How to get out of your career rut

career rut

Where is your career going?  If you feel like you are stuck in a career rut, here are five tips to pull yourself out:

1.  Focus on the short-term, not your career path.

When it comes to a career path, one plus one doesn’t necessarily equal two anymore. The nature of business and the career landscape is evolving at lighting speed and making it nearly impossible to map out a five- or 10-year career path. So rather than trying to map out a long-term plan, optimize for one to two years.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Expedia, Inc., offers this sage advice: “Look for the right opportunities, stay flexible, have some idea of what direction you are headed in, but don’t lock into a long-term direction because chances are that the world will change up on you.”

2.  Speak up.

Does anyone know you want to switch department or roles, or is it your secret?  Are you the only who knows that you want to move up the ladder within your company? If so, you need to speak up and let people know what’s on your mind. Talk with your boss, talk with the manager in the role/department in which you are interested, and talk with HR. If you let people know your desires, your desires will be much more likely to be realized.

3.  Prove yourself.

Don’t think — act. If you want to take on additional responsibilities, you need to show that you are capable. If you want to move into a new role, prove that you have the skills to do so. Actions speak loudly.

4.  Network.

Networking opens doorsNetworking begets opportunities that benefit and feed your career, professional development, and personal interests. And if you are interested in finding a new job, networking will help you do just that. Studies have shown that the majority of candidates find jobs via their networks.

5.  Quit.

If you are truly unhappy — quit. When you make the mental decision that you are going to leave your job, most likely you’ll feel a weight has been lifted. With the weight gone you will be able to more easily determine your next steps and find a new position. Note I said mental decision. It is best to give your actual notice after you find a new position.

Getting your career going in a positive direction will benefit you and your organization. It’s never the wrong time to make some moves designed to get yourself out of a career rut.

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