Are you losing interest in your job? Do you find the daily grind boring and tedious? Have you ever wondered why you seem to have been left hanging in the rungs instead of climbing up the corporate ladder?
If you do notice these things happening to you, then you may be stuck in a career rut.
If you’ve noticed your batchmates at work all getting promotions or getting incentives and such, while you seem to have been stuck in your position for eternity, then it could be a sign that your career needs a boost.
If you’re wishing and hoping that you’re in a different world doing different things, then the world could be telling you that you’re in the wrong workplace.
From organizing your life to taking professional courses, there are things that you can do to jumpstart your career once again and be on your way up to the pinnacle of success.
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Finding the Right Fit
People experience a stall in their careers for several reasons. It could be because at the outset, their skill sets are not compatible with the responsibilities required in their jobs. It could also be because they are supporting the wrong people, wrong goals, or the wrong career paths. It can be because they have outgrown their position, or have stopped growing at all.
From the wrong mindset to the wrong fit, there are many reasons why people are unhappy with their jobs. This unhappiness and discontent could also be the reason why some people do not progress in their careers.
However, this should not hinder you from making your dreams come true. Everyone has potential and it is up to you to harness this and make it an instrument in attaining your goals in life.
A career rut is not a permanent setback. To the optimist, it can be a time for reflection and introspection. It is a temporary place where you can pause, think, and plan your career. This is actually a good chance for you to seek and enjoy greener pastures, or realize that all you need to do is water your own garden to reap the fruits of your labor.
There are steps that you can take if you really want to attain success in your career. Whether it’s the one that you are in now or something totally different, you always have a choice in whether you want to remain stagnant, or go out and seize the day. From taking a good look into your current situation to taking self-care measures such as engaging in relaxation and entertainment, or doing fun outdoor activities, you have the power to change the course of your career.
To help you do something about your profession progress, here are seven valuable tips that can aid in advancing your career:
1. Write down your goals
Identify your goals and write them down. This will give you a clearer picture of your objectives, which is already a step towards achieving them. Make a list of your targets. It doesn’t matter if it’s small – like hitting your sales quota for the month – or big, such as becoming the head of your department in a year.
Under your list of goals, you should also put a checklist of the actionable steps that you can take to be able to realize them. Do not forget to include realistic timelines, so you are also aware of how to properly pace yourself.
Map out your goals and distinguish which items must be prioritized.
2. Recognize your wins and losses
Another valuable tip is to keep track of your wins and losses.
Make a list of all the achievements that you have clinched. Try to remember what you did to be able to achieve them and see how it can help in achieving your current goals. If it was a group effort, take note of your role in it and what you contributed to make it a success. This can also clue you in on your own set of skills, whether it is creative, leadership, management, or technical skills.
While it is not right to dwell on your failures, recognizing your mistakes or blunders can also help. Admitting to oversights on your part is a sign of maturity and accountability, and this will give you a lesson on what to do or not do again.
3. Broaden your skill set
One of the best ways to improve your career is to continually seek experiences that expand your skills and knowledge. There are professional short courses available that will either teach you new information or enhance your current proficiency.
From business writing skills, language training and development, leadership skills, and even up to getting a Six Sigma certification, there is a vast selection of educational and training programs that can help you advance your career.
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4. Speak with management
Effective communication is a crucial part of your career advancement. You must be able to conduct a professional conversation with key players in your workplace such as your boss or your HR Head.
Do not be afraid to ask questions. Inquire about how you can contribute better to the department or your company. Check what their expectations are from you, and see if there are any gaps in your work that need to be filled. Ask if there are any company training sessions that you can participate in. Also learn how to negotiate, if needed.
Learn to listen and accept feedback. Who you think you are and what you think you are doing may be completely different from how others perceive you. It is best to keep a feedback loop open. This will allow you to learn from others and also let others know how you, or your team is doing.
5. Nurture your networks
Do not neglect your network. They may be workmates, friends from university, or social acquaintances. These may be people whom you can learn from or have insights into your industry or the one that you’re eyeing.
Do not be afraid to get in touch with people of a like mind or who have similar interests as this can help open doors leading to your dream job. It can also introduce you to mentors or career advisors that may give indispensable counsel to help you in your chosen profession.
6. Ditch what doesn’t work
The previous steps of making a list or keeping track of your wins and losses will also give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your job. Listening to feedback and getting valuable advice from respected people in your network will also tell you which actions or career moves are effective or not.
Learn from your experiences and let go of the things that do not contribute to your career development. It may be habits that you have acquired along the way, or systems that have been passed down to you. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Learn to accept change and move on.
7. Practice work-life balance
You also need to tune in to yourself. How you are at work may be caused by how you treat yourself. Learn to practice self-compassion and be kind to yourself. If you made a minor flub, own up to it, learn from it, and tell yourself that you will do better next time. If you achieved one of your goals, pat yourself on the back, and celebrate. Make yourself your own best friend.
Take time to do self-care. This is not merely taking a soak in the tub or having five minutes to yourself. Take a more deliberate approach to stop and smell the flowers, as they say. Take a walk in the park, hang out with friends, or take a whole day to simply do things that you love. Work-life balance is achievable if you make a conscious effort to do so.
The Road to Success
Success is defined in different ways. To others, it may be about being in the position they have or owning the car they drive or the house they live in. To some, it may be about getting the opportunity to be with loved ones while they do what they enjoy. Ask yourself what your definition of success is and strive to get it without breaking down or burning out.
The road you take to advance your career or be where you want to be in your professional life is something that you must take. The abovementioned ways are just tips to help you along the way. You will always have a choice of whether to take them to heart or move to your own beat.
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