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Bounce Back Career Plateau

By Sara White posted 05-03-2015 10:07


The Mind Tools’ Club Beware The Mid-Career Slump Bouncing Back From a Career Plateau has the following advice for us.

  • Realize that job satisfaction is U-shaped over time as you start and end your career on a high while slumping or plateauing in the middle.
  • Stop and think about how you felt at the beginning of your career as chances are your were excited about the possibilities that lay ahead and keen to develop your skills and expertise. You were also probably full of ideas and ambitious goals.
  • Towards the end of your working life there is a good chance that you will feel satisfied and rewarded by how far you have come and looking forward to your next stage in retirement.
  • So where does this leave people in the middle having established their careers but are a long way from retirement?  They can experience a drop in their level of motivation and enthusiasm and they might struggle to find their work as exciting as when they began.
  • Recognize that you have a mid-career slump if you experience some of these signs
    • Began to question whether you want to continue in pharmacy or do something entirely new
    • Feel unhappy, unmotivated discontented, or unfulfilled
    • You are less productive and efficient than you used to be
    • Look for excuses to take a day off
    • Feel stressed, burned out or even a bit depressed
  • To beat the slump
    • Find meaning in your current role by asking yourself what aspects do excite you, would stimulate you to grow (teaching, precepting, publishing, presenting, leading professional organizations, etc.) and how could you contribute to your department or organization’s mission.
    • Set and document meaningful goals and action plans with timelines so you have something to work on
    • Add new challenges by getting involved in some organization wide or departmental committees, developing and proposing solutions to current problems, educating others on the new technologies, TED talks, You Tube presentations, books you have read, etc.
    • Find a mentor or coach to broaden your perspective. Look for someone you are impressed with, respect, is doing or has done what you would like to do such as publish, present, teach, lead professional organizations, etc. and ask them to assist you.
    • Perhaps change roles or take on new responsibilities such as a leadership role. Look for, seize and make opportunities for yourself.
    • Redefine your happiness at this point in time as it has probably changed significantly from when you first started.
    • Enhance your relationships by partnering with your superior to assist them in meeting their goals, which enlarges your perspective and getting to know others outside of the pharmacy.
  • Set yourself some check points such as quarterly to assess how you are doing and make any needed changes.

Realize your career/life is a journey and not a destination.  Comments?



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