What to Do When You Feel Stuck in Your Career

Photography Provided By: F8 Studio/Shutterstock.com

Photography Provided By: F8 Studio/Shutterstock.com

Reaching a point where you feel stuck in your career can be very discouraging. So, what should you do when you feel stuck in your career? Here's what I've learned.

Sometimes it hits us slowly—you haven’t been promoted or learned anything new in the role. Other times it can be more obvious—perhaps you’ve been seeing new people brought in above your role when you have been working hard to move up in the company.

What do you do when you hit the vocational wall?

Reaching a point where you feel stuck in your career can be very discouraging. It’s important you know when you’re ready to move up the ladder and why you should make the move up.

Some careers require you to be constantly working to learn and master more skills. Recently I was watching through the show Grey’s Anatomy, and I was so struck by how the doctors had a desire (and a professional need) to continually better their skills and gain more responsibility. It made me notice how important learning is in one’s career if you want to be moving up the ladder.

Consider how lawyers are required to continue their education and pass regular benchmarks in order to retain their licenses. For chefs, artists and other creative professionals, learning and implementing new tricks is a professional necessity.

But even jobs that aren’t quite as straightforward in their growth requirements still ought to be pushing you forward, and whether your job is or isn’t helping you grow is something you need to take note of for yourself. Do you feel you’ve been challenged to be better in your role? What have you learned in your role that has better equipped you to master your current job and face new challenges? Have you been set up to rise to higher roles and new responsibilities in your company, or have you been denied even when you’ve sought out opportunities to learn?

Focus on what your vocational goals are.

Where do you want your career to go? Perhaps you like where you work, but the particular role you’re in isn’t satisfying you professionally. Take a look at the other departments in your company and think about whether or not a department change could be the right answer. Can you climb in your current company? If so, try! Show your employer your eagerness to develop and inquire about new opportunities. Be sure to note what you have given the company in your time there. Loyalty is an incredible quality, and good companies value it highly.

Have you been set up to rise to higher roles and new responsibilities in your company, or have you been denied even when you’ve sought out opportunities to learn?

If you have reached your peak at your current company and can’t climb any higher there, make a list of companies you aspire to work for and begin to pursue them. You could take a look at where former colleagues are working now. Do they enjoy their new office? What does Glass Door have to say about companies you’re interested in?

It is important to realize when you have been feeling stuck. It’s easy to fall into being stuck professionally without realizing it, but until you do, your day-to-day will continue the same as it’s always been. Remind yourself monthly to take stock of where you are, where you want to be and what you’re doing to get there. It’s only once you acknowledge the goal that you can work to make the change.


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