It can happen to any of us, getting to that point in our career where we don’t know what to do next. And then suddenly, that lack of direction can turn into the feeling of being stuck.
I’ve noticed the tipping point in going from ‘exploring options’ to ‘stuck,’ is when we let fear drive the ‘career path’ bus.
So, what are the 3 habits to break when you get this point of feeling ‘stuck’?
1) The habit of PERMANENCE.
I find that some professionals who say they desire a career change, and haven’t initiated one yet, secretly harbour a fear that to make any change isn’t possible and it ‘will be this way forever’. That this life situation is permanent.
I had a professional reach out to me recently that was asking for help, but when it came down to it, this person believed that they would be stuck forever. Permanently.
Even though they were reaching out, they held this belief that it was not possible to make a career change, enjoy their work more, be more successful or do a job they loved. So working on this underlying belief became part of the work we did to advance his career journey.
To be clear, you don’t have to LOVE your job to have more fun, more enjoyment or to feel more fulfilled - or at least you may choose a different word to describe it. There are many that DO love the work they do. But if you could improve your own situation by your own measures even 10% would that be worth adjusting things? (By ‘adjusting’ I mean, it could mean a role change, or it could be adjusting how you work).
So if you’re feeling stuck, feed the belief that’s it’s NOT permanent. There IS a way for you. There IS a path forward.
2. The habit of FEEDING THE STUCK.
This comes back to the saying, “What you feed, grows”.
Thinking about how you are stuck, focusing on the things NOT going well at work, will make you miserable - to put it bluntly. If this is what you focus on 24/7, it’s no wonder you feel stuck.
I get how difficult it can be, feeling like you don’t have many options, or not knowing what to do. I’ve been there and it’s NOT fun.
However, what I learned is that I was making myself feel worse and worse, the more I thought about (what I believed) where my lack of options.
Bring some attention to the good things about your circumstances. Even if it feels like it’s not work specific…but identify what IS working and the good parts of your day: it could be your short commute, or the lunchroom, great colleagues, a great client, an interesting project, etc. Bring some attention to ALL other elements in your work world that ARE working for you.
Bringing more balance and intention to the thoughts you are having about your work life can bring a shift to your thinking and add a different perspective. It’s with this balanced thinking that you may begin to see other options that didn’t seem to be there before…
3) The habit of DISENGAGEMENT.
It’s easy when we’re not happy to feel like distancing yourself from colleagues, your manager and your customers in general. It’s as if we feel like we ‘won’t be there forever’ so why make an extra effort - or get involved?
Well - if you want to see change in your career, I highly recommend you do the opposite. Tune in to what’s going on around you. Connect with your manager, your colleagues or your customers. Sometimes, when you get to the heart of what’s causing dissatisfaction, what is impacting your enjoyment of this job, is not job-specific or location-specific. And, in these cases, there’s a significant chance that it may follow you to your next job if you don’t figure it out.
So, by engaging, leaning into areas that you can do well, and figuring out how to make the things that aren’t going well, run more smoothly, you are up-leveling your skills and learning new ways of being in your workplace.
This can have so many outcomes that you would be surprised at how effective it can be. I’ve seen in some cases, people turn out loving what they do. I’ve seen people promoted or moved into roles that are better suited for them and they enjoy more, and I’ve seen people generally develop better skills so the same challenges aren’t repeated at their next job.
If you feel yourself disengaging, I encourage you to ask yourself this question - If I went ALL IN on this job, what would that look like? What would I do differently? Those answers might give you some insights on how you might approach things differentlly or into general ways of ‘being’ that could support you being more engaged.
You can do this.
NOW is YOUR Time.
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