I talk to many people that are just not thrilled about their career anymore. These are typically people that have been at it for 20+ years and they just seemed bored. Boredom leads to idle time. And idle time allows you to begin questioning your career and life choices. Your mind turns in on itself and you begin to imagine very limited options for your life and career, none of which seem very appealing. You find yourself in a dilemma.
The truth is you may have quit trying to be great at what you do. You have not given your career the energy you once did, and you know it. At the same time you are also seeing an entirely new and younger generation enter the work force. In may cases you may be managing and guiding this generation. You see first hand the youth and exuberance for the job you once had. This can serve to amplify how much you have drifted and stalled out.
If this rings true for you, I have two things to think about and one action item for you. The first thing to consider is to take inventory of what you bring to the job. The decades of experience are invaluable. The lessons you have learned and the wisdom you have gained is something the new hires know nothing about. They have no idea of the struggles that lie ahead. You bring a perspective that only comes with time. How can you use that?
The second thing to think about is the best part of your job. Break down your job into all the functional areas that you can. These can include making presentations, cold calling customers, report writing, research, designing, managing people, vendor management, customer relations, and on and on. Think about what it would take to become a master at one accept of your job. Start with the one area you like the most. Work to become an experienced though-leader that adds new and insightful perspective. Read up on leaders in your industry and elsewhere. If you are 20 years into your career, your company is looking for, and expecting, your leadership.
If your stuck or need a suggestion start with this simple article about Steve Jobs. Among his many accomplishments and skills, many of us recognized his mastery of presentations. Jobs seemed like a natural. Here we learn about how he practiced and rehearsed and refined his presentation for hours and hours in the weeks leading up to any reveal. We are presented with a 20 for 20 rule. How can you apply that level of energy to parts of your career? Can you learn (again) how to be good at being great?