Are you stuck? Not in traffic (that happens to us all) but in a job that no longer gives you a sense of fulfillment. Your career rut isn’t just an inconvenience. It’s deprived you of your motivation, passion, and reason to climb out of bed in the morning.
It’s easy to spot the telltale signs. Every approaching Monday fills your stomach with a sense of dread. You cringe as you scroll past Facebook posts of your friends celebrating promotions and new gigs. You’d rather chew sandpaper than answer the question, “So what do you do for a living?”
But your situation isn’t nearly as hopeless as it feels! Use these four creative techniques to get yourself out of that ditch and back on track to better opportunities.
Change Your Daily Routine
Most ruts, whether in your job, relationship, or workout routine, develop because you never leave your comfort zone. It’s natural to stick to a predictable round that helps you feel safe and on top of things, fear of the unknown can stop you from making progress.
Start with little things. By making changes to your daily routine, no matter how small, you’ll start breaking the patterns holding you back – emerging from operating on autopilot, so to speak. They don’t need to be sweeping, life-upending alterations. Make one simple adjustment to your morning, afternoon, and evening routine and take note of how it affects your mindset.
Think of this trick as a silent, peaceful rebellion. You’re not turning your life on its head, but you’re resisting your rut to begin reclaiming control over your future. Even the tiniest crack can eventually cause a pool of ice to break up.
Reconnect With Other Priorities
Your career rut can feel magnified if you’re not in step with other priorities in your life: family, marriage, or personal health. Take a small step back to purposefully given them the attention they deserve.
Whether you take a weekend trip with your spouse, sign up for a kickboxing class, or simply get home in time to eat dinner with your kids, you may feel a renewed sense of initiative at work the next day.
Volunteer Where You Would Work
If finding a new job is the only solution to your career rut, it’s time to start hunting for your next position. The simple act of considering other options may empower you to make this long-overdue change. Of course, new positions usually aren’t super-easy to come by, especially if they’re different from your current gig. So, consider volunteering where you want to work in the future.
Devote a few of your spare weekend and evening hours to working gratis in order to build your network, demonstrate your abilities, and learn valuable information about the organization. Not only will your volunteering experiences counteract the frustration you feel from your career rut, but it will also give you a significant advantage when the time comes to interview for a paid position.
Plan Your Next Move
The time has come to strategize. Will you move to a new town in pursuit of better job opportunities? Will you finally gather the courage to submit for a promotion with your current employer? Or will you start submitting job applications to other local companies to find a position that will renew your innate sense of determination and excitement?
Even the most successful professionals are vulnerable to the dreaded career rut. Whether you want a promotion or an entirely new position, you have to take action to make it a reality. Identify the real underlying reason for your dissatisfaction and create a plan to overcome it. Soon your career rut will turn into a career break.
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