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Career Pivot: Feeling stuck in your current role - learn to job craft

Updated: Nov 10, 2018

Employees who work non-traditional hours often get stuck in a role for a realized or unrealized fear that they won't be offered the some level of flexibility in another role or another company. This can lead to stagnation and eventually job dissatisfaction and reduced performance. What if instead of disengaging from your role you learn to job craft?

I went to a recent lecture by Professor Eva Demerouti around job crafting. Eva determines job crafting as a adaptive behavior to improve your job satisfaction and increase your long term resilience to change. Job crafting has been proven to create more flexible employees who are better able to adopt and adapt to change. What this all means is that even if you are unable to change your current role you can make small, incremental, changes which can create motivating and meaningful work increasing both your job satisfaction and your performance. This has been proven to reduce burn out and create more engaged employees.

There are two main ways colleagues can successful job craft - increasing your motivation and adapting the resources available to you. Eva suggests three steps to be able to do this type of job crafting;

1. Seek Resources - this can be finding appropriate training to allow you to better manage the physical or mental requirements of your role or it could also be to finding the right support to help you manage the role. The right support could be finding a mentor or sponsor who may be able to provide you with useful insights to help you re-engaged with your role. Another, extremely underutilized, resource is meaningful feedback. Seeking and gratefully receiving meaningful feedback from those who work with you will give you a new insight into your role and help you find areas for improvement - potentially reengaging you with your role through meaningful learning.

2. Seek Out Challenges - An important tool to keep motivated within a role is to push the boundaries of the role. Not only will this keep you engaged but it will also show those around you, including your manager, that you are ready for the next step. One way to create meaningful challenges is to look at job adverts for positions you would like to have in three to five years - identify what skills do you need to develop and look for ways to develop them within your current role or through volunteering/outside opportunities. This is something that I personally have focused on within my volunteering work building up my strategic knowledge base and also in the early days of my career increasing my client relationship skills set.

3. Optimize Demands on your Time - Sometimes there never feels like there is enough time to do all the things required in your role and if you have 'sought out additional resources' or are unable to obtain additional resources then the next step is optimize. This could be resetting boundaries with co-workers and clients or learning to find more time by re-evaluating your calendar. This may mean a re-balance of your home priorities to free you up to focus on work for a period of time or it could also mean resetting expectations at work around your availability. The aim is to reduce the possibility of burn out.

When setting out to job craft start small and work your way up towards a larger change. Eva also suggests making sure that all your steps, big and small, are SMART. For example "I want to improve my phone manner so I will arrange a meeting with Person X tomorrow morning to ask for feedback on the last two calls I had with Person X". Eva also suggests that it is important, as with all life changes, to regularly revisit your job crafting, evaluating the impact of the steps you have taken and making any necessary improvements.

Good luck Job Crafting....

If you enjoyed this post please check out my blog here, including another post focused on career pivoting by being more selfish.

All opinions are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.


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