Back to work blues – or time to change jobs?

As summer ends –  do you have back to work blues?

How do you feel about returning to the office? Is it back to work blues or something more?

In many parts of the northern hemisphere people are returning from summer vacations. You might be thinking of all the things you would rather be doing than getting out of bed. Images of sparkling blue sea, clear mountain air, meals al fresco and time chilling doing whatever you enjoy most. You ignore your flip-flops and shorts and squeeze your holiday feet into a pair of professional work shoes, which have mysteriously shrunk a size while you’ve been away. The speed at which you head for the door makes a tortoise look like Usain Bolt.

It’s important to ask yourself, what is going on? Is this a bad case of back to work blues, or is it something deeper and you need a bigger change than two weeks in Tuscany, Tampa or Torquay? Is it time to change jobs?

In the doldrums? 3Plus can help you give your career that vital boost: Career Booster Coaching 

Assess how you feel

If before you headed off on your holiday you were feeling tired, under the weather, anxious or short-tempered it may be a question of the volume of your workload being too great, rather than the nature of the job itself. You were just tired and this is short term back to work blues which will pass probably within a day, if not earlier.

If you now look forward to the prospect of being with your colleagues, catching up on projects with your boss and getting a status update from your team – you simply needed a break to re-charge the flagging batteries.

However, it is very different if the feelings are more significant. They might relate to lack of recognition, disconnection from colleagues or conflicts with your boss or team mates. These could be signs that you need to reflect on your career and decide if it’s time to change jobs, or even the organisation itself. Do you feel that you can have open and constructive discussions with your work mates, or do you have to monitor your approach to fit in? Ask yourself if you are exhibiting some of the signs of pre-burnout.

Check for other pre-burn out red flags as they can be a serious warning.

Differences make a difference

There is a big difference between needing a break, whether it’s a long weekend or holiday, or signals that you need to evaluate your life style or even change your job. The signs come in different forms and can be a matter of degree. The key question will be if there are solutions to the issues and will they make you happy?

Sometimes you can get caught up in 24/7 availability for responding to emails and messages. This doesn’t leave time for self-care and can cause you to neglect your relationships. You may have the possibility to raise this with your boss and negotiate some guidelines or boundaries. Perhaps you can even recruit another team member. If the company is a sweat shop with a hiring freeze, then the only option is out. At the other end of the scale, it might be lack of interest and stimulation or a  feeling of being under-utilised that are causing you to feel jaded. Are there opportunities for promotion or transfer? Once again discuss with your boss or the HR department. If not then your back to work blues are indicative of something more profound.

Deep dive check

If you feel re-energised and raring to go, but have some nagging doubts, you can systematically assess your current situation by using the GROW model: Goal, Reality, Options and Way forward. This means taking some time to really think about your career, life and where you want to be.

Download the 3Plus Career Reflections Worksheets to help you.

  • Goals: What are your goals in life, both professional and personal? What is your vision and passion?
  • Reality: Think about the elements of your job you really like and the ones that you don’t. Evaluate the negative issues on a scale 1-10. How bad are they really and can they be changed or improved? Can you offload work to colleagues or reports? Remember that women do the lion share of invisible work in the office and at home. Is it time to have a difficult conversation with your partner?
  • Options: Think about your options. If the stuff that gets you down can be changed, what action can you take personally to make that happen? It might be something where there is a solution, rather than something intrinsically wrong with the job itself or the company.
  • Way forward: Make a plan to make things happen.

If the back to work blues persist and you feel completely stuck – now might be the time to look for professional support. It will help you gain clarity around what’s going on for you, identify growth opportunities so you can work out your next steps and move forward.

A Career Audit can provide you with vital insights to plan your career. 3Plus offers a Career Audit with skill testing and full report, to help you set and achieve your goals. Find out more HERE.

Contact us to arrange a 30 minute complimentary Skype call to assess your career needs 

Complimentary Call Request

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

3Plus, 3Plus online e-Gazine for professional women, Career, Personal & Professional Development, Workplace
Web | Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she joins the dots between organisations, individuals, opportunity and success.

Leave a Reply

Found that interesting? Learn more about our services
Individual services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
more info
Corporate services
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
more info
Upcoming events
Currently we don't have upcoming events
Download and listen free podcasts
Why all women need a strong LinkedIn profile
Free Download

Data on women on LinkedIn has always been hard to get and analyse, but some new information sheds light on how women use the platform differently to their male colleagues and what those differences mean. You will find out why you need a strong LinkedIn profile.

It has always been difficult to identify women on LinkedIn because it’s not possible to do a search based on gender. Any efforts to track women on LinkedIn specifically, involve complex Boolean strings involving pronouns or searching via women’s clubs, universities and networks. So any analysis has always been more anecdotal around perceptions and personal experience, rather than data based. However research from 2017  using LinkedIn member profile data for members in the United States over the past 12 months. Published on the LinkedIn blog it supports pretty much what we already know about women on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn  is the main professional data base used globally by hiring managers and recruiters, yet women continue to engage less than their male colleagues, putting themselves at a distinct professional disadvantage. Now we have some facts and figures as well as tips and tricks to persuade  you to up your game. All women have to have a strong LinkedIn profile. No ifs and buts.

 

How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters
Free Download

In this power coaching podcast, we’re going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple times a week by active job seekers and passive candidates.

How can I get noticed by head hunters and recruiters and connect with them?

In this short power coaching podcast Dorothy Dalton shares some tips and tricks to make sure that you are always on the radar of the recruitment and search specialists who can be most helpful to you. With extensive experience in executive search and corporate HR Dorothy has placed, coached and trained thousands of men and women to career success. As a career coach she has a deep understanding of the job search market and what job seekers need to do to position themselves to they are easily found.

As CEO of 3Plus she also has deep experience of the challenges women face in the workplace. Sadly because women tend not to create career strategies they can be vulnerable when it comes to dealing with change. Regular transitions become career crises. In this short session you will learn some simple tips and tricks to make sure you are on the radar of key recruitment specialists in your sector, geography or function.  It’s not rocket science.

 

 

 

 

One of the most puzzling things about working in executive search is that people and I say this reluctantly particularly women fail to plan ahead. You’ve heard me say before that only 5% of women have a career strategy. This means that they are not prepared for any emergencies until they become a crisis.

 

Goal setting tips to boost your career
Free Download

The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and the upcoming work week. So how do you get to a place where you look forward to a new week of doing what satisfies you? You’ll have to either learn to love your current role, or make a commitment to pursue your dream job. Use these goal setting tips to help you get to where you want to be.

Some women choose the latter, and to do so you’ll have to set career goals to get where you want to be. So make sure you have a detailed plan on how to land a job that you will tick all the boxes.

The majority of women choose to stay in their own organizations and even then you still need to have goals, not just KPis set by your manager. But even if you do see your career developing within your current business it’s still important to set goals.

Many women struggle with career planning and creating a career strategy which can lead to problems. This makes them vulnerable to and sort of challenge which can moprh into a full blown career crisis. Some simple steps to plan and prepare can help avoid this.

Take a look at these goal setting tips to help boost your career and set you on the right path.

Lewis Carroll  said

If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there.”

Research shows that only about 5% of women create career goals and a career strategy. This can have a negative impact on your career progression. It means you are reactive not proactive and career glitches can morph into full blown crises. It puts women at a clear disadvantage to men.

Learn these simple goal setting tips to boost your career and protect and prepare you for all eventualities. If these goal setting tips make you think that you could use some further help,  contact us immediately.

 

When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage
Free Download

There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about  female rivalry and competition between women. Some of it makes sense and some of it is confusing. Organizations are pyramids with fewer roles at the top than at the bottom. It is inevitable that at some level, as more and more women are in the talent pipeline, at some point they will be in competition with other women.

Many would say that women aren’t competitive. I would suggest re-framing that. I think it’s more accurate to say they are not as competitive in the workplace as men. We have also been made to feel guilty about being competitive. We need to get over that.  Here are the reasons:

  1. The male nature of corporate culture makes it a disincentive to compete
  2. Women don’t want to compete because  prescribed male goals are not attractive enough for them. “Work 14 hour days, not see my partner or family … get sick.. die..no thanks.. I’ll pass”
  3. Women don’t know how to compete in the workplace. They are new arrivals on the corporate competition scene and lack practise.
  4. Women experience gender blow back when they do compete, from both men and women
  5. Women have been raised to think that competing with other women is not empowering them. As more women enter the talent pipeline that is just nonsense.

Learn some insights from Annabel Kaye, Employment Law Expert about how it’s OK to be competitive and the danger zone when it can turn into sabotage. Understand the benefits of mutual support and how all women can profit from having strong strategic allies, role models and mentors.