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					                                             T H E T I M E S O F well -being
                                                            UN STRESS Counselor: India
                                                            An initiative of the UNCT
                                   E-Bulletin # 2                                                                      Feb 2010




                                                       Career Blues
Career blues refer to an onset of unhappiness at work. Employees feel that they have
landed on dead-end jobs and their careers are at a standstill. One often feels lost and stuck
in a position that has become boring and lost the challenge that made him/her take it in the
first place. Some compare it with the proverbial “seven year itch”. While others think it is to
do with one’s mindset. Even though employed for a few months, some employees feel a
nagging dissatisfaction with their job, which in turn, causes them to lose motivation to carry
out their assigned work responsibilities.

How do Career blues manifest?
     The proverbial office grapevine                                                  counting down the time left to retire- years,
     Poor health                                                                      months and days
     Dissatisfaction with work                                                       TUBB Syndrome (Things Used to Be
     Coming late to office                                                             Better) is a sure sign too - feeling like the
     Increased number of                                                               good old days are over
      complaints by and about the                                                                Stop feeling wanted
      person                                                                                     Dismissive and weary of new
     Cynicism, indifference and                                                        employees with new ideas
      irritability                                                                               Fear of losing identity while
     Going to work every day                                                           performing in a team
      totally unenthused                                                                         Apprehension that there seems to
     Feeling switched off at 30                                                        be nowhere else to go in terms of career
      something                                                                        advancement (“I have reached the highest
     Losing sense of focus at work                                                    grade”)
     Clock-watching, just putting in the hours
      waiting to leave the office every day -

The repercussions include a drop in productivity levels and increased stress levels that can
set a bad example across the organization.

    Factors responsible for mid-career blues
   Mismatch between career expectations and reality
   Money: is the prime motivator.
   Wanting to change careers/ jobs, but no idea what one wants to do.
   Monotonous Nature of Job: can give rise to a feeling of lack of challenges and advancement in career profile, which leads to
    stagnation for the employee.
   Peer Pressure: In today’s competitive world, a “sit-back” attitude, inability to keep pace with technological changes causes a gap in
    skill levels and one may feel technically lagging behind in comparison with peers. At times peer pressure can be due to similar type of
    work but varied salaries.




This document has been prepared by the stress counselor at UNCT (India). It is meant for circulation amongst UN staff working in India.
It can be copied, circulated or disseminated after obtaining approval of the UN Stress Counselor (India).
        Take steps today to overcome career blues. Your health and happiness depend on it.

   Assess what exactly is making you                                         Know and Set Early Goals: It is
    unhappy.                                                                   imperative and requires considerable
    o Career Field: Does the work                                              introspection to have a clear career
      inherently match with your natural                                       vision early and think of ways to get
      skills and values? Does it feel like a                                   closer to your goals. It is much easier
      “fit”?                                                                   to bear dissatisfaction at work when
    o Your Current Situation: How does                                         there are goals to be achieved.
      your current position make you feel?                                    Discuss your job description with your
      Valued? Uncomfortable? Competent?                                        boss: Perhaps ask for a new creative
      Incompetent? Excited? Be honest                                          project/ responsibility, or work to
      about your needs. Do you have the                                        eliminate tasks that aren't actually
      autonomy you require? Is there room                                      your responsibility. A proactive
      for the growth you want? Is the job                                      approach demonstrates your
      too hard or too easy for you? Is there                                   commitment, which might bring
      a problem of working                                                                  positive results.
      with specific                                                                               Volunteer: spend your
      coworkers/                                                                            time volunteering. It's
      supervisor? Or is it                                                                  enormously satisfying to
      about specific working                                                                serve others and could lead
      conditions like physical                                                              towards other career
      setting, location and                                                                 opportunities by providing
      hours? What do you                                                                    you with new skills and
      like and not like about                                                               networking opportunities.
      your current position?                                                                      Complete a degree or
      Notice your energy                                                                    earn a certificate. It
      levels on the job and                                                                 enhances your resume,
      outside the job. Which tasks energize                                    making you more appealing to potential
      you and which drain energy?                                              employers.
    o You: Take a close look at yourself.                                     Learn from past: While choosing a new
      Has this unhappiness followed you                                        career, make sure it leverages your
      around from job to job? Can you do                                       abilities and talents. You already feel
      more to influence your current role?                                     that your current job is not the right fit.
   Leave money out: While you're in the                                       Don't repeat the same mistake. Consult
    initial "What do I want to do?" stage,                                     the stress counselor.
    take money out of the equation.                                           Gain Experience: in the new job by
    Considering money as a factor is the                                       taking classes or doing an internship.
    fastest way to quash any dreams or                                         It’ll help you know if you are making
    aspirations that might rise to the                                         the right choice
    surface. Also, career switchers might                                     Arrange informational meetings with
    have to take a lower salary when they                                      people who’ve already succeeded in
    start their new career so make sure                                        your new career. Ask them wide range
    you are prepared for this sacrifice.                                       of questions to understand both the
   Watch your thoughts: Be alert for ideas                                    ups and the downs of the career.
    like "I know this sounds crazy, but..."                                   Change attitude: if a switch of careers
    So called "crazy" ideas are often sure                                     is not possible. Shift from “there is
    signs that you're on the right track and                                   nowhere to go”, to “a promotion does
    you’ve uncovered an idea that                                              not entirely tell my worth”
    resonates with you.
                                  Consider switching job as a last alternative

                               For further Information on this and other psychosocial concerns
                                      Please contact the UN Stress Counselor: Dr. Prachi
                                              Prachi@undp.org, +919910368005
        This document has been prepared by the stress counselor at UNCT (India). It is meant for circulation amongst UN staff working
        in India. It can be copied, circulated or disseminated after obtaining approval of the UN Stress Counselor (India).

				
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