Q. I have a feeling that my career has stagnated. I have been working for a local bank for five years now, having studied finance in college. Through the years that I have served as a teller, there is hardly anything worth celebrating about my job. I don’t want to be in this position forever, but I also don’t want to be jobless. What can I do to change my circumstances?
Five years on the same role, repeating the same tasks day in day out can be quite a stretch.
And just to be clear, you may be on the same job at different branches, perhaps taking on additional duties when your boss is away and most likely interacting with new technology and still stagnate.
Before you succumb to hopelessness and beat yourself too hard, I am sure there have been benefits you have gained, such as work experience in addition to earning a salary that has paid your bills throughout this period.
Whereas it is not good to allow yourself to stagnate in a career, it is not easy to just walk out of a job, at least not in our kind of economy where unemployment is still high. There are however options you could consider.
These come with various risks, so you have to weigh each based on your risk appetite. You could work towards securing a promotion. Talk to your manager, share your dilemma and desire for a more challenging role and see what advice she or he may have for you.
You could also seek a transfer to another department and change from teller-related mundane tasks to something of more interest.
Another option is to look for a job outside your company but within the banking industry, but be sure it is a higher role to avoid another five years of the same work at a higher salary.
You may also explore looking for a fresh start outside the banking sector. You studied finance, you have some banking experience and definitely other competencies other employers may find useful. It may be great to move from your comfort zone and pursue your dream career.
Better still, you could pull resources together and start a business in an area of expertise or interest.
Look for trends, search and anticipate gaps and needs that may present a good business opportunity and take a leap. You could look for like-minded people to pull resources together for a business venture, or better still take a loan from your employer, start small and when things pick up, you will find motivation to quit.
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