If you’ve been doing the same job for a long time, you might be feeling stuck in your career. That frustration or lack of motivation might have come out of nowhere, or you might have noticed it building for awhile. Either way, you need to make a change.
The first step is identifying why you feel stuck. Without knowing why, you won’t know whether you can fix it by taking on more responsibility, finding a job in the same industry with a new company, or changing career paths altogether. Here are a few common reasons why you might be feeling stuck in your career and what you can do about it.
Have Your Goals Have Changed?
As you grow and develop your skills and interests, you may find the goals that drove you to pursue a particular career are no longer driving you. Perhaps you took your job because it paid very well, even though the hours were long: your goal was to build up your savings account and make some investments. Now you’ve done that, and you’re discovering you’d rather have some free time instead of all that income.
What To Do If Your Goals Have Changed:
Assess what’s important to you. There’s no right or wrong answer. If your job is no longer helping you work toward your goals, it’s time to move on. Think about what you’d like to accomplish and what sort of career will help you do that.
Do You Not Have The Right Skills To Move Up Or Over?
The way we do business is constantly evolving. If you were a traditional print journalist 20 years ago, you had some work to do to keep up with the sudden shift toward online content. Anyone who didn’t learn how to write for the internet audience got left behind.
Of course, this is an important consideration when it comes to switching careers, too. Do you have the skills you need for a brand new start?
What To Do If You Don’t Have The Right Skill Sets To Move Up Or Over:
Build your skill set! It’s never too late to learn something new, and gaining new skills—whether it’s in web development, graphic design, foreign languages, social media marketing, or anything else—may be just what you need to feel energized in your career again, or it will help you prepare for a career change. YouTube and Coursera offer free tutorials and courses in just about anything you can imagine; if you need a license or a certificate, you can seek that at a university or another educational provider. At Colorado Careers, our advisors assess your strengths and help you create a plan for building the skills you need to help you succeed.
Do You Not Know Where To Start?
Searching for a new job can seem overwhelming, especially when you’re working full time and balancing family and other life responsibilities. It almost feels easier to keep doing what you’re doing instead of searching for something new.
What To Do If You Don’t Know Where To Start:
Network. This is easier than ever with social media, but don’t forget about real-time, face-to-face efforts, as well. Accept invitations to social events; you never know when you’ll be introduced to someone who can get you started on the right path. Join local or online business networking groups as well as social groups focused on outside interests you may have. At the very least, you’ll make some new friends; you might also meet the person who can introduce you to your new boss.
Are You Afraid?
It’s understandable: the unknown can be a scary thing. What if you can’t find a new job? What if you fail at it when you get it? What if you don’t make enough money? The fear generated by those thoughts will keep you stuck in your career. It feels safer to stay put, even if you’re bored, uninspired, and frustrated with the work you’re doing now.
What To Do If You’re Afraid:
Get one-on-one career counseling from a career coach. This process will help alleviate some of your fears by giving you an action plan to follow toward your next job. You’ll be able to see which skills will carry over into what you want to do next and which skills you need to work on, and you’ll have help creating a targeted job search so you can find what you’re looking for. Change can be exciting instead of scary: with your plan firmly in place, you’ll be able to move forward with confidence.
Whether you’re looking to change your job title, company, or your whole career, Colorado Careers can help you do it. Our coaches work with you one-on-one to ensure you’ve got a plan that meets your needs and goals. Contact us for your free consultation.