Stuck in a Career Rut? 6 Steps for Climbing Out
I just got back from an amazing summer beach weekend with my family. There was a time when the high of a fun, carefree weekend would have been overshadowed by the return home Sunday knowing that I was returning to work the next morning. Sunday night blues were always heightened against the contrast of special time with my family.
Now, I wonder why I didn’t do more to change it during all those years I was unhappy with work. What keeps us stuck in work we don’t enjoy, workplaces that limit our potential and with bosses who make our lives miserable? Why did I let myself go from a driven, fulfilled professional into the half-hearted clock-watcher who ran for the train the earliest I could sneak out?
While in corporate America, I was missing the push for personal development and building an empowered mindset. Therefore, that critical inner voice that likes to keep us in a box won out. A big part of my identity was wrapped up in being a professional working mom, and so I listened to that voice telling me I should stay in an unfulfilling job, even if that meant staying in the background and settling rather than taking inspired action and some risks to change my circumstances.
When a new opportunity presented itself four years ago, I was unhappy enough that I finally opened up to looking at it and taking the steps necessary to make change happen.
These six steps helped me finally climb out of the rut and do something that I truly love:
1) Assess your true desires
I finally asked myself what I truly wanted. I compared what I was doing versus what I wanted and valued most, namely fulfillment and freedom. It was a kick in the pants to realize that although what I was doing was a good progression in my career path, it was not getting me closer to those things that I actually valued most.
Write an honest assessment of what is most important to you in your professional life and what you truly desire. Then, rate where you are in terms of achieving this in your current position. It can be empowering to assess the difference.
2) Get uncomfortable
I had kept myself in a box. Although I was working in communications and public relations, I wasn’t good at promoting myself and I was more comfortable behind a computer than getting out and connecting with people. But, for me fulfillment comes from making a difference in people’s lives. I found once I started breaking out of my comfort zone, there was a lot more opportunity to impact others’ lives.
Put yourself in new, unfamiliar, situations.
Spend time talking to people. Get in front of new groups and meet new people and network with no agenda
Take risks. Try new things. Do something unconventional.
Do something you’ve told yourself you aren’t good at and prove yourself wrong.
3) Focus on others
I was in the habit of ignoring the voice in my head telling me what I wanted, so
an outward focus was a great source of motivation... how would my husband and children benefit if I took the steps to do something that offered more freedom... how was I directly helping people as I did something fulfilling? That outward focus was inspiration that helped re-spark my creativity and drive.
Ask yourself who is suffering by you not making changes?
Ask yourself who stands to benefit if you do something different?
4) Commit to a healthier you
I embraced a clean, nutrient dense nutrition program, regular exercise and dropped some of my bad habits, like mid-afternoon candy bars for a boost or cereal at bedtime for comfort. My energy skyrocketed, and I felt better about myself, and that helped fuel change.
I would love to be your guide if you want to use the same amazing nutrition plan I do. It also offers accountability, support and a culture of positivity to help you achieve your physical goals.
5) Surround yourself with positive people
When I decided to change my career path, there were naysayers. Being that I was transitioning to a less traditional line of work in network marketing, that made the naysayers especially critical. I had to put my blinders on when it came to people making less than positive comments. I had to trust my gut but also surround myself with people who were like-minded and were advocating for me.
Who are your naysayers who may be holding you back? Who are your cheerleaders encouraging you to go for your dreams? Which people are you spending the majority of your time with? Whose opinions are you valuing most? You may need to change this up.
6) Go into action mode
Once I made the decision to change course, I dove in. I started learning and I immediately put what I was learning into action.
Become an active learner
Learn the steps to success and do it!
Don’t recreate the wheel, follow the lead of those that have been successful
Bring your own personality and strengths into your work
Don’t wait til it’s perfect to take action. Be willing to learn as you go