Danielle Wright discovers the best way to get out of a job rut may be just to stay put

Employment website Seek recently released its employment trends for the New Zealand employment market, which showed 40 per cent of the workforce are considering changing jobs. It also showed declining job ads in the banking and financial services, as well as ICT areas.

We've all been tempted to look for better alternatives when work becomes a daily grind, but with conditions as they are, it might be just as wise to stay put and concentrate on improving the job you have.

One Aucklander who has shown staying power in her company, while making ground in her long-term career goals, is Summer Ormond, customer and capability general manager at Spark. Her role is to oversee a team looking after the customer side of Spark's website, app, systems and data.

After five years at Spark, she's grown with the company through its huge rebranding efforts to hold a number of different roles. Instead of looking elsewhere, she breathed new life into her job by taking a couple of sideways steps, transitioning from marketing to digital capability.


"For me, stepping out of the marketing function, which I had known for so long, was daunting, but it's been incredible, as I've learned so much about how the rest of the business runs," says Ormond, who developed an unexpected passion for this new area. "The best part has been getting to understand the technical aspects of the company, which I didn't get to see before."

She says taking a sideways step is a great way to re-energise enjoyment of a role and expand your skill set. "It's usually easier to take a sideways move to a different area when you are in the company, rather than applying from outside," says Ormond. "You also bring a different skill set to the role, which is usually helpful because you've seen things from a different side."

Mentoring younger colleagues or seeking mentors in the business is another way to renew your enthusiasm for a role.

"I don't have a formal 'mentor'," says Ormond. "But I do build relationships with people I respect and know I can learn from. I meet them from time to time, but have never undertaken a formal mentoring programme or focused on a single person. I've found this to be the best way for me to get guidance and development."

Her advice for people feeling stuck in their role, but not wanting to move from their company, is to try and take on more responsibility. "As long as you are learning and being challenged, then it's hard to get bored," says Ormond.

Learn to love the job you're in

*If you're not getting the right breaks at work, it might be worth taking stock of your image. Think about how you're perceived at work, as well as where you want to be in the future.

*You might be the life of the office party, but not giving off the right image for promotion. A tweak to your image may be all that's needed.

*If there's something you've always been passionate about, think of a way to learn those skills on the job. For example, if you're always outsourcing event photography but you're keen on developing your skills, you could suggest your workplace invests in a course and upskill you to take over that role, even if it's different to what you normally do.

*If small things about your job start to irritate you, consider stepping back and taking a break. Sometimes, people throw away perfectly good jobs or careers when all they really needed was long-service leave or an extended break.

*Keep healthy. No job will be what you want if you start the day feeling sluggish and then resent having to be stuck in an office all day. Walk to work or start a running group with co-workers before the working day begins.

*If you know what you want from a role but aren't getting it, remember your bosses aren't mind readers. Ask them for what you want. You might be pleasantly surprised at their willingness to help you.

*Sometimes it's easy to focus on what you don't like about a job, but try writing down one good thing that happened in the job every day and your attitude might change.

*If all else fails, look outside your job for stimulation. If you're excited about indulging your hobbies on the weekend, you might not be looking for as much excitement within the working week. Living a more balanced life might be the distraction you need until your job starts to become exciting again.