Are you stuck? It’s pretty easy to get stuck. As long as you are in a position that is considered safe, coasting is easy. But what is considered safe and comfortable could lead you to later regrets. Time, once it passes, is gone forever. You can’t go back to your 20s, 30s, or 40s and make different choices in terms of your career or anything else.
So what are the best ways to stay stuck?
1) Don’t improve yourself. All careers are dynamic over time. In order to keep pace with the changes in your field you will need to engage in continuing education and perhaps formal education. If you don’t improve yourself, you will be stuck, and if your “safe” job ever becomes unsafe, you will be in no position to compete with those who are current in the field.
2) Convince yourself that there is nothing else out there. This is a common assumption by people who feel stuck. They assume that what they have is the best that they can do, so they don’t even attempt to find something more challenging or rewarding. I always challenge my clients by saying, “You can’t make a good decision without good information.” Test the waters by applying for positions to see if there is in fact something better out there for you. If you find out that your assumption is true, at least you can rest in the fact that your assumption is substantiated by actual data. But you may well find that your assumption was just that—an assumption.
3) Take the path of least resistance. Those who take the path of least resistance do the minimum amount to keep their jobs without testing their limits. These are the ones who are the most likely to have untapped potential. They don’t know what they are really capable of because they don’t try to move beyond their comfort zones. They don’t offer new ideas, they don’t take on new projects, and they don’t move beyond the rut that they are in.
4) Tell yourself that nobody else is happy either. This is just another version of “Everybody else is doing it.” Somehow we generally feel better about doing something if we can justify it by thinking everyone is in the same position. But you don’t need to be everybody else. You can seek out opportunities in your current organization, or if nothing exists there, you can look outside of your organization for more challenge.
To help you get unstuck, talk to a certified career coach at 877-743-9521 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.