Trending Now: What To Do If You Are Stuck In A Career Rut
Perhaps it would be best to start by stating the obvious: nobody wants to be a career rut. After all, how can you expect to enjoy life when what you do for a living brings you no joy? Instead, you move from day to day waiting for that spark to return, waiting for a sudden burst of motivation or purpose to underscore every task you perform, maybe the way you felt when you first started working. When trapped in such a scenario, it is easy to feel hopeless. It is easy to worry that perhaps you are in the wrong field altogether, that you have no actual affinity for the work and have been lucking out all along. Maybe you are considering changing careers, albeit begrudgingly. But not to worry. In this post, we will explore some possible steps you can take to get out of your current career rut.
So, what do you do when you find yourself in a career rut? Start with some self-reflection. Try to identify why you are in the dumps and why you aren’t finding any fulfillment in your career. You might want to try to identify some key factors from three different categories: The categories should be: your work, you, and your community.
1. Your work
When reflecting on your career rut, you may start by asking yourself what the point is exactly—that is, what gives your job purpose? While this question is certainly one worth exploring, perhaps you should take it a step further: ask yourself what the purpose of your work is not only to others or to some greater good for your community or for society as a whole, but for yourself. If you work in a field like law or finance where people depend on you for your professional advice and expertise, it is probably easy enough to determine a surface purpose: your job is meaningful because you are able to help people in ways that they are unqualified to help themselves. These people, as a result, are able to lead their lives more productively because of your deep understanding of your source material—certainly a noble feat.
But what does all this mean to you as an individual? Think beyond an easy abstraction like “it makes me feel good.” Why? What are you qualifying as “good”? Is it the feeling that you hold knowledge that others do not? That you have spent years perfecting your craft or trade to the point that one might call you an “expect”? That deep down, you have a passion and that you are able to direct others with said passion? It is okay to be hedonistic as you reflect. After all, you are trying to climb out of your rut.
While it may be difficult, try to disconnect this step of the process from the one that followed it. In other words, separate yourself from your work, at least momentarily. It might leave you feeling exposed, without purpose, directionless. Who are you without your job title or the name your clients call you? The truth of the matter, though, is that a person dwells in the shadows that your job casts around. When we do not know how else to identify, we fall back into the shells of who we are professionally. But when you are suffering a career rut, you need to brave outside that shell and remember who you are outside of work. That is, who do your friends perceive you to be? Family? This step may seem somewhat touchy-feely; maybe getting that “deep” makes you feel uncomfortable. But maybe you need to indulge in that level of discomfort. Maybe trying to stay comfortable for so long is what got you into your rut in the first place, or at least contributed to it. When you better understand who you are on a more fundamental level—beyond the lofty titles and the extensive resume—you might come to understand what you need to do to get yourself to the next level, to the professional satisfaction you crave.
3. Your Community
The people you serve: Finally, it is time to look outward again. Consider your clientele for a moment, in general terms. Now think of an individual, your average client. Who is she? Remember that your clients, too, are human with their own passions, quirks, pet peeves, and moments when they feel burnt out. Humanizing your clients does not mean that you have to transcend beyond your professional relationship with them; rather, it will help you better understand why what you do is important. How does your job, when completed successfully, contribute to the well-being of others? Now is the chance to think more altruistically, to understand the full scope of what you do.
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Are you stuck in a career rut? Do you need some assistance in improving your career outlook? If so, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services. If you are interested in learning more about finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group. Or, if you are interested in attorney or other roles in the legal industry, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group.