If you’re a good employee or recent grad who is experiencing a career stall, here are some strategies for breaking out of your working rut and moving towards a bigger dream.
1. Challenge your perspective.
The foundation of a successful career is natural growth and adaptation, and many people who feel stuck in a job fail to identify their key strengths and identify how they might contribute to a bigger job or company. The problem is that’s difficult to do when there’s little opportunity to build on the work you’re doing.
According to Kurt Becker, CCO of Inspire HR Consulting, the best way to make progress in your career is to take an honest look at what you’re best at. Take a job at a far-flung branch of your previous employer and integrate how you manage people at the edge of the company’s work culture into your new role.
2. Reframe your working role as a learning role.
One of the biggest mistakes made by people who are stuck in their careers is adopting a view of what a job is and what it can offer. According to Stephen Bell, VP of Corporate Education and Learning at LinkedIn, “the way a career is supposed to fit into your life is not a linear, forward trajectory: it’s a dynamic experience.”
If you see your working experience as a stepping stone to another opportunity, that would be great. But if you see it as a stepping stone to the next bigger opportunity, that’s also a pretty solid place to start.
You can also make learning fun and interesting by taking notes about each interaction you have at work, according to Bob Goodlatte, VP of People at City Winery. As you start to figure out what you need to do to get to the next level, pay attention to how you do what you do.
If your boss treats you poorly, play that up in your next performance review. If your manager is unsupportive, inquire how you can be more flexible.
Recognize that you’ve got a great work ethic and take steps to get credit for that success, according to Tyler Chalfant, CSO of Collaborative Brands.
Other ways to build yourself up include reading books on how to do your job better or using the opportunities provided to you by a particular department or company to grow the skills and knowledge you need to move on.
“You only get one shot to make a first impression,” says University of Pennsylvania historian and scholar of the high-powered executive suite Marion Nestle. Don’t settle on making a poor one.
3. Create the plan.
This is pretty simple, but it pays off: Bring everything that you need to have a successful career and life together and write a plan. According to Chalfant, by working through your values, you’ll identify what matters most in your career.