In the words of Alice Cooper, school’s out for the summer! I hope you’ve gone/are going somewhere lovely or at least have some time off planned. For many, holidays are a time to relax for a week or two and put work to the back of their minds. For others though, work seems very much at the forefront and they find it difficult to shake the feeling that something is ‘off’ about their career. I’m definitely speaking from experience here! I find that during August, I get a lot of enquiries from people who feel like they’re stuck in a career rut and they need some guidance to work out what they should do next.
Does this sound familiar? Perhaps you feel disengaged from your work, unappreciated or like you’ve stopped progressing. Do you feel like a big grey cloud hangs over you on a Sunday evening as you dread the start of the working week?
The good news is that there are things you can do to pull yourself out of that rut! So, here are my top five tips for helping you get to the root cause of your frustrations and carve out a new, exciting and rewarding career.
1. Identify the issues
Before you make any major life decisions, you need to get to the bottom of your dissatisfaction. For example, are you overwhelmed by your workload or unhappy with your non-existent work-life balance? Do you lack passion for your current role and crave a greater challenge? Are you bored with monotonous tasks or feel like you don’t have much input in the outcome of projects? Be honest with yourself to get to the root cause of your unhappiness.
After you’ve identified what the issues are, pop on your positive pants and think about what you DO enjoy about your current/previous roles. This will help you narrow down what an alternative job must deliver.
It’s also worth thinking about whether you wish to pursue a career based around your hobbies or interests. For example, perhaps your favourite part of the day is heading to the gym or a yoga session. Explore whether your true passion lies in making your interests pay the bills by becoming a personal trainer or training to become a part-time instructor.
2. Push yourself out of your comfort zone
Being stuck working from home doing the same thing EVERY SINGLE DAY during the pandemic has understandably left many of us feeling demotivated, bored and downright unfulfilled. But perhaps the pandemic has also been a huge wake-up call to you and made you think differently about your life, your ambitions and your goals.
To decide whether this feeling of ‘Groundhog Day’ can be rectified or if you actually need to change your job, try shaking up your working day by adopting a different routine. Sometimes small changes to the order we do things can really help break the cycle of monotony and help us see things in a different light.
Acknowledging that you feel stuck and looking at alternatives can feel pretty scary. Accept any uncomfortable feelings and commit to doing something positive about it instead!
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or take risks
You don’t have to go it alone! Try opening up to close colleagues, family, friends, a mentor or your networks. Explain to them how you’re feeling and see what advice they can offer. You never know what opportunities you may unearth and I’m confident that getting it all off your chest will help you gain clarity.
If you feel like you’re in a rut because you want more responsibility or because you’re itching to climb the ladder, ask for more responsibility or a promotion. If there’s a job you really want to go for, but you feel underqualified, go for it anyway. You never know where taking a few risks may lead!
4. Create a plan
To pull yourself out of your career rut, you need to know where you’re heading and have a clear plan in place. Then, once you’ve defined your goal, identify all the smaller steps you need to complete to get you there, along with deadlines to help keep you motivated.
If you go to the effort of creating a structured plan, it’s also much harder to slack off and talk yourself out of what you’re doing. So instead, hold yourself accountable for realising your new dream!
5. Be patient
Finally, try to remain patient, confident and motivated during the process. Your plan may take some time to implement and there may be bumps along the way, but something more fulfilling is out there for you. You just have to find it!
Would you like some more help to get out of your career rut?
I really hope that you found this blog useful. If you’d like to find out more about how I can help you get out of your career rut, please get in touch with me to book a free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation.