I read some startling statistics yesterday that by the year 2020, it is predicted that more than half of the U.S. workforce will be working in what is being called the “YouEconomy”(Zane Pilzer, 2016). This is the term for those who are taking ‘gig’s through freelancing sites, several part-time jobs, contracting and the like. For some, this type of work is a supplement to their current job (I am in this category), with 71% earning supplemental income.
The reason this is catching on? I see it for several reasons:
- People are still having difficulty in the workplace so they see this as an option to make more money, as well as to test out ideas to start their own
- People want more variety in their work and having several ‘gigs’ can provide that, as well as gaining new-found skills
- People want more freedom and control over their career – some are no longer satisfied with the 8-5 grind, or taking directions from others
- The criteria that some organizations and industries have for hiring workers is elusive to some, whether they are having to go back to get more education (but need experience) or they neither have the desire or the money to fund such education
- Companies are predicted to move to short-term and contracted assignments
There can be more possible reasons but this trend is starting to take a hold; in fact, 33% of U.S. adults have earned income this way over the last twelve months (Success Magazine, 2016). Some ways people are finding work:
- independent contracting
- diversified work
- temporary work
- micro-entrepreneurs (virtual)
It is much easier than ever to find work, with sites such as: Upwork, freelance, guru, Fiverr where you can find work as well as post your services. Selling on ebay or Amazon, or others like etsy can trade your skills and wares for a fee. Another site is Flexjobs, where you can search for work-at-home and part-time opportunities. If you’ve ever had the notion, this would be the time to start researching your possibilities and jump on the bandwagon to get started. See you on the other side!
So you’re going through your career, making strides daily, but then slowly you feel stuck and unsure of the next steps. You wake up daily with thoughts of doing something different, perhaps having a great idea, but hold back on the exact steps to take to get them. Other days you just feel…lost. Do any of these sound familiar? If so, then you are caught in career paralysis; if not dealt with quickly, the paralysis can remain forever.
Before getting into how to deal with it, let me discuss why it occurs or what leads to it. The bottom line is that you are dealing with a fear of some type. Fear can rear its ugly head at any time, as 95% of our thoughts are buried deep down; we push unpleasant thoughts and experiences away but they have this nasty way of coming back – and when you least expect them. Fears can include:
- fear of not being good enough ( the main underlying fear for us all)
- fear of failing
- fear of success
- fear of not having enough money
- fear of not having enough opportunities
- fear of the boss not liking me (or fear of the boss in general)
I could go on and on as fear are limitless since they are individualized to each of us. But fear is not always bad – actually, fear can help us to dig down inside and find the inner strength we all have so we can push past fear and get done what we need to do. When we look at fears that are leading to being ‘stuck’ in your work and are depleting the joy and life out of you, if something is not done it can lead to catastrophic results, such as health or emotional issues or poor performance. Over time, you won’t be able to work, one way or another, as you’ll experience disengagement and join the 69% of people who are (Gallop, 2015), or you won’t be long in the job as your employer no longer needs a poor performer.
Here are three questions to ask yourself to turn move past any paralyzing feelings and find fulfilling work, which can be in your current work (you may need to think of moving on if these don’t work):
- What is holding me back? Name the fear exactly so you can now challenge the thought. That is the first step in becoming clear on the underlying reason you are staying stuck
- Is this absolutely true? Following the principles of The Work, by Byron Katie, challenging our thoughts can show us that nothing we think is an absolute, even though we believe it to be so. Knowing we can’t predict a belief of the end-result can lead us into looking at ways to find solutions to our perceived problems. It can also stop the focus on what is wrong and redirect to what it
- How can I become reengaged in the work I do? Starting small and finding one or two way to find enjoyment in your work tasks can go a long way in pushing you to start using your strengths and skills for your job tasks, as well as ownership and empowerment, all of which leads to feelings of satisfaction and personal happiness. You will then take responsibility of your work – the more you do the more motivated you become and the better your performance
Career paralysis is created in the mind; we begin to feel comfortable feeling stuck as we adapt and adopt coping patterns which become our behaviors. When you begin to make the uncomfortable actions new habits, your overall happiness levels will increase and you will begin to like your job all over again. Here is a last question for you: Do you want to stay where you are (meaning you’ve done nothing to change your circumstances) or do you want to have a job you love and that brings you fulfillment? The choice is yours (and ‘ain’t’ that great)!
If you feel stuck and are in career paralysis, why not get some help to push past the barriers and find joy in your work again. Contact us today at http://www.cyscoaching.com to get started.