5 reasons you feel stuck in your career

From early childhood, we start idolising people – our parents, grandparents, teachers, aunts and uncles, pop stars, a pilot, cops or firefighters. As soon as we are old enough to understand what each person around us does for a living, we start either liking or disliking it. Subconsciously, our minds begin making choices about which ‘profession’ we would like to venture into and which we dislike. We are also groomed (or maybe forced in some cases) to choose a career path that is traditionally high paying and secure.

But eventually, I guess we all choose something that we like doing or that we are good at.

I know I could just end the blog here and say ‘happily ever after’ went our careers. But sometimes, no matter how wisely we choose a career or job for ourselves, there may arise a standpoint when you start feeling stuck in that job. In simple words, feeling stuck in a situation where you seem not to be able to leave your present job but feel highly dissatisfied with work. The same mundane tasks you have mastered over the years do not offer any more learning or excitement, and you do not look forward to going to work.

While there can be numerous reasons why you may be feeling stuck at work, in my opinion, here are the top 5 reasons that might resonate with you:

1. Accepting a job role without understanding it entirely

At the time, you may have felt this job role was appropriate for you, something you always dreamt of doing. But eventually, you realise the position is much more or much less than you expected. The role does not fit like a glove but, in actuality, feels like a noose.

2.  $$$$ ruled

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When you signed on for the job, it offered a lucrative signing bonus with stock options and an unbelievable year-end bonus! It was too good to be true, and it was irresistible. It’s only when you started the job and over time that you realised the downside of all the ‘extra’ money you received. You might not feel that the money is not worth the time and effort you must put in. The work-life balance has only become a topic for discussion as you have not experienced a day without stress and pressure at work.

3. Outdated skillset

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Many people will agree that they achieve job satisfaction from not just the salaries and bonuses they receive, but greater satisfaction is realised when they see their meaningful contributions resulting in higher profits, efficiency, or global expansions. A continuous learning curve is a high point for many people to feel happy in their careers. If this is lacking and you think your skills are becoming redundant, dissatisfaction starts sinking in. You may feel worthless and lose confidence eventually in your skillset.

4. Not enough recognition at work

This is another factor that makes you feel stuck at work. Your work is not recognised, and your boss has been fending the next promotion and increment questions you have been asking for. Even after mastering the work and putting in time and effort, your job does not seem rewarding anymore.

5. Fear factor

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Change is not everyone’s cup of tea. Everyone is afraid of the unknown. Stagnation happens when you are fearful of making a move. You may be applying for a new job, but inside, you know you are stuck in the current job and unable to move. Not receiving any favourable response from job search also reinstates the lingering fear.

Our career is one of the most important aspects of our lives. Most of us spend the majority of our time, say 8-10 hours, at our jobs out of the 24 hours. You can follow a few simple steps to overcome this situation of feeling stuck at work. Stay tuned and check out this space for my next blog, five easy steps to break free and get unstuck in your career!

“Focus on your key objectives in 2022” – Dean’s message for the New Year!

A new year means new resolutions. As we all fasten our seat belts and rush to achieve our newly formulated objectives, Prof. David Costa, Dean, Robert Kennedy College (RKC), advises to the contrary and suggests we take it slow. Dr Costa proposes not to get overwhelmed or distracted with a long list of resolutions but to focus on small and critical objectives to start with.

We have a great support system for our students at Robert Kennedy College. From highly qualified faculty to a world-class professional alumni network, you’ll know you made the right decision to study for your master’s degree with RKC. Join us today.

The new age leader – a coach and a mentor

We live in a world of flux – a world where change is the only thing constant.  

I remember when I was a kid, my father would tell me about his job and the management style at his office. He worked in a semi-government organization where hierarchy and command-and-control leadership dominated. A more technically qualified and experienced leader would lead a team or a department and evaluate each team members’ performance against a pre-set benchmark. Little or no importance was laid on developing the skill-sets of employees or encouraging innovation.  

Fast forward 20 years, the leadership styles shifted dramatically. The existing (ancient, in my opinion…) management styles were not sustainable and organizations begged for a radical transformation; transformations that would inculcate new energy, ideas, motivation, commitment, and innovation. 

Leaders are expected to step up and assume the role of a coach and a mentor

Types of coaching styles 

Coaches come from a variety of backgrounds. Having a consultant coach from outside the organization could be helpful for developing specific skills or as a one-off motivational camp. A modern learning organization would invest in a coaching style appropriate to the needs of the company. Keeping in view the long-term goals, the leaders within the company are expected to step up and fulfil the need of the hour – the need to assume the role of a coach and a mentor.  

The leader may adopt one of the many leadership styles, with some of the most popular being: 

  1. Democratic: This style as the name suggests, encourages the general principles of democracy and takes into consideration the opinions, ideas, and interests of the people involved.  
  1. Laissez-Faire: This style is the minimum leadership style when the team members operate at their maximum efficiency and vigor and do not require any supervision or direction.  This is generally seen as inefficient, and depends largely on the ability of the teams to self-manage and self-regulate. Not recommended.
  1. Directive: Quite contrary to the Laissez-Faire coaching style, directive leadership requires the leader to ‘tell’ people what is expected of them, assign necessary resources for successful completion of their job, and convey the expected results as well.  
  1. Holistic: No organization today operates in isolation. Businesses are global and companies all over the world are taking wholesome decisions for the greater good. This leadership style recognizes the connection between leader, follower, and organisation, and focuses on a people-in-environment and developmental approach. 

Mentor or a Coach 

People usually use the term coaching and mentorship interchangeably. This is not correct. Mentoring is offering advice based on knowledge, expertise, and experience. Coaching, on the other hand, is inquiry-based. A little push with insightful questioning can spark a person to see themselves and the world differently and solve their own challenges. 

Mentoring is more formal and structured, where a mentor helps his mentee gain a broader and deeper perspective and understanding of the business (and life). A mentor, based on his own experiences, guides and channels mentees by illuminating the right path for them. It is, therefore, more directive in nature and could be related to a directive leadership style. Mentors offer exposure and connections to other functions and levels of the organization.

A coach supports, challenges, and encourages. A coach approach for leaders, on the other hand, uses very different techniques for developing people. The role involves asking and listening rather than knowing and telling. The coach empowers the employees, by making them fully capable of finding their own answers to their problems. Employees have more self-awareness and experience an increased performance.  

Now, this is easier said than done. While leaders may recognize the need to embrace the idea of coaching and mentoring their employees and subordinates, the flair does not come naturally to every leader. However, using right set of tools and resources, anyone can become a seasoned coach. 

Using right set of tools and resources, anyone can become a seasoned coach. 

Our MBA in Coaching, Mentoring, & Leadership programme creates opportunities for you to develop through practice a range of coaching and mentoring skills and techniques and enables the development of a critical understanding of issues related to the design and implementation of coaching and mentoring schemes. The programme is delivered in such a way that you are encouraged to utilise your professional and work-based context as a resource in which to practice and develop your skills in coaching and mentoring. Feel like you could benefit from this? You are not alone! Apply now to join our more than 150 students currently taking the programme!