We spend so much time in the workplace, it’s only natural that the way we feel about work can project onto other areas of our life. If you are not feeling great about it, then chances are your friends, colleagues and family are probably feeling the brunt of your frustrations and disappointment with work too.

@Katharine Brooks referenced a great article by Nathaniel Koloc, in the Harvard Business Review, “What Job Candidates Really Want: Meaningful Work.” Nathaniel explains that, “talented professionals no longer crave high salaries to prove their value and stable jobs for security, but work that is meaningful and fulfilling.”

He outlines studies which show that, “engaged employees are 50% more productive and 33% more profitable. They are also responsible for 56% higher loyalty scores and this correlated with 44% higher retention rates, leading to great gains in productivity over the long run”. Therefore, being passionate, engaged and fulfilled at work, can be of great importance to your sense of well-being, happiness, employer and colleagues too.

We all have our down days, but if this is a reoccurring theme, where for example, you regularly lack motivation at work, perhaps you take an elongated time to do simple tasks, or find yourself resenting the prospect of taking on new tasks even though it’s in your job description, then you may be in a career rut.

Some professionals I speak with are fortunate to be in their dream role, but the uncertainty of the economic climate and changing needs and demands of their workplace means many look for support to future-proof their careers. Others have a sense of what they’d like to do career-wise but welcome support to “sense check” their idea and formulate a plan to turn an idea or dream into reality. Then there are those who say they are “stuck” in a perpetuating cycle of “feeling unhappy and unfulfilled at work,” not knowing how to change things. Whilst others find it too challenging to balance the demands and needs of work and home life.

We can’t all give up work or leave our jobs, and if you do, you may find that in just a few short months, you may end up feeling the same frustrations. However, you can turn things around and it’s not as big a task as you may think.

It’s interesting how many write excellent communications plans and great new biz pitches to win over clients. Whilst some have the ability to plan an amazing wedding, catering for hundreds of guests, or map out a long sabbatical, detailing every step of their trip with exact precision. Yet many don’t have a clear plan in place for their careers.

Most people I speak with have a vague idea of where their careers are headed and do just fine, but with a SMART career plan in place, that’s also open to ‘happenstance,’ you can break-free from your career rut and give yourself the chance to excel in your career.

Here’s a few tips to get you started:

Career planning tips

  • Outline what’s important to you in your career

  •  Develop a broad aim that focuses on how you can you add value to a business

  •  Identify short-term and long-term SMART career goals

Once you’ve mapped out your career plan, if you can commit to working on it on a regular basis, you’ll have a better chance of reaching your career potential and goals.

 Czarina Charles, Managing Director.