What to Do if You Feel Stuck in or Unsure About Your Career

Although many people have inspirational and often unrealistic goals for their careers, at some time in your life, it is completely natural to feel lost or stuck in your job and to feel like you are not progressing toward the goals that you have always dreamed about. Some people do not even get this far and feel confused about the career path that they want to take.

However, you do not have to settle for an unsatisfying career for the rest of your life. Before you give in to habit and stay with a job that you hate, here are some top tips that you should consider following if you want to clear the hurdle and turbo-boost your passion for your career again.


Take a Degree

When you feel confused or stuck within your current career, you have a selection of options available to you, the most beneficial of these being heading back to school. Although you might feel as if you are regressing by going back to school or that you have failed on your career path, taking another degree can help you to boost the knowledge that you have or even allow you to retrain. This can then allow you to enjoy a host of open doors that were previously blocked off to you.

There are two choices that you can make when choosing the right graduate program, though. You can either take an open-ended degree that will allow you to broaden your prospects and ensure that you can apply your new skills to a host of different situations, or you can start to specialize. Specializing can be useful as it will allow you to propel your career in a definite direction and hone your skills and knowledge to reach a specific goal.

If you are unsure what careers are available to you with a degree or which career path might be right for you, Marymount University has compiled a list of EdD jobs that you can apply for once you have achieved your Doctorate. This can help you to make the most impactful decisions for you.

Consider the Right Job for You

If you feel that your job or career goals are no longer right for you, you should find an option that is. You can do this by reassessing your lifestyle and the kind of job that would fit with this. For instance, if you are an active person, you might look for jobs that are performed outdoors, or you might choose to work at night if you tend to keep late hours. This will help you to ensure that you can find a position that you will love both now and in many years to come.

Head to a Career Advisor

However, rather than believing that you have to take your career into your own hands to get out of your career rut, there are experts that can help to make your decision with you. By visiting a career advisor, you will be able to make a plan in light of their knowledge and experience about the current world of work and employment. Not only will they be able to make recommendations for you based on your skills and experience, but they can also help you to construct your resume, prepare for interviews, and take the steps that you need to so that you can continually make dramatic progress toward your end-goal.

Additionally, suppose you are uncertain about your career options or your career path. In that case, they will be able to go through each of these with you to help you to find out about careers and pathways that you may not even have considered previously.

Set Some New Goals

When you first set your career goals, it is likely that you had little experience of the reality of the world of work or even what you wanted to do as a job. If your old goals are lack-luster and you find that you do not care for them anymore, you should consider setting some new goals for your career. You can do this by making manageable targets in light of your current position on the career ladder. These should help you to make continual baby steps toward the career of your dreams. For instance, these could be getting a promotion, learning a new skill, or even networking with an important figure that could help you to get you to where you need to go.

Try a New Career Out

However, the best step that you can take when you feel stuck or confused is to try something new out. By taking on a new position or considering changing careers, you will be able to look outside the box and consider positions that may have previously been off your radar. Not only this, but you will only be able to find out whether certain jobs will appeal to you if you are willing to try new opportunities out. Then, you should consider searching on job boards or utilizing your network to search for the right new role. This will enable you to apply easily and be accepted for a new position while still working within your current job. 

Even if you are not comfortable with changing your career completely, you should consider changing the company that you work for. Each company operates differently within its industry and has different opportunities to its name. By deciding to work for a different business, you may be able to get a better-paid role, that promotion that you have always searched for, or a workplace culture that aligns with your values.

Speak to Your Manager

One of the reasons that some people feel as if they are trapped within their current job is because they have a lack of communication with the managerial team. Arranging an appointment with your manager can allow you to discuss your future with the company and allow you to share your career goals with someone who may make them happen.

For instance, if you are looking for a promotion, they may be able to guide you as to the steps that you need to take to be considered. Not only this but by speaking to your manager, you may find out some information about different roles and positions in the company that you never knew before. These might be able to give you some direction in terms of the jobs that you want to do in the future.

Get New Inspiration

When you start to feel tired or bored in your job, or you do not know which direction to go next, this is potentially due to a lack of inspiration. To get motivated, you should look for ways that you can find inspiration every day of the week. This could be through networking with professionals who are working in your dream job, following business leaders and career influencers online, or simply reading blog posts and articles about your career path or about people who have been successful in the way that you want to be.

By searching for this inspiration, you will be able to gather some tips and tricks about the next step to take and about the potential pathways that are available to you.

Go Your Own Way

If you are unsure of your career path or feel stuck in the career that you currently have, you should consider the benefits of going your own way. Rather than simply seeking employment, if this is failing to satisfy you or you cannot find a job that suits you, you should consider creating a unique and wholly different career path from the people that have come before you. The best way to do this is to go freelance or to start up your own business. This will give you complete control over your career and your future decisions. This can ensure that you will be able to take the actions that you want to, rather than having to follow a previously ordained career path. To do this, you will need to come up with a business plan, go on freelance job boards such as Freelancer, collect the right amount of funding, and start marketing your services to potential customers.

Assess Your Skills Before you make any major decisions, though, you should consider performing a self-assessment of the skills and knowledge that you already have. If you are confused about your career, this will allow you to pinpoint any careers that might match your talents and find an option you are passionate about. Alternatively, if you feel stuck within your current career, a skills assessment will allow you to isolate transferrable knowledge and will enable you to realize what elements of your career you want to pursue in the future. To do this, you should look at the areas of work that you excel at, what industry-specific and soft skills you have, and how they can be applied within the workplace.

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