Feeling stuck in your career? You’re not alone. According to Fast Company, “Feeling stuck in your career isn’t just frustrating; it can be debilitating.” No matter your experience or age, managers, professionals and executives can get “stuck” in their careers, wondering what to do next.
The key to getting unstuck and moving forward through a career impasse involves focusing on what matters (the 4 C’s) and asking yourself the right questions.
“C” where you are
If you want to make a switch in your career and be successful in the journey, you need to create a vision for the future. This requires gaining the 4 C’s: clarity, courage, confidence and competence. According to Forbes, “without these, you’ll most likely struggle hard and fail.”
Start the journey to your next step
To gain clarity, ramp up your courage and have the confidence and competence to make the leap. So ask yourself these questions:
What do I really want?
First, discover what it is that you desire in your career and in your life. What criteria will you use to evaluate your success? Is it a certain salary? Position? Title? Make a list of what you need as this will help in creating a vision of your ideal job.
If you’re unsure, career testing can help you get started. At JL Careers, we use the Harvard Business School’s career report “Career Leader.” It’s an integrated approach to self-assessment covering your motivations, interests and skills.
Take the time now to clarify your criteria and goals. If you skip over this step, you’ll continue to feel stuck. In my workshop, “Ignite Your Career: Getting more of what you want in your career”, one participant responded to the question “What do you want to do with your career?” with a heartfelt answer. She didn’t know what she wanted, but she knew she didn’t want to be an accountant anymore. At the end of the session, when the group was asked to recall her career brand, they could only respond that she was an accountant. Because she hadn’t painted a picture of her future goals, she hadn’t rebranded herself. As a result, the group still saw her in the role she no longer wanted, that of an accountant.
What are my core capabilities?
In order to define the next chapter of your career, you need to know the skills you want to use. If this question is challenging, ask yourself:
What are my greatest accomplishments?
What accomplishments am I most proud of in terms of my jobs or volunteer experiences?
Asking these questions will help you highlight the skills you enjoy using most or those that come naturally to you. Then, use these skills to evaluate job postings to determine a list of best-fit careers.
What can I do today to start the shift?
It’s possible to research your way to a great new job. Don’t sit back and hope that a Google search will lead you to the answer. Get out there and network. Ask your professional association, networking groups or mentors if they know anyone doing the type of work in which you’re interested. Then reach out and meet these people. Invite them to coffee and quiz them about their career.
As Fast Company states, the good news is “the notion that we have to choose a single career path and stick with it from beginning to end is simply a myth.” You’re not between a rock and a hard place. If you’re really feeling stuck decide today to shift things. Start now by reaching out to a career coach to get the help you need to start moving forward.
Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional. She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools to help them advance their careers. Copyright JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.
Feeling Stuck in Your Career? Needing a new career challenge or a new job?
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Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional