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Stuck in a rut? Escape the career doldrums by Andrew Jenkins

Coaching Academy Trainer and Professional Personal and Business Coach, Andrew Jenkins, offers his views on reaching career crisis point and what you can do about it.

Unless you are one of those lucky people who love your job, then changing career can be a daunting challenge. If you have heard yourself say: “I must get out of here”, “I hate my job, I’m stuck-in-a-rut”, or “I’d like to find a more satisfying job, but I don’t know what I’m good at”, then you maybe at a career crisis point.

This is what happened to Andrew Jenkins.

Andrew’s previous career was in operations, managing multi-million change programmes. He said “I became increasingly unfulfilled in my role. My natural strengths and talents were the ‘softer’ and more people-based ones”. So, Andrew left his high-flying position with 3i (the global venture capital giant) and re-oriented his career into coaching.

He now runs his own coaching and mentoring consultancy company, specialising in coaching people, both inside and outside of their organisations, on their career, performance and personal development. He says “I now feel I am doing what I enjoy most and am best at.”

For many of us, work takes up a lot of our lives, but various surveys suggest that only around 30% of working people report being happy in their jobs. Leaving the rest dissatisfied or unfulfilled. Many claim to be unable to change their situation, due to factors such as: money, age, or lack of experience. Often however the real reasons lurk deeper-down within us. These are to do with our limiting beliefs about ourselves, or fear of change, so we accept our present crisis-situation.

According to Andrew, surprisingly, many of us have little sense of our natural talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Instead, guided by our parents, school teachers, and bosses at work, we have become experts in our weaknesses. We spend unfruitful time repairing these flaws, whilst remaining unaware of our dormant strengths and talents.

So, how does one get out of the career doldrums?

Andrew says, firstly, it’s not just about your skills. There is a huge difference between doing something because you have the necessary know-how and doing something because you actively choose to”.

The key difference is to search for what motivates you most and apply these to the process of change. Your career aspirations must sit comfortably with your highest values though, because our values are core to what motivates us.

Secondly he says, “you need to reinvent yourself, and rediscover what your true dreams and ambitions are, and what you’re truly best at. You need match your unique-self to your dream-job”. He states, that we must eradicate our limiting beliefs to accept change; explore our highest values and motivations; and identify our strengths and talents.

You need to ask yourself: “What am I really good at? What do I want to do most of all? What is most important to me? What do I want to be remembered for?”

10 Responses to "Stuck in a rut? Escape the career doldrums by Andrew Jenkins"

1 | Susan Andrewes

October 13th, 2011 at 11:12 am

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Thanks for this great article, Andrew.

Most studies seem to suggest that 75% or more of people are in jobs they don’t enjoy, which is incredible – but hardly surprising, given that we are all expected to go out and get a ‘proper job’ (i.e. one that pays the bills) as soon as we leave university.

I specialise in helping professionals in their 30s and 40s have the courage to break free from a job they hate and get paid to do what they love, and agree with you completely that, growing up, we are taught to focus on repairing our weaknesses rather than on what we love and are naturally good at. I would love to see a world where we all get paid for our strengths, talents and what makes us come alive and am on a mission to help make that happen.

It takes courage to leave an unrewarding but secure job for the great unknown, but taking the time to work out what you really want and then create that life is one of the best gifts you can ever give yourself.

Best wishes, Susan

2 | Pete Reece

October 13th, 2011 at 7:32 pm

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Great article. In my role of Job Satisfaction Coach, I come across dissatisfaction in many guises. What I find is that it’s not always the case that someone may need a new career. They may need to re-ignite the professional passion that took them to where they are now or they may need to re-connect with their values to confirm their original career choice and perhaps realise all they are missing is some extra responsibility or recognition for the great job they’re doing. Yes, career change where it’s required but we wouldn’t be doing our jobs as coaches if we didn’t help the client to explore all options available to them.

3 | Richard Moriarty

October 14th, 2011 at 11:18 am

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It really goes a lot further than that – I recently did coaching for 10 long term unemployed people – it was the first time that anyone had suggested to them to think about what they would enjoy doing! after six weeks all ten people had moved from being long term unemployed to either a college course to get them into the job they wanted, into volunteer positions to gain experience to enable them to get the job they wanted or better still into a job!

what a shame coaches are not employed in job centres!
10/10 isn’t too bad really!

4 | Agnieszka (Aggie)

October 17th, 2011 at 8:04 pm

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Hi Andrew,

Its nice to hear from you, I still remember the session I had with you @ Coaching Academy in April.

Great article,
Best Regards
Aggie

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November 23rd, 2011 at 10:58 am

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[...] workplace stress rarely turns out well but Carmen MacDougall says it was the best thing that ever happened to her. [...]

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7 | Kjell Stale

December 8th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

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Thanks for sharing all this great stuff, keep up the
good work. I will for sure come back again to read
more of your articles.

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