Tired of your ho-hum career?
Unable to see anything exciting in front of you other than that photo of a black-sand beach pinned on your cubicle wall?
When you’ve fallen into a career slump, it’s likely you’re also caught in that endless loop of “woe is me” self-victimization. It’s time to take the bull by the horns and do something about it.
Whether the answer to escaping your career slump means seeking a promotion, widening the scope of your responsibilities or switching careers altogether, it’s time to make change a reality.
Here are eight ways to kick your own ass into action to escape your career slump. (Click here to tweet this list.)
1. Feel your way around your space
Corporate politics are a part of corporate culture. Anyone who says otherwise is lying or in denial. It takes just one jealous, bitter person to ruin your success party. Feel it out to see if you can achieve the opportunity you desire without losing the favor of your colleagues.
If your career goal is worth it, know that doing work you love will overpower the need to win the popularity game.
2. Learn a new skill
An investment in yourself will always bring the best returns. Expanding your skill set will help you survive the war against mediocrity.
This is your opportunity to stand out like a zebra among the herd of one-trick ponies. You’ll not only have more skills to offer, but also more knowledge and confidence.
3. Connect beyond your friend circle
Join groups on social media related to your interests. Making the right connections is often all you need to get where you want to go.
If you’re lucky, your social friends overlap with your “business” friends. But often they don’t — and that’s a good thing. You can stay focused on your career goal instead of yapping about the “Walking Dead” episode you just watched.
4. Don’t take “no” for an answer
It’s perfectly reasonable to be afraid you might hear “no” when you ask for that promotion or job interview. It sucks when someone tells you “no” or “sorry, maybe next time.” These are all punches in the gut.
But when someone says “no,” they’re often weeding out the truly invested versus the uncommitted. Look at this opportunity to prove how much want something. Try to see “no” as a test — not a “do not pass go.”
Don’t be pushy; there’s a finesse to finally hearing that “yes,” but it takes time and patience. Maybe hearing “no” means you need to examine another way to get where you want to go. But by all means, don’t let “no” stop you from your goal.
5. Give yourself time to think
Moments of clarity won’t happen if you endlessly wallow in self-pity about your soul-sucking position. So many people can’t turn work off (I used to be one of them).
Work the hours necessary to do your job. But learn how to leave work at work and get out of your office mentally. Know when to say “No,” and make the lines clear so you can have the personal thinking time you need.
6. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
A new career path is scary. You could take a big pay cut or lose your benefits. But you’ll never experience any progress when you’re comfortable. The discomfort of learning new things, sacrificing luxuries and challenging yourself is where the magic happens.
7. Make decisions as if you couldn’t fail
Commit yourself to thinking the opportunity you want is already yours. When you start any endeavor with this attitude, your confidence will solidify. Have that mental mindset and shut down that annoying “Why bother?” loop for good.
8. Stop waiting for the “right time”
If you wait for the best time to make a move, it will never come. Whether you’re ready or not to catch that bus out of your Middle-of-Nowhere town to explore what lies ahead, the bus is leaving — with or without you.
Get on it when you feel the twinge of the “I need to further my career” feeling. Just make it happen. There is no best time.
So get to it. What are you waiting for?
Corporate worker by day and blogger by night, Melissa Lopez wants to help everyone stomp out their self-limiting beliefs with her personal development blog Bold Steps for a Big Life, so start with your free resource, The 5 Books That Will Help You Step Out of Your Comfort Zone.