what to do when you're stuck in a career rut.

Just about everyone has been there at some point in their career - you’re bored of your job. There’s nowhere left to go in your current organization and you can’t even muster the energy to dread Monday mornings. Feeling unfulfilled and uninterested in your job can often be worse than hating it.

The last thing you want to do is feel like you’re phoning it in, which is a real possibility when you’re stuck in a career rut. So what can you do to change it up?


Figure out whether it’s job or organization-related

If you’re struggling with figuring out what your next move should be, you’ll first need to establish whether your problem is related to your job or if it’s the organization you’re in. If you no longer want to do the job you’re currently doing, it could necessitate a career change. You might find that you’re happier in a different role in an entirely new field.

However, sometimes it might be the company you’re in that you want to get out of. This could be because there are no more steps up the ladder for you to take or because your values no longer align with the firm’s. If you still enjoy what you do, you might be better off doing it elsewhere

Know what you want

If you’re not happy in your current role, you should look to the future and figure out how to achieve your career goals. This means you’ll need to know where you want to end up. Think about the job you currently have, as well as those you’ve had in the past. What aspects have you most enjoyed? Are there elements you want to keep in your dream job, like autonomy, creativity, or contact with clients? Focusing on them will help you narrow down what you want to achieve in your career.

You can also look at people you admire in roles you want to be in and examine their career paths. Use that as a guide to the kinds of opportunities you should pursue. Having a roadmap will allow you to look critically at your goals and establish their feasibility, as well as what you need to focus on in the short term and then the long term.

Learn new skills

According to a recent study by the University of Phoenix, 58 percent of survey respondents said they were at least somewhat interested in changing jobs. In addition, the 2016 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends report found that a huge 90 percent of professionals are open to switching jobs.

With this in mind, you need to ensure you get noticed above the competition. And you can do this by expanding your skillset. If you have free time outside work, there are definite advantages to learning a new ability to add to your resume. You’ll boost your employability and expand your knowledge base, which can have a positive effect on your confidence - an important factor when it comes to the job search.

Expand your network

A wide professional network is a highly valuable tool in your attempt to get yourself out of your career rut. The right people can open doors for you, teach and inform you, and boost your spirits. 

Start reaching out through LinkedIn and other social networks. Join relevant groups and make sure you’re attending industry events, where you could meet notable professionals in your field. You can also use Twitter chats to introduce yourself to potential employers and get involved in discussions around your field. Just make sure you’re contributing valuable insights.

Make a change

The final - and most important - step is actually making a change in order for things to get better. Plenty of people are not happy at work but do little to change that. Remember that it is a candidate-driven market at the moment thanks to global skills gaps resulting in employers often struggling to find the best people. This means you have a lot of power.

Start evaluating your options and looking for the right opportunity, bearing in mind the career roadmap you set out for yourself. When you know what you want, you’ll already be on your way to a new opportunity.

about the author

Eveline Kramers - employer brand and talent development content manager

Eveline Kramers takes Randstad's thought leadership to the next level through insightful content and research on talent acquisition, employer branding and talent development. She lives content, breathes social media and writes stories. Prior to her current role Eveline managed a public-private partnership and worked in account management. She holds a Master of Arts in European Studies from King's College London.

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Comments

  • 3-8-2018 Francisco Javier Muñoz
    Very useful article. It help me to think about my next steps in my career. Congratulations.

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