This is interesting and perhaps not surprising. At times of high unemployment we are just happy to have our job. It may not be the best in
all ways and still, we’re working and bringing home a paycheck so life feels pretty good. When unemployment is at a low point it certainly make s us feel more secure in the position we have … confident that as long as we do our jobs and produce what is expected of us, we can be quite certain that we’re on fairly solid ground. Being confident and on solid ground, however, doesn’t say much about our being satisfied with what we’re are doing and the position that we hold. In fact, very often if we are honest with ourselves, we are plain and simply bored … tired … burned out. And the reason we stay put and settle for this amounts to our feeling stuck!
There are a number of things that can contribute to the glue that seems to have settled on the bottom of our feet. Perhaps some will hit home for you:
- Lured by the money ~
Of course the money we earn in a job is important. It provides for the lives we want to live and the lives we need to support.However, it can also have a blinding effect in that it tends to have us diminish and relegate other aspects of our work to the back burner. We can easily rationalize that … ‘the work itself isn’t that exciting or interesting butlook at the money I’m earning’. Eventually, we risk having the semi-weekly paycheck pale when we realize the unsatisfying work we are doing to receive it. Not feeling able to afford to move elsewhere is both a dilemma and a trap.
- Staying put rather than the risk of having to learn and perform in a new job ~
We may willingly admit to boredom in our current job but are we sure we are willing to do the learning that taking on a new role will require? What if we fail? Thinking that the risk isn’t worth the potential gain we would experience in moving to another position, we are inclined to stay where we are … and over time this becomes less gratifying and less satisfactory.
- Failure to recognize that the current work is quickly becoming outdated ~
We actually like our job and the work we do. We enjoy the camaraderie with our co-workers. We know that we are appreciated by ourboss and the company and thus, we have less inclination to change what we do. This becomes a real problem when the work we do is on the way to becoming extinct … made so by new innovations in technology, systems or products. Waiting until we have no choice makes the decision someone else’ s.
- Not recognizing the importance of continuing education as key to our work ~
In today’s business environment it would be highly unusual that change is not a constant aspect of it. If one becomes complacent and sees no need to keep up with work-related changes taking place around them, he/she risks watching others who remain the curious and interested students bypass them, their capabilities and advancement opportunities.
- Not having a clear picture of what else one would/could do = a formula for stuck The current job isn’t too bad. In fact, there are aspects of it that one finds interesting and even rewarding. Yet the truth is that if it wasn’t this job what else would it be? Waiting for that answer to suddenly drop to our desktop probably isn’t going to happen. What can likely happen is one’s feeling of simply being stuck and the related frustration and unhappiness that accompanies that.
So maybe you have read these signs of being stuck and personally relate to them. And because staying in such a position has few overall positives, recognizing yourself as such opens the door to wondering what can be done and how to go about it. Ashira Prossack penned an article that appeared in Forbes that identifies things that can be done to throw off the chains of ‘stuck’. They include:
- Get out of your comfort zone ~
The reason you feel like you’re in a career rut has a lot to do with staying well within your comfort zone. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, in order to make a change often requires that one leaves the safety net that has been created. Rather than sitting and waiting for something to happen it means taking charge and making it happen.
- Set a goal and create a game plan ~
Generally speaking change takes place because there is a plan developed to achieve the goal. Not only does it create the road map to follow … it also provides a person with the motivation to follow it. With identified action items, a timeline and steps one needs to take and a willingness to be accountable, one has the ingredients to achieve that plan.
- Take Risks ~
Turning ones situation around often means taking risks. And although not always comfortable, in doing so you’ll be challenging yourself. This does tie to stepping out of your comfort zone and can also be a part of your game plan. The key here is to stretch yourself outside of the box you’ve been working in. There’s no harm in trying, and you never know how taking a risk can end up paying off.
- Don’t go it alone ~
While it’s ultimately on you to get yourself out of a rut, you can’t do it entirely alone. Get advice or just talk things over with a mentor, find a sponsor, attend networking events, talk to your friends. Every person you meet could potentially help you out of your rut. You never know who will be instrumental in helping you find your next opportunity, so don’t be shy. Be direct and ask for what you’re looking for.
Finding ourselves in a career rut is a pretty common occurrence to just about everyone at some point in time. What was once the most exciting job in the world can and often does become monotonous after a time. Doing the same job for too long can lead to feeling stuck there. The good news is that getting out of a career rut is rather easily achievable … just requiring that we put in a bit of work.