing Career FOMO? 3 Tips For Dealing With A Career Crisis
Over half of US workers are unhappy in their jobs, even as unemployment rates continue to decline. According to a recent survey by the University of Phoneix, almost 75 percent of workers in their 30s desire a career change, and this is also true for an increasing percentage of older adults: career dissatisfaction and crises can affect anyone at any stage.
For many facing a career crisis, they may have found that they have either outgrown their current career, haven’t achieved their expected success, or find themselves wondering if their career is the right one. In times of career doubt, dissatisfaction and confusion, it is important that you approach it in a way that minimizes the impact on your professional life but provides all the clarity and answers you suddenly find yourself seeking.
Make A Career Crisis Pro-Con List
One of the best steps you can take when facing a career crisis at any age or career stage is finding out the root of the issue. By simply taking the time to note what aspects of your current career is making you unhappy, you can then begin to redefine the path to career happiness. Are you unhappy with your current work conditions or management protocols? Has your personal life changed to require you to be more flexible? Do you find your work hours to be overwhelming other aspects of your life? Lastly, have you developed other career interests or lost interest in your job?
If your motivation centers on details attached to your current employer or work conditions, there is a chance you may be experiencing job dissatisfaction rather than career regret. In this case, you can opt to speak to your employer or begin to look for another position elsewhere. However, if there has been a fundamental shift in your personal or career goals, it may be time to take the next steps in finding a new career. In this case, a great starting point is to have a conversation with a career professional, therapist or friend about what you are looking for in your new career direction. Whether it is a better paying career or a long-hidden desire to pursue entrepreneurship, it helps to know why you are facing a sudden career crisis and what your ideal future looks like.
Explore Your Options For A Career Change
Career pivoting is now a common term, particularly for younger workers. According to a recent study by LinkedIn, 61 percent of 25-33-year-olds say that finding a career they are passionate about is their top concern. Many of them find themselves unsatisfied in their job, either due to constant comparison with social media personalities or their other successful friends, or because they’re faced with increased uncertainty in their jobs.
Begin with identifying your current interests, passions, and appealing career fields. Include criteria including salary range, the scope for professional progression, the feasibility of making the switch, and personal satisfaction with the job roles linked with potential careers. It also helps to get real-world career advice from someone in the field you are interested in. Beyond gathering information about the steps to switch careers and what they entail, you can also opt to apply for trainee or volunteer activities, which gives you the chance to try out what your new career could look like in order to narrow down the options and focus your energies on one direction. If you are having a hard time deciding what your next career move should be or what your lifetime career should look like, figure out what really matters to you and look for careers in that area. It may help to speak to a career counselor to clarify your thoughts.
Make Time And Space For Your Mental Health
Finally, take the time to prioritize your mental well-being. According to Joblist’s Midlife Career Crisis survey, 39 percent of people say their top reason for wanting to change careers is that their role has become too stressful. Mental health continues to be undervalued in the workplace, even though it has shown to play a crucial role in your job satisfaction, overall well-being, and career success.
If you find your current career demands have become too much, speak to your supervisor or a trusted colleague for support. At home, carve out time for reflection and self-care. Adopt healthy eating and sleep habits alongside regular exercise. Multiple studies have shown exercise to be a very effective way of reducing and managing stress. Lastly, if you find you need additional emotional and psychological support and find yourself experiencing signs of anxiety or depression, it may be time to speak to a therapist.
Whether it is a midlife crisis or a career crisis, the key lies in accepting that it is a normal experience for many. What matters is how you handle it. With the right tools, support and good research, you can use this time to launch yourself into the career you have always dreamed of and achieve professional bliss.