As they say, it happens to the bet of us. Getting stuck in your career isn’t the end of the road, it can actually be a hidden opportunity ready for the taking. Here are a few tips to help you get yourself out of a seemingly hopeless career rut and on your way to professional bliss.
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Being stuck in your career can seem like the end of the road, but it doesn’t have to be. Steve Maraboli, international life-coach and motivational speaker, put it best, “The road to success is always under construction.” Consider this roadblock in your professional life is simply a chance to defeat or be defeated — the choice is yours.
1. Request regular performance reviews – In a recent interview, Alyssa Brodsky, Director of Human Resources for Payday Inc., indicated that regular performance reviews allow employees to see how their efforts contribute to the company’s overall “big picture.”
Bodsky goes on to say that “performance reviews are a tool every company should be using to strengthen the link between their business objectives and each employee’s essential job functions.” Requesting a review allows for a few things: you will receive feedback on your work (both positive and constructive) which will help you fine-tune things; it lets your superiors know that you’re interested in improving your contributions as an employee for the advancement of the company; and it could potentially result in you earning a compensation bump.
2. Further your education/career knowledge – This is an obvious one. Whether you wish to gain knowledge in a new skill or hone in on your area of expertise, advancing your education is always a fabulous option to help you get unstuck in your career. There are a plethora of options for furthering your education through evening/online courses, online programs, and even mobile apps. Pick up a new skill or certification and add it to your resume, at the very least. If you’re debating on what skill to try out, learning how to code is a very desirable one to have and is only going to become increasingly popular as technology advances.
3. Seek out a mentor or become one – Mentors can do a lot for your career, including helping you get unstuck, so make sure you pick a good one. The main benefit of having a career mentor is that he or she has been there, done that, and can help navigate you through difficult times and decisions in your own career. A little guidance never hurt anyone.
Mentors can also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses so that you can use that feedback to better yourself as a professional. Another option, if you’re more advanced in your career, is to become a mentor yourself. There’s nothing better than lending your expertise to another, less experienced worker — it not only shows that you care about investing in someone else’s future, but it is a true testament to your leadership skills and initiative.
4. Volunteer – If your company offers philanthropic opportunities, then definitely sign up for any and all events as possible. Volunteering is great for your career in so many ways. For starters, it gives you the chance to do good for others, which can put your career lull into perspective and help you feel more grateful for the little things in life (e.g. having a job in the first place).
Being a volunteer allows you to network with colleagues outside of the office and connect with them on a more human level. A study conducted by Volunteer Match Solutions found that “88 percent of employee volunteers reported volunteering provides network/career development opportunities.” So, get out there and volunteer your spare time for a noble cause – it’s good for your soul and your career.
5. Become a brand advocate – Supporting your company’s efforts is as easy as sharing positive information through social media. Studies show that companies are focusing more on company culture nowadays, because a happy workplace encourages employee loyalty and, in turn, promotes organic growth over time — something that humanizes the brand. Post a photo on Twitter or Instagram of something unique that your company does that you feel either boosts morale or sets them apart from the rest.
Yes, you might have to stretch the whole “this is so amazing” thing a bit, but your efforts will be greatly appreciated by your employer. Be sure to tag yourself or check-in on your post to allow your followers to see that you’re at your place of employment, and also so your employer (or the marketing department) receives a notification of your post. At the very least, your efforts will help you find some joy in your everyday that will, hopefully, point you in a mindset that will get you unstuck and on your way.
The takeaway here is to figure out a way to turn a negative into a positive and take action sooner than later. It’s important to figure out a plan B when your career hands you lemons, as they say, or else you run the risk of settling in an unhappy and dead-end job.
Tell Us What You Think
Are you feeling stuck in your career? Try out one or all of the suggestions above and let us know which one works best to get you unstuck. Share your experience with our community on Twitter.