Are you slacking in your job because you feel stuck? Don’t worry, it seems a lot of people are. Our founder and Girlboss Dior filmed an IGTV video on this a few weeks ago because our newsletter readers wrote in to say how stuck and demotivated they felt.
Firstly, 2020 has been a car crash of a year, so take some pressure off yourself.
Secondly, as Dior says in the video, THIS FEELING WILL NOT LAST FOREVER. Say that with me “This feeling will not last forever.” Can you think back to when you’ve felt a little lost in previous years? Now that seems like a distant memory, right? At the risk of being too cliche, life is full of ups and downs and you just have to ride the wave.
To begin, let’s pinpoint why you’re slacking.
Do you feel limited? If so, limits can be broken down into two sections; external and internal. External refers to matters you can’t control, such as your manager’s actions or your company’s financial situation. Internal limits can be controlled by you, and Dior uses the example of a job position being available but you’ve told yourself you’re not good enough for it, so you don’t apply. Both of these can be tackled head-on by accepting the situation you are in and then plan, plan, PLAN how you’re going to break those limitations.
I’M SLACKING BECAUSE…MY MANAGER WILL NOT HELP ME PROGRESS
This is unfathomably common in the workplace, so you’re not alone. Start by professionally expressing how you feel to your manager in a one-to-one session and be ready to show how much you deserve and want to progress. The worst thing in this situation is to appear entitled by framing your argument purely on feelings and personal opinion. Don’t be spoilt, but be firm. Present a business case by demonstrating the value you’ve added to the company (with facts and figures) and how you aim to further contribute further if you have your manager’s support.
Failing this, organise a meeting with HR to discuss how to tackle the matter further after not having support from your manager. Breaking career limits can be daunting, so use Pepper Your Talk’s worksheet to guide you on the do’s and don’ts and generally find clarity on how to navigate the situation.
TOP TIP: Remember – your feelings are totally valid, it’s how you act on them that’s important.
I’M SLACKING BECAUSE…I’M NOT HAPPY IN MY JOB ANYMORE
Again, this is totally normal. We are not bound to a job and when you feel like you’ve become limited in your career, it is okay to want to move forward. Utilise your free time outside of your 9-5 and assign yourself a couple of hours to apply for jobs and networking. Although I must say, because of ‘you know what’ (I am sick of saying the C-word) it is a trickier-than-usual time to apply for new roles so it might be worth investing in your skills in the meantime.
Spotlight a job that you’d like to go for in the future and begin tailoring your skillset through online courses or voluntary work until you get those boxes ticked. Most likely you’ll start to get your creative mojo back and consequently, you’ll have a spring in your step at work.
I’M SLACKING BECAUSE…I FEEL DEMOTIVATED
We LOVE talking about motivation at PYT because so many people have approached it in the wrong way. We even have a workbook that helps you figure out how to stay motivated long term. Demotivation can often feel like the worst limit of all because it’s all to do with your mind and you physically can’t change anything until you’ve mentally overcome the situation first. Whilst you’re working through this (the feeling WILL pass), use this article to help you maintain a routine that is scientifically-proven to lift your mood.
I’M SLACKING BECAUSE…I GENERALLY FEEL DOWN
This has been a really difficult and mentally challenging year. As a result, the NHS and the government have released lots of resources you can utilise to make sure you’re looking after your mind, as well as your body. Here is an A-Z of mental health charities that are on hand to talk to anyone, from any background, of any age. You can also speak to your GP about receiving cognitive behavioural therapy, which is “a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave”. I personally know a lot of people who have referred themselves for this in the last few months and have found it incredibly helpful. Now it’s important to note that it may not work for everyone but it’s even more important to know that it is not an embarrassing or shameful thing to do.
All of the above limitations can be broken by looking forward and planning. Start by making three, six, nine or 12-month goals that will help slowly but surely drive you in the right direction. Remember everyone’s career path is different, so stay hopeful about your individual journey and slacking will be the least of your worries.
Words by Joanna Standley