1. Narrow down the root cause
If you're feeling unmotivated and unhappy in your job, examine the root cause. Is it really your job that is making you unhappy or is it some other personal factors? Only by deeply examining the root cause, you can then fix it by taking inspired action.
What exactly makes you unhappy about your job? Is it the work environment, the people, your colleagues, your boss? Is it the lack of recognition? The disorganized workflow? Too much or too little responsibility? Or the compensation and benefits?
By narrowing down the source of your discontent, you can take inspired action to target the cause. If it's the work environment, this can sometimes be easily solved by having an honest chat with your colleagues or bosses. If it's compensation, maybe you need to ask for a raise. If it's stress from the amount of work, maybe you need to ask for help. If it's the nature of work itself, this may require a deeper think and a serious talk with your bosses to get into the type of work you want to do, or even contemplate switching jobs or industries.
2. Meet with people you know
Meet with people higher-up the food chain than yourself. Experience does make you wiser. By meeting with people in senior positions, they can give you insightful advice, that you or your peers may not have the foresight to see.
Especially if they are senior, they are more likely to have made significant career changes themselves, and can offer you some insight into what worked and what didn't.
Of course, the world is a fast-moving place. Things that worked 10 years ago may no longer be viable. And sometimes you just can't relate to the older generation and their views. But you shouldn't reject their advice entirely, be open-minded and you might be surprised with what advice you get.
Another key point is that by reaching out to senior people, they have a much wider network than you. They may be able to recommend you to their friends and you may get a valuable job recommendation that way!
3. Meet with people you don't know
The best way to get inspired is to meet new people. One effective way is to join industry or trade conferences, or sign up for talks and up-skilling seminars. First off, even if you don't connect with anyone, you would have learnt something from the conference or talk. Second, these people tend to be more motivated and already in the industry you are in or want to be in, so a great pool of people have already been pre-selected for you.
You can also reach out to people online, you can email someone you admire in the industry or connect via LinkedIn. But don't just ask them out for coffee to "pick their brain", these type of generic or general requests tend to be ignored. Show that you actually want to connect with them as an individual (at least show you have researched their career), and ask real questions that show you are genuine about learning more or seeking their advice on an area of their expertise.
Also feel free to reach out to recruiters. They are extremely experienced in job hunting, so they definitely can offer advice on what other opportunities there are, or even address some worries in your current role. Get clear on information, for example you can ask about pay ranges and employment trends in your industry or your target industry. By getting real figures and statistics, you may realize that you actually have a good thing going and be more content. Otherwise, you may realize that you are indeed being underserved, and should in fact try to jump jobs or even industries.
You can also seek the opinion of a trusted friend or mentor to look at your CV. Maybe you are lacking in a certain skill-set that will advance your career, maybe you are not marketing yourself in the right way. Otherwise, you can also try a Resume Review service like SuccessGoGo where we connect you to professionals in your industry to give you advice on how to improve your CV.
The key is to get more facts so you know where you stand, and where you want your future to be at.
If you have any career questions, feel free to reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org!