Workwrite Resumes

Top 10 ways to get your career unstuck (Part 1)

"Dead end" sign along country road.

Photo by Benny Lin

Once you notice you are feeling stuck in your career, and you know the cause, the next step is to plan your escape.

In a previous blog post, I mentioned 10 reasons your career may be stalled. We’ll revisit each one for ways to break free.

1. You’re at the top in your company: Feeling like you have no place to go can be frustrating, even from the highest hill. One choice is to create more exciting facets to your present position and delegate other responsibilities. An outside consulting gig can pump new energy into a flagging interest. Leaving the company is an option for an upward, downward, or lateral move. A professional sabbatical for education, volunteer work, or other enrichment is a possibility.

2. There are people in your way: Although it is tempting to view these folks as competition, there may be more opportunities in collaboration. Are there projects you can share? Can you relieve them of a duty they don’t enjoy? Perhaps they would trade for something you are less than fond of. You may need the blessing of your manage(s) to do this, but it’s worth asking. Is there perhaps a position that can be created? Perhaps with the economy easing, the company would add a position that combines tasks farmed out during layoffs or a hiring freeze. If you have varied interests, a transfer to another department may be just the thing to get your juices flowing again.

3. Your enthusiasm left town with the economy: If you haven’t talked to your manager, now is the time. This is not the “Give me a promotion or I’m outta here” conversation. It also can’t be a complaint session. Get your most positive, collaborative attitude out of the desk drawer and make a list of what you have to offer the company. What do you WANT to do? A good manager will recognize the importance of keeping a good employee engaged. Perhaps another department needs you. If there is no hope of change within the company, it might be time to change companies.

4. This isn’t your job: Depending on how loudly you’ve advertised your dislike for your job. there may or may not be a place for you there. If you’ve done a good job despite your dislike, you may be able to land a promotion or transfer. If you were vocal with your opinion, your only option may be the door, lesson in hand.

5. This used to be your job: If you don’t already know, figure out what happened. If you changed, and you don’t like the change, there are therapeutic options available. Some companies offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that HR will know about. If the company or people changed, it’s more difficult. Cultural shifts usually don’t happen quickly, but a new manager or CEO can bring about changes that affect you deeply. Go through trusted company channels first. If there aren’t any, that may be your signal that the door is your best option.

Next time, we will conclude with the remaining five ways to get your career unstuck.

If you have been through any of the above experiences and would like to share lessons you learned, please leave a comment below.  If you are still having trouble getting unstuck, reach me at Jeri@WorkwriteResumes.com



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