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Here’s What You Need To Do When Your Career is Stuck in a Rut

Many self-aware individuals who are ambitious about growing in their career sometimes reach a point when almost nothing seems to be going right in their professional lives.

That’s just a better way of saying that their career is stuck in a rut. No matter what they do, they are just not moving forward at the pace they desire. And that feeling often leads to frustration and eventually to dejection. In my experience as a career and leadership coach, I have observed that this often happens even to the brightest and smartest of individuals, because they have big dreams and big expectations from themselves.

At a recent HR convention, someone from the audience asked a brilliant question, “If a company’s most valuable resource is its people, then how come the employees aren’t locked up, but the toilet paper & stationery are in a reinforced steel box with a lock, bolted to the stall?”

Of course, that sent the whole crowd into peals of laughter. But while it may sound funny, it’s true.

It’s high time you realize that your career and your career progress is your own responsibility. Expecting the company to do everything for you is being unfair to your own dreams.

Whenever you feel you are stuck in a rut, there are certain steps that you can take before that frustration leads to dejection and demotivation. The first step is to identify the core symptoms that indicate that you are stuck in a career rut. Only when you are self-aware and understand and accept that you are in a career rut, that you can take action to break this rut and accelerate your success.

Symptoms that you are stuck in a career rut

The core symptoms that you are stuck in a career rut are:

  1. Its an ordeal to get yourself to work everyday
  2. Your skills and talents are not being fully utilized at your workplace
  3. Your career goals are not being met by your current job
  4. Your career offers no change in routine (it’s mechanical)
  5. You’re subject to unfair treatment
  6. Your work does not challenge you to explore your creative side
  7. There has been no change in your title, tasks or pay
  8. You have become so comfortable that you now fear risk or change
  9. There is no true appreciation for your work
  10. Your work does not feel meaningful nor fulfilling

If you associate some of the above symptoms with your current work situation, then it’s time to do something about it. Brooding over this won’t get you anywhere. If you are committed to your growth, you have got to take control.

The next obvious question is ‘where do I start? What do I do to change this?’.

How to break the rut

The solution or the answer to your problem is (drum rolls):

“Re-align your career with your career goals and desires to represent your success plan and desires lifestyle goals and aspirations. Plan your way forward and develop your accountability plan so that you don’t get demotivated and maintain consistent effort towards your career growth.”

The good part is that there is a direct answer to your question, and there are two ways of doing it:

  1. The difficult and time-consuming way
  2. The quick and easy way

The details of each of these methods are discussed below.

The difficult and time-consuming way to break the rut

Even after realizing that they are stuck in a career rut, some smart individuals take minimalistic action to change things. One such approach is when they decide to do everything themselves. They feel they have an unlimited reach to resources on the internet and they can easily plan their way forward without any external support.

While this may work for a handful of individuals, in most cases it turns upside down. Instead of progressing they feel even more stuck. And instead of being motivated, they get overwhelmed.

The internet today offers a different kind of problem – The problem of plenty. How do you know what information to follow and what not to.

Another problem you can’t identify and overcome by yourself are the limiting beliefs that may be preventing you from being bold and taking the leap to a new career. Often to overcome these internal boundaries, external support is needed.

Another hassle, is maintaining persistence in your new found goal of growth and liberation.

If you plan to do all of it on your own, then the following checklist should be of use to you with regard to the things you must do in order to break your career rut:

  1. Understand your core values
  2. Understand and Analyze your career moves and how they align with your values
  3. Build smart career goals
  4. Develop your career plan
  5. Understand your motivators
  6. Understand your lifestyle goals
  7. Build an accountability plan and execute it
  8. Identify and Overcome your limiting Beliefs
  9. Build confidence and project it

The quicker and easier way to break the rut

More and more people around the globe are understanding that there is an easier way to get all this done in a shorter span of time with better results. The fun and easy way to break your career rut is to hire a career coach, who can lead the way and can share the expert knowledge with you to accelerate your career.

Coaching is a way to help you better understand yourself and what you really want to accomplish. A career coach has a well-thought organized step-by-step approach to help you make this transition in a smooth manner.

A career coaching can help you do the following:

  1. Understand your core values
  2. Analyze your career moves and how they align with your values
  3. Build smart career goals
  4. Develop your career plan
  5. Understand your motivators
  6. Identify your lifestyle goals
  7. Drive accountability to ensure your progress
  8. Identify and Overcome your limiting beliefs
  9. Build confidence and project it correctly
  10. Develop your leadership brand
  11. Create your core USP to help you stand out of the crowd
  12. Time management
  13. Identify your life purpose & passion
  14. Help you to make better decisions
  15. Build your EQ for greater success

Working with an expert career coach who has helped other individuals who were in a situation similar to your current situation, who is unbiased and does not judge you for any of your actions or comments, will allow you to explore your career options and remain motivated as you work towards them. When you hire a career coach, you indicate to other people just how serious and committed you are towards your career growth. You have someone to hold you accountable towards your progress. You also build a life-long support system, no matter how your situation turns in the future

A career coach is your go-to person to take your career to the next level. If you are an ambitious individual who is looking to accelerate your career growth, you must hire a career coach who take full advantage of their expert knowledge and skills. All the best!

There are endless success stories from other people whom the coach has helped overcome such situations, if you are interested in learning more.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you transition into a career you love? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Akanksha Vir

Akanksha Vir is an International Career Coach, Trainer, and Author who has helped clients from around the world, with varied career challenges, to achieve a career breakthrough and take their success to the next level. She has a unique talent for helping people overcome their limiting beliefs to help them achieve bigger better goals and project themselves more impressively. Her main focus is on creating more passion and purpose in your work.

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