Finding Perspective in a Career Rut
For the last three months, I’ve settled into corporate life. I mean, I’m not wearing a suit every day, but I’ve got an ID card with a photo that looks like a mug shot and a Lenovo laptop. So, yeah, call me Ms. Corporate from now on.
It always surprises me how little time it takes for the unordinary to become ordinary. For me, it takes me about six weeks. So I’ve well and truly found my feet in this corporate world.
I’ve become accustomed to working eight hours a day, five days a week, on the 15th floor of a huge glass building on the northern edge of Melbourne’s CBD. But the familiarity of this daily routine doesn’t make it any easier.
Before I started this corporate job, I was questioning my career progression as a freelancer. Hell, I was questioning whether I was even in the right industry to begin with. I was fed up, unfulfilled, desperate. So, I quit freelancing. I mean, sometimes you just need to mess things up in order to find some clarity.
And clarity I found.
I remember all the reasons I left the corporate life to begin with. It’s not because this job is horrible or anything. It’s actually quite a comfortable, well-paid, strictly 9-5 position. I’m trusted to just do a good job here. Hell, I’m appreciated! And even though there are frustrations, they’re easy to forget when you leave the office at 5pm on the dot every day.
It’s not the job itself, it’s the corporate-ness of it all that really gets to me. I’m just not a corporate girl. I hate that two hours of my day is spent crammed on public transport. I hate the lifelessness of the office. I hate that people are rewarded with roles just because they’ve been loyal to the company for over 20 years, not because they’re trained or even any good at what they do.
The worst part is, I know if I were to stay in corporate for the rest of my career, I wouldn’t end up a writer, I’d end up a manager – and that’s not the future I want for myself.
Through this job, I’ve managed to find some real perspective.
Each day, I’m reminded that I’m a darn good content writer (ugh, do you know how difficult that was to type out?!). I’ve come to realise that the world is moving into a much more dynamic way of working – where people are rewarded for being skilled at more than one thing. I’ve learnt more about what I’m good at and what needs some work.
From all these lessons and realisations, I’ve re-envisioned what I offer here at The Woven. And that, my friends, makes me really excited.
How to find perspective in a career rut:
1. Find new methodologies that redefine what you do
No matter how long you’ve been in your career for, or how senior you are, there’s always more you can learn. If you truly believe this, then you’re going to be fine!
Start by finding new blogs to read, visiting a book shop, signing up for a course, go even going to an event or panel discussion. Open your mind to new ideas and discussions that you stumble upon. Deep dive into ideas that spike your interest. And just keep learning.
Since I started exploring my love for design, I quickly recognised huge similarities between the way designers approach their work, and the way I should be approaching copywriting. The more I dove into this world, the more similarities I found. I finally stumbled upon methodologies called Content Design and Content First, which mimic the Design Thinking methodology that user experience designers use.
From that, I completely and totally reimagined the way I run this business. I now have a HUGE burst of energy for what I do. And I feel like I’ve found my point of difference in this over-saturated market 🙌.
There’s so much information out there. Go out there, start researching, you’ll be surprised where it may take you.
2. Find some new friends in your field
Sometimes all you need to get out of a career rut are some likeminded people who are passionate about what you’re passionate about.
But where do you even begin?
LinkedIn is a fantastic place to start looking. Instead of checking Facebook every time you’re bored or need a break, jump onto LinkedIn instead, and start engaging with content and people within your field.
Sign up for talks or events. Take a buddy if going to an event by yourself gives you seriously high levels of anxiety (😧), but make a point of talking to the people next to you. What’s the worst that’ll happen?.. They give you a one word answer and turn away from you? Ouch, but you can definitely shrug that one off! Their loss anyway, because let me remind you, you’re a badass boss who’s got a lot to offer.
So, go forth, make friends!
3. Shake things up
When all else fails, maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit and do something drastically different. You’ll either love it or hate it. But either way, it’ll help clear some space in your mind to think about what you really, really want.
Maybe that’s getting a part-time job in retail, so you can get back from your business for a bit and reassess what in your career is really important to you. Or maybe that’s going back to school and up-skilling. Maybe it’s taking on different types of clients or work.
Just keep trying new things until you get a clear vision of where you want to be.