Sometimes you get sucked in the vortex of your daily routine and in the rare moments of absolute clarity, you realize that your career is at a dead end. Most people would shrug their shoulders, audibly “hmph” and move on. It’s really bothering you though, that in the last few years you haven’t been given any more responsibilities, no promotions and no raises. Is it worth it to keep working there? Are you stuck in this professional limbo or can you actually rebound from a career dead end?
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1. Recognizing it
Much like the movie trope: a romantic couple is haplessly driving around, one of them is refusing to ask for help and the second one demands she/he does. As I mentioned in the introduction, sometimes, we get so bogged down by the details and routine of daily life that we don’t even realize that our career has reached an impasse. Taking a moment to step back, assess and reevaluate might be the most effective way to see if you are trapped. If can’t see you’re trapped, you won’t be able to do anything to change that.
2. It's Not You
Although your motivational levels might be at a record low, it might not even be entirely your fault, it could be a result of unrecognized work, limited responsibilities or even micro-management. Firstly, you need to approach management, express your concerns to them and see if you can’t come to a compromise regarding your professional needs. If you are a valued member of the team, the management will attempt to meet you half way. If not, then you might have to think of another alternative such as changing your job.
3. Moving On
Just like any relationship that hits a plateau where both people involved are unhappy, it might be time to cut ties and move on. It can be extremely hard to do so, especially if you are on good terms with people you work with, but unfortunately, for the sake of your career, you might have to sever ties.
4. Go to School
And I’m not talking about learning a lesson, I am talking about literally going back to school to get further certifications or specialist training that will help you keep your job or get more out of your position and years with the company. Before you run off to buy a back-pack though, speak with management to see if there is anything you could do (study wise) that would help you progress. On the other hand, even if the company you are currently employed with doesn’t need someone with your qualifications and credentials, you can always seek employment else-where with your “fresh of the press” diploma or certificate.
5. Change Careers
Maybe the biggest reason that you hit a professional rut is because you are in the wrong profession and what you do, doesn’t motivate you anymore. Even though it is a substantial decision, especially when you feel you have exhausted all other options, a complete career 180 might give you the motivation and joy you lacked for so many years. So don’t be afraid to make that huge step- it could be the best thing that ever happened to you.
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Do you have any other ideas of how to bounce back from a Career Dead End? Let us know in the comment section below.