Top Ways to Get Unstuck in your Career
Are you feeling stuck in your career? Not happy with what you’re doing?
But also not able to see what other career path you could take?
If so, you are not the only one. I often work with people in the same situation, and I’d like to share with you some tricks of the trade that I’ve learnt as a professional career coach.
In order to start moving forward I recommend you start making some space in your life. Change needs space. This is because you want to welcome something new, and if you and your environment are full of old stuff, there is nowhere for the new things you want to go.
Step #1 – Make space for change
Start making some space, both physically and mentally.
To make mental space, ask yourself:
What parts of your current job or situation will you miss when you change?
This often includes things like security, or your colleagues. Acknowledging and accepting that there are parts of your current situation that you’ll have to mourn, and doing this, will allow you to let go of them.
What will be the consequences of changing, both positive and negative?
When you study and weigh up the negative and positive consequences of change, you may:
1- Realise you don’t want to change at all. Great! You are done. Now you can return to your work with a sense of purpose. You know it is what you want and you have made a positive choice to keep doing it.
2- Realise that you really want to change. Now. Then keep reading.
If you’ve decided to keep reading, here’s the next question to ask yourself:
Step #2 – Are you sabotaging yourself?
When you are feeling stuck, either in your personal or professional life, there is normally a good reason. You may not be aware of it, but this is quietly working in the background, and possibly sabotaging all your efforts to proceed.
To identify and let go of your saboteur, ask yourself:
What am I getting from not changing?
What’s the positive intention behind staying stuck?
You may find several reasons why subconsciously you are keeping yourself stuck. For most people it’s the fear of the unknown, for others it’s the security of their actual job, and for others it’s anxiety caused by having to adapt and make the transition to something new.
What is it for you?
Here’s a useful analysis technique to help you deal with fear of the unknown.
Step #3 – Analyse
- What’s the best that could happen if I make this change?
- What’s the worst that could happen if I make the change?
- What’s the best that could happen if I don’t make the change?
- What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t make the change?
If you consider worst case scenarios, it often reduces your fears because you realise that the possible consequences are not actually as catastrophic as you at first imagined. Therefore it helps you to have confidence that you will cope.
However, if you realistically consider the best that could happen if you change and it is not actually much better than the best that could possibly happen if you don’t, that may also be quite revelatory and it may help you to appreciate and enjoy the job you have now.
So, this step is about weighing up the alternatives. Write down the pros and cons of changing or not changing your work. Simply looking at the number of pros vs. the number of cons may be useful, but apply a weighting system if you think that will help.
Is there anything that is non-negotiable?
Is there one pro which outweighs all the cons? Or vice versa?
These are steps which a professional career coach could take you through to help you identify and talk through your desire for change. You can do this alone, but this is potentially a major change in your life and talking to a trained and experienced coach may help you in your transition to a new working life.
Hi! I’m Marien, Oxford-based professional career coach and leadership skills trainer. Call me on 01865 751 432 (Oxford) to find out more about my coaching services and how you can make success happen for you, or if you prefer just email me.