Your coworkers rule. Your hours rule. Your catered lunches rule. Your day-to-day tasks...not so much.
At some point in your career, you may find yourself in a position where you really love your company, but the role you're in just doesn't resonate. Here are some tips to help you find the right role in your company, when you love the place, but not the position.
1. IDENTIFY YOUR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL STRENGTHS
If you're really the best at some set of tasks, and can do them better than anyone at your company, this makes your work especially valuable. If you love doing those tasks, great! If not, you can still make this situation work in your favor. First, demonstrate that you're very good at this set of tasks, even though they might not be your favorite things to do. Make it clear over a period of time that you are reliable, accurate, and your results are high quality. During this time, do some soul searching about what kind of tasks you'd like to be doing.
Remember, crafting an empire takes some time. Don't give in to discouragement in the moment.
2. MAKE A LIST OF JOB MUST-HAVES
Think deeply about your current role, and why it's less than ideal for you. Then think about what would make the ideal role (more exposure to customers? More autonomous projects?). Keep that list handy, and review and update it often. This is great ammunition for you, should a role present itself. You'll be prepared to jump at the opportunity with a level head and backup.
3. TELL YOUR BOSS YOU'RE UNHAPPY AT WORK
Employers want their employees to be happy, feel fulfilled, and that their work has value. The benefits of empowered workers far outweigh any imagined drawbacks, but employers might not know you don't love your role. Talk to them, but remember to keep it positive: frame it for what it is. You want to love your job even more than you do now, and you're looking for ways to do that. Many employers will help you.
4. NO PROMOTION? IF YOU CAN'T MOVE UP, MOVE LATERALLY
If you don't love what you're doing right now, but you can shift from your current position to another one without significant cost (in salary, training, disturbance to the company structure or culture), you may find that the role you move to is a better fit for you. If the first role is about the same or a little bit better, it may be that a promotion to a role above the one you moved to becomes available, that wasn't accessible to you in the first role.
5. KEEP YOUR CAREER IN PERSPECTIVE
Remember, crafting an empire takes some time. Don't give in to discouragement in the moment. Your hard work is important, and the effort you're putting into the company right now will pay off in the long run. And you're not chained to your desk: if you find that your current company just really isn't the right fit, or you discover that there is something much more compelling somewhere else, you always have the opportunity to reinvent yourself. Don't give up!
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Ever been in this position? How did you get out of it?
This post originated on Career Contessa, www.careercontessa.com.