Advancing your career can be difficult at any time, but it can be even harder if you already feel as if you are in a rut. Then, if you are beginning to feel reluctant to head to work on a Monday morning, or believe that you and your skills are beginning to stagnate, here are some of the top steps that you can take to climb out of the career rut that you have fallen into and boost your career when you most need it.
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Look at Further Education Options
One of the best actions that you can take to advance your career when you are in a rut is to look at the further education options that are available to you. Higher education qualifications can help to break down the barriers that are stopping you from being able to progress and can open new doors for you. Not only this, but these qualifications can give you the skills and knowledge that you need to take on new responsibilities at work and to find job opportunities that appeal to you. Continuing to learn about your industry can also enable you to be reinspired and to remember why you first decided to follow your career path in the first place. Then, you should consider taking an online Master’s qualification. For instance, Emerson College’s prestigious online masters in marketing and data analytics in Boston can help you to progress in the business world and to be a valuable asset to different organizations. What’s more, the course’s online nature means that you can take it alongside working within your current job role.
However, if you believe that you have progressed all you can within your current job role, you should consider specializing in a certain aspect of your job or industry. This can help you to climb out of your rut by allowing you to focus on the parts of your job that you are interested in with the aim of performing these tasks every single day. Specializing can also help you to apply for niche job roles that have less competition, as fewer people will have the skills and qualifications that are required to acquire these positions. Then, to specialize in a certain aspect of your industry, you should research the best areas to specialize in, consider taking online courses and qualifications, work on specialist projects in your own time, and make sure that you understand any equipment that you will need to use in this specialist role.
Change Your Employer
If you are unhappy at work, though, you need to consider whether your career rut has been caused by the company that you work for or the environment that you work within. Then, you should start looking around for better job opportunities at other companies. Not only may other companies allow you to work in an environment that you feel inspired by or with responsibilities that excite you, but they may also have several progression opportunities on offer that can help you to advance your career. For instance, they may allow you to become a leader or the head of a department, which might not have been possible if you previously worked for a small firm. Then, to change the company that you work for, you should check industry job boards and contact your dream employers directly by email.
Change Your Career Path
Although you might think that starting again is counterproductive, this is not always the case. Sometimes, to go forward, you will need to take a step back and reassess the career path that you are on. If you believe that you have completely lost interest in your career or you have found that it is not like you expected it to be, you should consider changing careers. Career changes can happen at any age, even as you come up for retirement, and they can help you to get a fulfilling career that you will progress in much easier than your previous job role. To change careers, you should consider other job options within your industry, look at the transferable skills that you have gained over your working life, and consider taking up shadowing opportunities that can give you an insight into what your new career might be like on a day to day basis.
Start-Up Your Own Business
Many people that are in a rut struggle to find new job opportunities that interest them, especially if the job market is not particularly thriving at the time of their search. Not only this, but some people believe that they are in a rut because they do not get on with their manager or are frustrated by the lack of control that comes with being employed. If these people are of an entrepreneurial mindset, many consider starting up their own business rather than looking for a new avenue of employment.
Starting your own business can allow you to be in control of your own career and paycheck and can help you to work within an environment that interests you every day. Then, to find a business idea that you can run successfully, you should consider the skills and knowledge that you have and the gaps within your industry that you could fill with your expertise. Once you have done this, you should develop a business plan based on your previous experience and conduct market research to see whether this plan would be viable. After this, you will be able to develop your product or service, create a website and start marketing it, and look for a team of employees to support the business idea that you have thought of.
Set New Career Goals
Are you looking for a simple way to turn your career around? Not everyone decides that they want to change their career dramatically, especially if job stability is important to them. However, even if you do not want to change your career completely, you may still find that you are in a rut and that you see no future for your career. Then, you should consider spending time setting yourself new career goals.
Creating career goals can help you to have an endpoint to aim for throughout your working life and can give you a renewed purpose that can motivate you when you feel down. Not only this, but setting career goals can allow you to have a better idea of what you want from your career, whether this is fulfillment, a higher wage, or a promotion. These goals can also change your mindset and can help you to see your career in a more positive light. Then, to set good career goals for yourself, you should think about what you want to achieve over five or ten years and then break this down into achievable steps that you can follow. You should make sure that you plan rewards for reaching your goals and that you set goals that you can achieve in the short-term as well as the long-term. This will then encourage you to keep chipping away at them. You should also consider sharing these goals with others to ensure that you are held accountable.
As well as setting new goals for yourself, you should consider thinking about your career vision. Your career vision is a dream of where you ideally see yourself at the peak of your career. However, unlike a dream, your career vision should be an image that you can turn into a reality. Creating a career vision alongside your goals is important as it can help you to keep going even when achieving your goals seems impossible and can allow you to remember why exactly you have decided to complete tasks that you may not always enjoy or that you find challenging.
Speak to Your Manager About Promotions
The quickest and easiest way that you can get out of your career rut, though, is to talk to your manager about potentially getting a promotion. Although a promotion may not always be possible, your manager will not know that you are interested in taking on more responsibility unless you tell them. Even if there are no open vacancies at the moment or your manager does not believe that you are ready for a big promotion yet, discussing your aims with your manager will make sure that they think about you when a position becomes available. Not only this, but they may be able to give you advice about the steps that you need to take before you will be considered for the promotion of your dreams.
Although it can be a difficult conversation to have with your manager, speaking to them about getting a promotion is not impossible. Many employees decide to bring up the possibility of getting a promotion at their annual one-to-one meetings. These appraisals are the perfect opportunity to discuss your goals, and your manager will usually ask about your goals before you even have to bring them up. You will then be able to stage a two-way conversation within which you can work together to create actionable steps toward your goals. However, when you decide to ask your boss for a promotion, you should always be ready for them to say no.
Attend Inspiring Conferences
If you are in a career rut that you are struggling to get out of, you should consider attending conferences in your industry. Although you might associate conferences with stressful business trips, industry conferences can be a great way to reignite your passion for your career. This is because conference organizers often invite plenty of experts to talk about their work and to discuss the latest developments within your field, which might spark your interest. Not only this, but many of these conferences have hands-on workshops within which you can start to learn new skills. You can then apply these to your workplace on your return. In this way, they can also advance your career. Industry conferences can also advance your career as they can give you the opportunity to connect with professionals who might be interested in your work or who might be able to let you know of any job opportunities in your sector.
Speak to Others
However, one of the best steps that you can take to get out of your career rut today is to speak to other professionals. Other professionals working in your sector may be able to give you guidance on how to excel at your career and progress further. You may also be able to get insight into different job roles that you might be interested in. If you build up these relationships in the long-term, this may also lead to you be able to secure a mentor who can help you at every step of your career and put you forward for many of the different opportunities that are available within your industry.
Then, to find and connect with others in your industry, you should consider joining local and national networking groups, some of which operate on a purely digital basis. You should also consider attending courses and trade shows where professionals like you are likely to be, as well as creating a business social media account that will allow you to connect with influencers and to contact industry professionals on websites such as LinkedIn.
Advancing your career with the aim of getting out of a career rut can feel as it is impossible. However, you should not give up on your dreams too early. There are almost endless methods through which you can progress your career and ignite a passion inside yourself for work again. From speaking to your manager about a promotion to stepping onto an entirely new career path, by simply putting yourself out there and being proactive about the many opportunities that are around you, you will be able to ensure that you get the career that you have always wanted and that you look forward to going to work every morning.