What To Do If You’re In A Job Rut Or Thinking About Transitioning


 At one point in your life, you may get stuck in a career rut. You may like your company, but start to feel bored and apathetic in your job position. There could be moments when you desperately want to walk out the door; however, the timing isn’t right and you’re afraid to leave in a challenging job market.

When considering a career move, as a mid to senior-level, white-collar professional in a slow hiring environment, it's imperative to take a thoughtful and strategic approach—instead of being guided by raw emotions in the heat of the moment.

You will want to avoid quitting your job without having another one lined up. Even though you harbor thoughts of leaving, you must play the long game to ensure you hold onto your steady paycheck as you plan your next career move.

Reinventing Yourself

To dig yourself out of the rut, the first thing you must do is deeply reflect on what truly interests and motivates you, your core values and the transferable skills you possess.

This self-awareness is crucial for identifying potential new career paths—whether within the same company or going somewhere new—that better align with your passions, joy and strengths.

Once you hone in on your unique talents, interests and skills, commence researching and exploring different career options that appeal to you. Review job descriptions, required qualifications and the potential for growth and development.

Keep an open mind and be receptive to different ideas. The key is to find something to dig you out of rut that will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning and start your day.

Build a career plan that outlines your short and long-term goals for reinvention. You’ll need to put together the steps needed to attain your goal. For instance, research the education, credentials or any licenses needed for a new type of role.

If You Want To Stay, Do This

If you want to stay at your company, but pivot to another area, start by speaking with your direct manager and human resources. Have an open and honest discussion with them about your feelings of disengagement. Talk about potential ways that can reinvigorate your job satisfaction.

You can propose “job crafting.” This is the practice of staying within the organization, but learning new things, taking on assignments, projects and initiatives that you truly want to do and will help you get a fresh, new outlook at work.

Consider a lateral move within the company. Explore internal job postings for roles that could reignite your passion and utilize your expertise in a new capacity.

Prepare To Potentially Leave

If this doesn’t work, consider thinking about finding a new job elsewhere.

Networking and starting to build new relationships is paramount. You want to have a wide group of like-minded people who will help each other build and grow their respective careers. Attend industry events, connect on social media, hold informational interviews and get active on LinkedIn and other platforms that cater to your specific job and career.

Take a fresh look at your résumé and ensure that it is up-to-date and tailored to each job you apply to. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is strong and concisely lays out your jobs, wins, achievements, accolades and other things that make you stand out as a candidate.

Get in touch with recruiters that specialize in your area of expertise. The goal is to forge a relationship so that when a new opportunity arises, the headhunter will immediately reach out to you. Also, find a mentor, career coach, sponsor or cheerleaders to help direct, guide and motivate you throughout your career.

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