There are times in your career when the road to success seems littered with obstacles. These career struggles often lead to frustration and demotivation, and make you feel stuck. Robbe Hoymans, senior consultant at staffing specialist Walters People, runs through the most common obstacles as well as giving advice on how to overcome them and get your career back on track.
Lack of career goals
"Lacking clear, measurable goals in your career can lead to a feeling of aimlessness and stagnation," says Robbe. "To know where you are working towards and how you are progressing, it is important to create a solid career plan. To do this, based on your personality and skills, determine what goal you want to achieve when, and use this as a guide for your professional decisions."
Robbe: "When you feel that your efforts are not sufficiently appreciated or that your achievements are not recognised, it can be very demotivating. You get discouraged to make extra efforts, which reduces your chances of professional success."
"Therefore, schedule regular one-to-one meetings with your supervisor to discuss your progress and achievements, and ask for sufficient feedback."
Conflicts in the workplace
Frictions or arguments with team members or managers can have a negative impact on your work environment and performance. "Unresolved conflicts lead to unnecessary frustration and stress, and weaken team spirit. Therefore, try to resolve conflicts constructively. Talk openly with all involved, be flexible and look for compromises together," advises Robbe.
Lack of growth and development opportunities
"When you have limited growth opportunities in your current job or organisation, it can lead to feeling stuck in your career. A lack of professional development in the form of training and further education also causes a feeling of stagnation," Robbe knows. "Therefore, try to stay informed of developments in your field and indicate to your employer in which field you wish to retrain. When doing so, be as specific as possible so that the duration, the cost and the benefits the training will bring are clear."
Poor work-life balance
A work-life imbalance can lead to dissatisfaction and stress at work. "In the longer term, this can affect your personal well-being and even cause burnout," warns Robbe. "It is therefore essential to recognise and address this situation in time. Learn to say 'no' from time to time and set clear boundaries between work and private life. Ensure sufficient exercise and relaxation in your free time."
Too little challenge
"When you are not sufficiently stimulated and challenged in your job, you risk becoming bored and feeling dissatisfied with your work. This can even spill over into a real bore-out, resulting in irritability, fatigue and a drop in performance. To avoid this, it is important to talk openly with your manager about your need for more challenge. Step out of your comfort zone and apply for more complex or new projects, or explore the possibilities of an internal transfer. Finally, don't be afraid - if necessary - to take the plunge into the unknown. A new job is guaranteed to bring challenges. The renewed energy and satisfaction you get from your work will then naturally follow," Robbe concludes.