Project Q&A: Getting Your Mojo Back

After five years of minimal pay rises and development opportunities, I feel I’ve become stagnated and unmotivated in my role. How can I get my “mojo” back?

You’re not alone, many project practitioners (and others in the world of work) find it hard to remain enthusiastic in their current positions when they feel under rewarded with no promotion or progression opportunities on the horizon.

The way I see it is you have two options – stay and explore how to make the best of the current opportunity, or look to move on and find a new position elsewhere.

It sounds like you are at a real crossroads in your career; now is a good time to fully assess these options and reflect before making any big decisions about what is best for you.

So, first of all you need to:

Rediscover Your Passion for the Profession

Stay or leave, you need to rediscover your passion for the profession if you are to be successful.

The chances are, being in the same position for the last 5 years and recently unmotivated, you may have overlooked the need for self-development.

Learning about anything new – or refreshing existing knowledge will not only help reignite your interest in the profession, it will also stand you in good stead for whatever you choose to do next. The bottom line is, your lack of motivation will come across in your everyday work and you need to do something in the short-term that will help you feel engaged and increase your performance levels in your current job.

Staying in Your Current Position

If you think staying within your current organisation is the right thing to do there are three key questions you can ask yourself;

  • What needs to change in my current position for me to be happier?
  • What can I do to make those changes happen?
  • How long am I be prepared to wait?

If money is a primary motivator, you should also be aware that it can take years to recover the financial losses you have accumulated in recent years. Can you work to a position where you are regarded as “top talent” and residing in the “must keep” list? Many organisations are constantly battling to keep their most talented Project Management practitioners and being in this group may open up the opportunity to receive larger pay rises and incentives, whilst everyone else just receives nominal increases.

What do You Want to Achieve From a Move?

Knowing what outcome you are trying to achieve and having a plan to get there will certainly focus the mind as opposed to sitting back and waiting for something to happen. Most people forget that the person most interested in your career is you – if you are not actively managing your own career, don’t be surprised when you get overlooked in your organisation or miss out on that opportunity to progress.

If you decide to leave your current position, the focus on self-development will certainly be useful when actively seeking out new opportunities. You will need to be able to show potential employers that you have the project management skills that the current market demands.

Finding a new opportunity will also mean you will be outside of your comfort zone once again. Your stagnation and lack of motivation are perhaps signs that you’re ready for a new challenge in a completely different environment. Most project practitioners, after all, thrive on the variation, challenges, and unknowns that come with working in projects.

Apart from the work rewards, the financial incentives associated with a new opportunity may also be attractive. It is a well-known fact that many practitioners in your position need to leave the company they currently work for in order to get a step-change in salary which will put their earning trajectory back on path. A sad fact, but one that has been found to be true so often as employers fail to look after their staff.

You will know when you have made the right decisions and your “mojo” is back when you remember why you loved this job so much in the first place and look forward to getting out of bed to tackle another day of project management.

If you need any help progressing your career or finding your next role explore the PM Career Clinic offering on our website.

You can also keep up with the latest UK Project Management trends with the FREE to download 2019 PMBR.

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