Most professionals experience a career rut at some point in their lives. Whether they feel underpaid, underappreciated or underutilized, workers start to feel stuck in a perpetual tunnel with the light becoming harder and harder to see the more they stay in the same position, year after year. This trapped feeling has U.S. workers feeling like it’s Groundhog Day and nothing is ever going to change. “Change isn’t just going to happen to you. If you want things to be different in your career, you have to go out and make change happen.”
So before you jump ship, consider alternative options for pulling yourself out of a career rut.
Mix things up
Often when we get stuck in a rut, it’s because we get stuck seeing things from one perspective. Take some time to view your job from an outsider’s perspective. You may find new ways to approach your work or you may find that your job is better than you give it credit for.
In either scenario, it’s important to remember that even the smallest shifts can make a big difference in the course of an entire career. Make one or two tweaks to your day-to-day and put your career back on track.
Pursue your passions outside of your 9-5
You can feel unfulfilled in your career if your work-life balance is off track. You may be blaming your work because you aren’t taking full advantage of your time outside the 9 to 5. Even if your job isn’t perfect, it pays your bills and can be the fuel to your true life passions. Make sure that you lead a balanced life by ceasing the opportunities you have outside of the office.
If you have professional passions, take the time outside of your permanent role to post guest blogs or do other freelance projects that can help propel your career forward.
Create a conversation
Joining or generating a community for industry relevant conversations can help renew your energy and passion for your work. You may gain a different perspective on your work or learn new skills. Consistently putting out great content and ideas about your industry may eventually lead to you becoming a thought leader among your peers. This can open a plethora of professional doors and pull you right out of your rut.
Look for an advancement opportunity and earn it
A promotion can give you a breath of fresh air in your career. If you feel like you are in a rut in your career, this is the perfect way to avoid a professional plateau. Find an advancement opportunity within your organization and make it your mission to earn it. If you have done everything you can to deserve better at this point in your career, then it may finally be time to pursue other options.
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