3 Ways to Get Out of a Career Rut

Do you feel stuck in your job? Even if you're grateful to be gainfully employed, it's still hard to feel good about going off to work every day if you don't get the sense that you're moving forward. If you've been idling in one place for a while, here's how to kick your career back into gear.

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(Photo Credit: Jonathan Kos-Read/Flickr)

1. Target promotions.

This is the No. 1 piece of advice offered by business consultant Brendan Reid in his recent column at Fast Company.

"I've never been handed a promotion in my entire career -- it's very rare," Reid writes. "So if you're sitting around waiting for someone to appreciate your work so much that they present you with a promotion, you are making a mistake."

Instead, he suggests writing a promotion plan, identifying specific target positions both within your department and the company as a whole.

2. Assess your skills.

Once you know where you want to go, you can start identifying the skills gaps that are keeping you from being a viable candidate. It might be as simple as learning an in-house system or as time-intensive as picking up a new certification, but you'll never know until you get started.

3. Talk to people with the job you want.

Connecting on LinkedIn is a great place to start, but if you really want the dirt on what you need to do to succeed, make a coffee date and start picking brains. Former managers are a great place to start. Not only do they have in-person knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, but they'll have a practical sense of what you need to do to bridge the gap between where you are, and where you want to be.

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