After a few years at a job many of us may feel as if we’re career-stuck. We become bored or overwhelmed with daily routines and we’re not sure what our next step should be. How you handle the situation has a large impact on the end result for whatever step you decide to take. A career rut doesn’t always have to be seen in a negative light. If you can start looking at things with a new perspective, it can often be the catalyst for a major turning point in your personal and professional life.
The feeling of being career stuck is just one of the many pieces of feedback we hear from those who come to us at The Change School looking to make a necessary change in their life, whether it’s to better their professional or personal life. When my co-founder and I took our first group of participants on our signature programme, Change Ventures, we set out to help them reconnect with themselves and discover what really drives them and how to make the next steps. If you’re in a career rut and looking to make a change, here are some suggestions to help you move forward.
Identify The Issue: Burn Out vs The Rut
Take a step back and assess your current situation to understand if you’re overwhelmed and need to take time off, or if you’re feeling stuck and need to reignite personally and professionally to make a change in your life. In our Change Ventures program we recommend our participants use a SWOT Analysis to assess from the outside in. This helps you to understand your fears, vulnerabilities, challenges, strengths and what goals you want to accomplish in life.
Don’t Make Abrupt Decisions: Keep Moving Forward
Once you recognise that you’re unhappy with the way things are, it’s important to start motivating yourself on a daily basis. Don’t blame the job, the work or the people; you need to gain a better understanding of yourself and what you’re looking for. Try re-evaluating your work environment and see how you can use it to your advantage, or find outside hobbies or communities you can be a part of to explore other options that fulfil your needs. During and after our programme several of our participants learnt that making a decision doesn’t always happen fast, and that you should continually check in with yourself and the direction you want to go in.
Push Boundaries: Reach Outside Your Comfort Zone
In order to do things differently, you have to change the way you view the world around you. Try solving problems with a different approach than you usually take. Getting out of your comfort zone can be just the fix you need to reignite your passion for work and find new ways to enjoy your job. Try saying YES to anything that scares you for a month!
Remember, a career rut isn’t the end of the world. For many it can be the next stage in life offering new challenges and adventures.