Ready for a New Challenge? 5 Tips for Facing Frustration on the Job

Ready for a New Challenge? 5 Tips for Facing Frustration on the Job
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Remember how excited you were when you landed your job? You couldn’t wait to engage with new challenges, connect with co-workers, and start making a difference for your employer.   


That can be a tough feeling to maintain. Maybe your current position has lost its luster. Maybe you just don’t enjoy it anymore. Or maybe it’s even worse than all that. 


Whether you are frustrated, want something different, need a challenge, or simply not sure what’s next, MOAA offers five things you can do when the excitement has faded. 


1. Be Open and Honest 

First, consider having a conversation with your boss and sharing your feelings. Do some serious self-reflection before that discussion -- don’t just shift the problem.   


Be prepared to offer constructive feedback on how you can be more valuable to the immediate work center and the organization in your current position. Be sensitive and emphatic to their needs and requirements. Work together toward a solution and outline potential growth opportunities.  


After the talk, ask to get any changes in writing via an update to your position description reflecting any new responsibilities. This could set the foundation for future career advancement or an adjustment to your compensation.   


2. Bloom Where You Were Planted 

Even after a productive discussion with your boss, you may still feel like the position is not a good fit anymore. However, you may really like the company or organization. If so, consider seeking out internal promotion opportunities.  


Be transparent in your desire for advancement within the company or organization. Stay positive and enthusiastic, continue to perform at a high level in your current role, and always remain professional while clearly articulating your unique value proposition and desire to readily accept the challenges of increased responsibility and authority.   


[RELATED: Hectic Job Market May Mean Rewards for Loyal Employees] 


3. Sharpen Your Skills  

Be smart about your training choices – don’t take courses or pursue certifications/credentials just for the sake of getting them. Make sure the qualifications are ones you desire and are valued by your employer.  


Not only can these training opportunities give you a fresh perspective, they also enhance your knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform on the job. In turn, they could help you land an internal promotion, negotiate your next pay raise, and make yourself more marketable for future career opportunities.   


[PREMIUM/LIFE MEMBER EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR: Certifications and Credentials: Make Yourself More Marketable | Upgrade for Access] 


4. Look Over the Fence 

Maybe you like what you do, but not where you are doing it. Many of your talents and unique skill sets are transferable across a wide range of industries and sectors.  


For instance, are you a project manager serving in the federal government but growing frustrated by bureaucracy? Your knowledge, experience, and expertise is highly valued and marketable across a full spectrum of city/county, state, business, health care, nonprofit, and academia opportunities (to just name a few) and makes you well-suited to thrive in entrepreneurship endeavors. Often, the only constraints or limitations on what is the realm of the possible are those we impose upon ourselves. 


[PREMIUM/LIFE MEMBER EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR: Which Business Sector is Right for You? | Upgrade for Access]  


5. Make the Leap 

Are you at the point where you feel it is time to explore the possibilities? Well, the only thing holding you back is you!   


MOAA can help. Whether you’re searching for your first job out of uniform, a military spouse contemplating workforce re-entry, or looking for an upgrade or something fresh as you progress on your civilian career path, visit MOAA’s Transition and Career Center to learn what programs are right for you. 


Premium and Life members have access to a suite of additional career resources, including webinars like those linked above. No matter where you are in your career, there’s a webinar that will help – even if you’re ready to completely reinvent yourself. Check out MOAA’s Webinar Archive for more. 


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About the Author

Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)
Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)

Anderson joined the staff of MOAA's Career Transition Services Department in August 2011. He served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force in a wide range of command and staff assignments. Connect with him on LinkedIn.