Are you one of those lucky people who found a job they’re passionate about? You absolutely love what you do and it doesn’t feel like work at all. Or have you found yourself in job where you dread every Monday? You spend your working week counting the days till the next weekend.

You’re not alone if you find yourself in a career rut and hating your job. In fact, according to a Gallup poll 85% of people worldwide hate their job. It’s not as simple as handing in your resignation and saying “I’m outta here” to your boss. There’s a number of things for you to consider. Number one is that all important pay check. Let’s face it, we all have bills to pay. You also might be really good at your job, the pay is decent and you know the company. However on the flip side, there’s no excitement or passion for your job. Instead of fulfilling you, it’s draining the heck out of you and impacting other parts of your life. Your relationships, health and happiness are all taking a back seat as it takes every bit of energy to go to that job every day.

You know you need to do something but what? Complacency may have crept in and you find it almost easier to get up and go to that job than to get off your butt and do something about it. Let’s face it, getting another job is pretty much a full-time job in itself. You quietly hope for a miracle. To win Lotto? To find that rich partner? I’m afraid to tell you, while either of those would be amazing, the odds aren’t in your favour for either of those happening.

So that means the only person to change this situation is YOU. Yep, that person who’s looking back at you in the mirror. 

How the hell do you get out of a career rut?  It’s not as complicated or as difficult as you think. I’ve got 5 ways for any budget that will help you change your job situation for the better.

As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

“If you want to be successful in this world, you have to follow your passion, not a paycheck.” – Jen Welter, NFL first female coach.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

1 – Conduct a skills inventory

It can happen that you find yourself in a job that wasn’t part of your plan. This could’ve happened for many reasons. Maybe your job options were limited at the time or maybe you thought you would enjoy it more than you are. Whatever the case, don’t discount the skills you have learned. Sometimes you can overlook what skills you have and focus only on what you don’t have. However, it’s important to remember that every skill you have gained is valuable. They are never a waste. Your skills are also transferable into another job or career. It’s time to sit down and list the skills you have so you are clear on what value you could bring to a new job.

Take a piece of A4 paper, make yourself a cup of tea or pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a pen and sit yourself at a table. Think of your current job and list all the skills you have in order to perform the role effectively. Repeat this for all the jobs you have had. Once you have finished, look for any commonalities as this will give you a guide to what is a strength.

2 – Know Yourself

One of the greatest attributes an individual can have is self-awareness. The ability to know yourself inside and out, your strengths and weaknesses, what you like and don’t like in a job can be very beneficial for your career satisfaction. Whilst this sounds simple, you’d be surprised how often people overlook the powering of deeply knowing oneself. The best way to do this is to invest in a personality assessment. These tests measure your personality (relevant to the workplace) and behaviourial style. There’s no right or wrong answers and they help to determine your suitability for a role or job. There’s a number of different ones available. The more popular ones include, Myers Briggs, Strengthsfinder, Enneagram and DISC. Each assessment offers something slightly different but they all show your inherent strengths and potential blind spots. For the full benefit, I recommend working with a certified professional in the respective test as they can assist you to interpret your results. For access to each test, click below:-

Myers Briggs – https://www.mbtionline.com/?utm_source=MBF&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=online

Strengthsfinder – https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/store/en-us

Enneagram – https://tests.enneagraminstitute.com/

DISC – https://www.discprofile.com/products/?c=7

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3 – The Power of Books

One of the most valuable resources you have at your fingertips, is books. They are a great way to get practical steps and advice from an expert without the hefty pricetag. Additionally, they are also a great alternative if spending the money on a personality assessment is not an option for you. Here are some great ones that I highly recommend.

“Do What You Are” – by Paul D. Tiger, Barbara Barron and Kelly Tieger

This book goes into more depth on the Myers Briggs Type Instrument (MBTI – which is it’s official name). It breaks down everything about the test including the four personality preference scales. There’s information on to how to identify your strengths, detailed explanation on the 16 different personality types and also how each of these types is at work. The in-depth chapter on each type identifies different job or career options, gives practical examples of different types at play in work and outlines a pathway to success. Whilst this book will provide enormous benefit to you for your career, it will also help you to understand other personality types which can lead to stronger relationships and assist you with working with others.

“Pivot” – by Jenny Blake

If there’s one book I recommend you buy, it’s this one. Pivot is a fantastic resource for anyone who has hit a career plateau and trying to work out their next move. Jenny is a former career development program manager at Google. Her book gives you a 4-stage process to help you work out how to pivot in your career. It is an easy read, very relatable with examples from successful pivoters and filled with practical exercises aimed at helping you answer, “What’s Next?”. Everybody should have this book regardless of where you are at in your career.

“The Element” and “Finding Your Element” by Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

Ken defines “The Element” as the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When you find your element, you feel fulfilled, inspired and will be able to achieve at high levels. There’s many inspiring stories and a theme of getting active in finding your element.

In “Finding Your Element”, Ken helps you to discover and find your element. There’s a series of practical exercises to help you uncover your natural strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, there’s stories of others who found their element.

In both of these books there is a theme of opportunity. That is, having, creating and seizing opportunities that provide you with a new experience aimed at getting you closer to finding your element. 

4 – Talk to a Career Coach

There are various situations and times in our lives when we need a little help from someone outside our friends and family. Just as you would see a Chiropractor when you have an issue with your back, it is a worthwhile investment to see a Career Coach when your career needs a little boost. A Career Coach can help you to identify where you are now, where you want to go and how to get there. They can help to keep you accountable on your action plan and assist you with each phase of the job search process. The sessions can vary from 30 minutes to 90 minutes and you will generally require a number of sessions to explore your career in full. There will be a cost involved however when you think of how much time you spend at work, the investment is definitely worthwhile. Any cost you outlay for your coach will often be recouped when you secure your next role either through personal happiness, career satisfaction or a salary increase.

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

5 – Have a Plan!

The easiest way to stay in a career rut is to do nothing! But that’s not you.

There’s that great quote which say, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. You need to spend some time and come up with a plan. Your plan might include:-

  • Who do you need to call?
  • Is there someone in your network you can reach out to?
  • Do you need to meet with some recruiters?
  • How up-to-date is your resume?
  • Is it tailored to the types of roles you are after?  

Knowing what steps you need to take provides clarity and confidence. It also feels less overwhelming and motivates you to keep going on the journey.

Don’t let another day go by going to a job that is sucking the life out of you. You can do something about it! Your happiness depends on it.

Tell me about your career rut! What are you doing to change your situation?


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