If you’re like most Millennials (born between 1977 and 1997), you can expect to spend an average of 4.4 years at each of the jobs you hold during your working years. That means that you could have between 15-20 jobs during your career! Unlike our grandparents, it is highly unlikely that someone who graduates college today will stay with one company for 40 years, get their gold Rolex watch and retire with a pension.
The days of feeling secure and interested in one job for decades are long gone. In many companies, the only way to move up is to move out and find another job. The ladder of promotion no longer exists, and working at one company for a long time is no promise of advancement.
This means that you’ll probably begin to look for a new opportunity after just a few years, and need to keep your skills sharp. You’ll be on the job hunt more frequently, asking company after company to invest in your abilities. You need a way to keep yourself engaged and learning, even if you’re toward the end of your tenure with a gig. In addition to adding boosters to your resume, you’ll want to establish and nourish relationships that could land you another position.
Wasting an entire year feeling disengaged and bored waiting for the next big thing is a huge waste of your time and imagination. Try these activities to keep your mind nimble and creativity high if you find yourself bored in your current role or ready for the next challenge.
Take a class. You haven’t been in school in years, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t become a student of the world. Engage your mind by taking a class (cooking, photography or painting would be great). You’ll network with other students who share a common interest and learn a new skill. This might translate into a new job opportunity, but even if it doesn’t, you’ll be a more interesting person!
Volunteer. Every day of the year there are seniors to be visited, shelter dogs to be walked and yards that need to be raked. Form a volunteer committee in your neighborhood to take care of the yards of elderly or shut in neighbors. Opportunity could be just around the corner. At the very least, you’ll get a chance to develop your people skills and be a better citizen!
Journal. Writing is a great way to vent, daydream and envision what you would like to do next. As soon as you feel yourself becoming disenchanted with a job, record your thoughts. What led you to lose interest? What do you not like about your current job? Ask the hard questions and record the answers. Working through these questions might even spark you to dream bigger and write plans to become an entrepreneur. Take the time to record your passions, skills and dreams. What problem would you like to solve? What can you do that nobody else can? Added benefit: when an opportunity presents itself, you’ll know if it is in line with your goals or not.
Adjust Your Focus. Just because you’re in a slump at work doesn’t mean that you can’t live a great life until you get another job. Enhance your vocabulary, spend more time outdoors or create rituals around your work day. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep. Exercise. Visit friends and family. Take some time to travel and explore near your home. Get these basics in order so you’re ready to pounce on an opportunity when it arises; you likely won’t have time when you’re busy learning the ropes somewhere new. Take the focus off your day job, and put it on your life. After all, “work-life balance” is a myth. It’s all just part of life!