Jumping the Shark
Ever heard the term “Jumping the Shark?” Historically, it described the instant a television show started to decline. It meant that the show had reached the point where the writers started to incorporate far-fetched ideas or they began to introduce new characters merely for the sake of novelty.
The original phrase was based on a scene from Happy Days, when the character “The Fonz” jumped over a shark while on water-skis.
Since then jumping the shark has taken on the popular cultural reference to signify that something that was once good has peaked and is now taking a stark downturn in quality or effectiveness.
Your Career Can Jump the Shark
Careers can peak, get old, take a downturn, or get stagnant for a variety of reasons.
If you’re stuck, your career stalls and there’s little opportunity for growth. Everything you do feels more like a burden instead of an achievement.
It’s common for people to feel like this at some point in their career so you shouldn’t worry that it’s all you. But before you give up, you need to determine whether you’re actually in a dead-end job, or if it’s a temporary situation that can be corrected.
If you’re not happy at work, nobody benefits – including those in your private life. It’s going to show in terms of your energy, production, enthusiasm, and happiness.
15 Signs That Tell You it Might be Time to Move On
- You are bored more often than not. Has your work become too predictable? Too mechanical? Are you doing the same thing day in and day out with little change in routine? If your position feels static and you don’t see a way to gain further responsibilities that you want, you’re stuck.
- Your skills are not being utilized and your responsibilities haven’t changed in a few years.
- You haven’t had a change in pay, title or responsibilities in a couple of years.
- People hired after you have been promoted faster than you. Are your colleagues getting opportunities you aren’t getting?
- Your contributions are no longer valued. Are you still invited to important discussions or meetings like the kind you used to attend? Are your voice and opinions still being heard?
- You can’t get time with the boss to discuss new projects. Are you still getting premium tasks or projects? Has your boss minimized the time you spend with each other.
- You’re not being compensated fairly. Do others in your field get paid a lot more than you do?
- Your boss or the company isn’t interested in your career.
- You are not being asked about your professional goals or future plans. Or maybe your organization doesn’t support your career plan.
- You get that “Monday morning feeling” daily.
- You lack all passion and enthusiasm. There’s no challenge or opportunity that excites you at the workplace.
- Your personal values and the organizational values are not aligned.
- Your company is not doing well. Are profits stagnant or down? Do you see any sign of future growth?
- The work you are producing is sub-standard because you don’t care about your work product.
- You have not had a personal work achievement for a while and everything you do feels more like a burden instead of a triumph.
So what if you do feel stuck?
Sometimes we need to jump the shark to move past a hurdle or an obstacle standing in the way of our success. It’s all a matter of how we land and move forward.
Doing work you love and working for a company you enjoy is essential to your ability to thrive at work and thrive as a person. Staying in a job that causes you to be unhappy or suppresses your ability to reach your fullest potential may not be an option you want to accept.
Sometimes it makes more sense to work on improving your current circumstances. The most important thing is to take responsibility for your job quality and success. You can’t blame the company for everything. Do an honest assessment and move to where you know you can flourish.
And don’t forget to speak up.
If you haven’t talked to your boss yet, you have to do it. It’s not an easy conversation to have. But how will you get the answers if you don’t?
You have to know if you are in an uphill battle for something that is beyond your span of control. You have to have the proper information in order to examine the risks that are associated with leaving a dead-end job.
Calling it quits isn’t easy and sometimes in life you have to grin and bear it. But sometimes, calling it quits is the only way you get to the next level of your career.
At the end of the day, if your potential isn’t recognized and the company isn’t willing to help you succeed, it’s time for some serious self-reflection.
Jumping the shark isn’t always bad because it sometimes helps you get across the barrier and on to the next path.
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Johnston Osburn is a Career and Life Coach who helps people turn dreams into realities. After years as a Global Talent Acquisition Professional, she realized how frequently people limit themselves because they lack belief in their abilities. They are afraid to dream, let alone dream big. [...]