8 ways to get out of a rut at work
Career: Fresh perspective
You are probably looking at your work-life in a singular way which, like the frame of a camera, restricts your view of what is available or possible.
Check out different and contrarian frameworks. One or many of them can offer you a fresh perspective on success.
1. Boss frame
Get to know them personally and let them know you well, including your limitations. Help, facilitate and mentor your team to succeed. Be handy with your praise and celebrate wins.
Encourage analysis and acceptance of failures instead of criticism. Apologise quickly when you are in the wrong. Prioritise needs of team over an individual and take responsibility for both hiring and firing people. When the time comes around, you will be promoted.
2. Pain frame
When you are in a hostile environment because of your colleagues or your boss and the situation cannot be resolved, it is time to change.
Similarly, quit when your employer is unable to pay salaries on time or your new life circumstances make it impossible to continue.
If your work is not challenging enough or you are stagnating in terms of learning or money, have a conversation with your employer to see if there is a solution, before you seek a change.
3. Security frame
Ask for the maximum contribution to a provident or pension fund. Set up a monthly SIP with your mutual fund or a recurring deposit. Automating investments makes sure they happen and demand effort to undo.
Create routines that are frugal like carrying home food for lunch or having a party at home. Invest in purchases that are low cost or low maintenance and spend time with people of similar habits. The financial security will help you make the right career choices each time.
4. Freedom or self frame
When you succeed, do you often tell yourself that you simply got lucky? Most professionals suffer from self-doubt and lack of confidence and sabotage themselves.
Define success at your level and acknowledge your accomplishments. Avoid perfection and aim for good outcomes while you act, dress and talk confidently. Other hurdles include fear of failure, criticism, leaving a comfort zone, taking big decisions and hard work.
Find role models to draw inspiration from, mentors to push you and a support system to pick you up when you are down.
5. Efficiency frame
Firstly, have a short list of 3-5 critical tasks you want to achieve in a day and the top two milestones you want to achieve during the week. Never have a long to-do list because it lulls you into being busy in less important activities.
Establish control of your time so you stick to the discipline of working at a chosen task for a scheduled interval where there will be no other distractions.
Finally, create a time bank by exiting tasks that can be automated or outsourced.
6. Joy frame
But firstly, what do you truly love? If you do not have the answer, give yourself ample time to figure out your life purpose, what you like in your job, what energises you apart from work, how you would prioritise work time if you had no constraints and conversely, what you hate doing.
Once you have your answers, experiment with them in your workspace.
Request your boss or work towards tasks that give you more joy and less pain. Make changes in your approach to focus on priorities. If your passion is a hobby that cannot be part of your career, pursue it outside work. Either way, doing what you love within or outside work will re-energise your career.
7. Risk frame
To overcome this, use the framework of opportunity to think about the risk you are considering. What learnings you will acquire, the career path it will take you on, the dreams that will become possible, the unforeseen opportunities that will crop up versus the cost of failure if your plans do not play out.
Taking well considered risks also imbibes you with confidence and helps you become a better leader.
8. Non-linear frame
So, prepare for a non-linear career path where multiple opportunities will present themselves at every stage and they may not be a step forward each time. Choose options where you grow and add to your skillset.
Developing a creative approach to solving problems will be invaluable. To build a creative mindset, learn to step away from work often. Take time out to volunteer. Volunteering is a great career booster because it fosters new skills, strengthens a resume, adds meaningful new connections and gives you a broad perspective.