Ask a Career Coach: “What Should I Do if I Feel Stuck in My Career?”

December 31st, 2015

Do you feel stuck at work? Are you worried that you’ll never get ahead in your career?

At various times in your life, this will happen. You feel like you’ve topped out in your job. Or, you may try something new and find out it’s not what you expected; then, you need to rebound. Whatever the circumstances, this is the time to pause and reevaluate your future goals. In the words of the late comedienne Joan Rivers, “If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or, I’ll make a door.”

Which Door Is It?

If you feel like you’re searching for the ideal career direction, the first question you need to answer is: What exactly is holding you back? From there, you can decide which path to follow – or how to adjust the one you’re already on.

  • Determine exactly why you’re stuck. The root cause may be anxiety, as you second guess your career achievements or choice of profession. You may sense workplace barriers; for instance, you may feel out of sync with your company culture. Perhaps your contributions are underappreciated and you need a better communication strategy to highlight them. A career coach can help you connect the dots.

How to Break Out of Your Rut

Here are some steps to take as you shake things loose and leave that rut behind:

  • Identify the problem. Focus on what is behind your dissatisfaction. Be as honest as possible. Spend time jotting down the things you like and dislike about your current situation. This will help you to zero in on what to look for – and avoid – going forward.
  • Consider the options. If you’re seeking a specific type of role – such as analyst or manager – within one company, simultaneously pursue similar jobs at competitors. Even if you don’t want to work there, the research you do will help you reach your ideal target and the leverage you gain can only raise your market value.
  • Create a game plan. See which options excite you the most or seem the most feasible at this point in your life. Then, start mapping out the steps you need to take to realize them. Evaluate your skills, update your resume and portfolio, or attend networking events. Break your plan down into manageable pieces so you don’t become overwhelmed and give up.
  • Make a door. If you are interested in trying a new skill or idea, start a side business or volunteer with a nonprofit in an area that interests you. Consider taking a board role that introduces new venues, keeps your skills state of the art and grows your network.
  • Keep your eye on the prize. Remind yourself of why you’re working so hard to make a change. This may mean keeping a picture of your dream office or company nearby, writing motivational notes to yourself or getting together for a weekly lunch with an upbeat friend or colleague.

A Select Group, Inc. career coach can help you pinpoint why you feel stuck in your job and make the necessary changes to move forward. Contact us today so you can take the next step.

Comments are closed.