The beginning of the year is a time when many re-evaluate their careers. So, it’s no surprise that January is a common time to start feeling stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to your job. Perhaps you’ve taken some time off at the end of the year and come back to work in a job that makes you feel… a bit underwhelmed.
Being in a career rut happens to almost everyone, at some stage. Even the most exciting of roles can become monotonous. The best workplaces can begin to sour when you don’t feel you’re moving up the ranks quickly enough. We naturally crave opportunities to learn and develop, and if those opportunities aren’t there, we feel stuck. The good news is that getting out of a career rut is easily achievable; you just have to put in a bit of work.
Here are our top tips to get out of your career rut.
Leave your comfort zone behind
If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, the first thing to do is get out of your comfort zone. Doing things the way you’ve always done them will only help you to feel even more stuck. To make a change, it’s a good idea to leave that safety net you’ve created for yourself. Try to introduce new ways of working, put yourself forward for new projects, and turn your career rut into a considered career strategy.
Set a goal and create a game plan
A constructive way to get yourself out a career rut is to create a career goal, and then start to work to achieve it. Create your game plan by outlining action items, a timeline, and the steps you need to take. This can include enhancing your online presence, updating your CV, or attending strategic networking events. To see the progress and to ensure you get out of your rut, it’s crucial to hold yourself accountable throughout this process.
Ready to drive your professional development and move your career forward? It might be time to start proactively adding to your skills, on your own time. Adopting a growth mindset, and embracing lifelong learning, whether that’s learning more about your own industry and keeping on top of trends, or investing in a course to change career tracks, will help you feel like you’re proactively progressing your career.
Build your personal brand
You may have found in the last year that opportunities for promotion or to switch jobs are slim. This can present the perfect opportunity, and more time to help you start to build your personal brand and perfect your online presence. This will position you as an expert in your field, and the very act of doing so will give you back an element of control, making you feel less ‘stuck’.
Have an open, transparent conversation with your boss
If you’re feeling stuck in your job, with no obvious progression in sight, and you feel comfortable having an open and honest conversation with your boss about it, this is the time to do it. Your manager’s job involves helping you succeed, and they can only help you do this if they know what your goals are and what barriers or blockers you’re currently experiencing. Having these kinds of discussions will also help prevent you both from moving forward with very different ideas of your career progression.
Look for a new job
If you’ve done all of the above and you feel your career progression goals won’t be met at your current organisation, or are continuing to feel increasingly ‘stuck’, it might be time to explore another role. Before you start your job search, talk to a recruiter and take time to reflect on precisely what you want from the next stage of your career. Also, be sure to update and optimise your CV (you can find our template here) and LinkedIn profile, and tailor each application where possible.