Do you feel stuck in your current career or job? Do you find yourself parked in front of your company’s building almost in tears trying to muster up the will to go inside? Do you believe the company’s values or mission don’t align with yours? Maybe you aren't being challenged or valued enough, Or perhaps, things are not that bad but you know you were meant for something greater or different? But you are not sure what that “something” is yet.
Maybe you feel stuck and you don’t know whether it’s as simple as a job change, career change, or possibly even start your own business. Well, I know EXACTLY how you're feeling because I have felt that way before. In this blog, I will share with you seven action steps that helped me get unstuck and figure out my next career move.
If you’re feeling stuck in your career and uncertain what you want to do next, consider taking these seven action steps!
- Know your Strengths & Talents (where do you thrive most?)
- Analyze your current & past employment & make a list of what you enjoyed the most about your role & working in that company. Then make a list of the things you absolutely hated and never want to deal with again.
- What type of environment & projects did you thrive in the most?
- Take Gallup’s Strengths Finder assessment and/or ask colleagues what you do best.
2. Know your Values
It’s important to know your values so that your career or place of employment is in alignment to what’s important to you. It’s important to consider not just your professional values but also your core personal values. For example, if you value your time with family, a job that requires you to travel a lot and away for certain periods of time may not be a good fit. On the other hand, if you enjoy traveling and the thrill of being at different places, this may be a good fit for you. Sometimes certain jobs aren't a good fit for us because they are not aligned to our values. If you would like to identify or reflect on your values, consider the following exercises:
- Why do you want to make this change?
- Why is this important to you?
- What is important to you outside of work? (time with family, traveling)
- Why do you love this work?
- What are your top 3-5 values in your place of employment or how might these values influence in starting your own business?
It’s crucial that you research and learn as much as possible about the industry or business you are trying to start. Learning and researching will be part of your journey. Below are some tips of steps you can take to research and seek out the answers you need.
- Carve out time to make a list of all your career interests or business ideas and research them. Look up job descriptions (linked In, Indeed) and see if job descriptions align w/your strengths/talents, values & education/experience criteria
- Do informational interviews- Remember, Clarity comes from doing (shadow, volunteer, get involved in organizations)
- Listen to podcasts, read books, join groups and organizations related to your industry of interest
- Narrow it down
4. Create your Vision
Your vision is what will direct you through the right path. Having a clear vision of what you want for your life, of what you want to accomplish and what fulfills you is what will help give you that clarity. The last thing you want is to go from one bad job situation to the next. Having that clear vision and knowing your why will make it easier to live a life that’s true to your core values. To help figure out your vision, ask yourself these questions:
- Where do you want to be in the future?
- Know your why (why do you want to make this change)
- If you could do anything without money being an issue, what would that be?
- Create a vision board (physical board, Pinterest, journal)
- Creating a visual will add clarity and can serve as a motivation
5. Set Positive Intentions-Have a growth mindset
Having a positive mindset will make all the difference in your career whether you are an employee or business owner. Start off by really reflecting on why you're feeling the way that you are; figure out why do you want a career change. Once you’re clear on that, see if there's anything about your mindset that can be improved. Do you have certain limiting self beliefs? Do you give up easily if things don’t go as planned or do you try a different approach? Are you a perfectionist? Sometimes being a perfectionist is a way to keep you in your comfort zone by delaying putting yourself or your work out there. If you identify areas of growth when it comes to mindset, work on them. Here are a few suggestions of daily habits you can practice to have a growth mindset.
- Practice Daily Positive Affirmations
- Share your plan with supportive friends and colleagues
- Meditate, listen to motivational speakers/podcasts
- Find a support group of other business owners or job seekers where you can share ideas and motivate one another
- Start a gratitude Journal-Write daily about what you are grateful for in your life and career as well as progress towards your goals
6. Create an Action Plan
Having a game plan is necessary in order to achieve your goals. Set some time aside to really map out and break down your goals into manageable action steps. When setting goals, make sure that they are SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based).
7. Take Consistent Action
Don’t think so much, just act! You don’t need to be an expert or have all the answers to get started on a business venture, you will learn a lot as you go but you have to start. Whether you’re transitioning to a different career or starting a business, you need to be willing to get out of your comfort zone and take consistent action.