5 Things to do When You’re feeling Discouraged in Your Career

Man looking discouraged at computer

By: Megan Jones

Everyone wants to feel confident and excited in their position. Moreover, as you continue to progress throughout your career you want to stay motivated to continue to keep growing. However, there may be times when you feel discouraged. This can be normal as almost every position will have highs and lows, however if you have a prolonged feeling of discouragement consider taking a few proactive steps to relieve the feeling. Here are 5 things to do when you’re feeling discouraged in your career.

Signs you Might be Feeling Discouraged
  • Dreading your position
  • Not wanting to take on new projects
  • Questioning your position
  • Lack of focus
  • Feeling “stuck” not feeling like you can advance in your position.

These signs can indicate a multitude of things, however, the bottom line is that you are not feeling satisfied and motivated within your position. Take the time to reflect on why you might be feeling this way. Then consider trying the 5 tips to get yourself re-motivated and excited about your career.

5 Things to do When You’re feeling Discouraged in Your Career

Make a List

When you begin to feel this way, take the time to reflect consider writing down what you are feeling and why you think you may be feeling it. Are there any items that you can resolve on your own? If not, is there a resource that you can use to resolve your concerns that you have written down? This can be the first step in finding a solution to any discouragement you feel.

Be Proactive

When you notice yourself feeling discouraged, be proactive in trying to resolve it. If you are feeling a lull in your workload, take the opportunity to take a training course, ask your manager if you can play a more active role in projects. Ask to shadow a colleague in an area that you aren’t as familiar with. Take your discouragement and see if it can be an opportunity to expand your growth to re-motivate yourself and get back to being excited about your position.

Focus on the Work, not Rewards

In my experience I do appreciate positive feedback, recognition, or rewards. Striving to receive positive rewards and recognition is not a bad thing. However, you should not strive to complete work for the sole purpose of recognition or rewards. Your work is something to be proud of, and it is a great example of your growth over time and the reality is you will not get rewarded every time you complete an assignment or project. If you focus on your work and its importance in your growth, you may feel less discouragement overall. In addition, if you do focus on work, recognition it will feel more rewarding when you receive it.

Talk to Your Manager

Once you recognize you are feeling discouraged and have taken a few proactive steps to resolve the issue on your own, consider talking to your manager and informing them of your situation. Your manager can be a great resource in helping resolve how you are feeling. Additionally, it is important to communicate with your manager how you are feeling.

Reflect on Your Career Path

So you have taken multiple steps to resolve the feeling, yet you aren’t seeing any changes in how you feel. Take the time to reflect on your career path. Maybe there aren’t enough career advancement opportunities for you within this department or organization. Maybe the work doesn’t inspire you and therefore, you don’t feel excitement or motivation. It is okay to adjust your path if you feel discouraged. However, before making any drastic career changes, consider taking a few preliminary steps to try and resolve the feeling first.

Feeling discouraged can be difficult and it can be challenging to navigate your way out. We hope these tips help guide your way to a long and exciting career path!

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