Written by 9:23 am Health / Wellness, Women in Business

What to Do When You Are Stuck in a Career Rut

what to do when youre stuck in a career rut

Hey ladies, do you ever feel like your work life is in a rut? Maybe you’ve been feeling unmotivated or just can’t seem to get anything done.

It happens to the best of us; when it does, it can take a toll on our overall happiness and well-being. Not to mention, it can also hurt our chances for career success.

Have your coworkers haven’t noticed your slump? Are you worried about your boss picking up your low productivity? The slump you’re experiencing might jeopardize your upcoming performance review, potentially influencing your professional progression and personal journey. Therefore, rather than merely attempting to “power through,” it’s crucial to pinpoint the cause and tackle the underlying issue directly.

Here are four things you can do to start bouncing back from your work rut, no matter how long you’ve been stuck there.

Look Inwards: Identifying the Root Cause

When pinpointing when you started feeling “off,” think back to any specific moments or situations that triggered a change in your emotions or mindset. For example, it could be a personal issue affecting your work life, such as relationship problems or health concerns. On the other hand, it might be something work-related, like a toxic work environment, feeling underappreciated, or lacking a work-life balance.

If you’re physically exhausted, it’s essential to prioritize rest and recovery. Sometimes, we push ourselves too hard and forget to care for our well-being. Give yourself permission to take a break and recharge your batteries.

Emotional exhaustion is another common factor leading to feeling “off.” If that’s the case, it can be helpful to process your feelings with a therapist or confide in a trusted friend. They can provide support, guidance, and a fresh perspective, helping you navigate the emotional challenges you face.

Being honest with yourself is crucial. If you feel underappreciated at work, it’s important to speak up. Your boss may not know how you’re feeling, and expressing your concerns can lead to positive changes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself if you’ve genuinely sought help. It’s okay to reach out to colleagues or superiors for assistance when needed. Remember, you don’t have to do it all alone.

In your quest for work-life balance, it’s essential to identify what that balance looks like. Then, find ways to incorporate activities and time for yourself outside of work. It could be pursuing hobbies, spending quality time with loved ones, or simply taking moments of self-care. Everyone’s definition of work-life balance is different, so find what works best for you.

Get Away: Everyone Deserves a Day Off

Let’s dive into the idea of getting away and how it might intersect with your career path, growth, and goals.

First, consider your career path. Think about where you are now, in your current job, and where you want to be. Are you happy with the trajectory? If the answer is no, then maybe it’s time for a change. Your first job isn’t your last, after all. So it’s perfectly fine to pivot and head in a different direction.

In the context of career growth, taking time to step back can be incredibly beneficial. Research shows that employees who take regular breaks, including vacations, often exhibit greater productivity and creativity in their work. You know the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? It’s true! So, don’t be afraid to take a break; you might just come back with a renewed passion for your work.

Career tips from industry leaders often emphasize the importance of caring for your mental and physical health. And a big part of that is learning how to detach from work and take time for yourself. Remember, you’re not a machine. You need time to rest and rejuvenate.

Slow Down and Discover What Makes You Happy

Trying to juggle too many tasks can be overwhelming and lead to feelings of inadequacy. Instead, create a prioritized to-do list and work through it systematically. Completing tasks will satisfy your psychological drive for mastery, and regaining your focus will help reestablish momentum.

Too often, we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the size of the task list, so we try and tackle everything at once. Unfortunately, this usually ends up resulting in nothing getting done 100%, which inevitably re-enforces the feeling of being overwhelmed. 

When it comes to career advice, there’s no shortage of it out there. But remember, one size doesn’t fit all. What works for someone else might not work for you. The best career advice I’ve ever heard is knowing yourself – your strengths, passions, and values. When you align your career with these, career success often follows. But success isn’t just about climbing the corporate ladder. It’s also about career satisfaction – finding fulfillment in what you do every day – and you can only discover that by slowing down!

But let’s talk about work-life balance. It’s one of those phrases tossed around a lot, but achieving work-life balance can seem like chasing a unicorn, especially when you’re young and eager to make your mark. Here’s the thing, though: you’re a human being, not a human doing. Your productivity doesn’t measure your worth.

Work-life balance isn’t about a perfect 50-50 split. It’s about setting boundaries and ensuring work doesn’t consume your life. That’s why it’s important to take time for yourself – to relax, pursue hobbies, spend time with loved ones – to SLOW DOWN. It’s about being present at the moment, whether you’re at work or home.

The journey to your dream job – whether in a corporate role or your own business – isn’t always smooth. There will be bumps along the way. But remember, those bumps are opportunities for learning and growth. So embrace them, learn from them, and keep moving forward.

Remember, the ultimate goal is a career that brings you joy and satisfaction. And if you achieve work-life balance along the way, that’s a big bonus! So take one step at a time; remember, it’s your journey. Make it count!

Stop Thinking and Make a Decision

Unshakable work slumps tend to crop up when the tactics you used in the past to produce successful results are no longer effective. This usually comes back to a decision you’ve been avoiding. Identify the decision and make a plan to tackle it head-on.

You know, sometimes the obstacle we’re facing is a decision we’ve been putting off. It’s like a speed bump we’ve been trying to avoid, but we keep swerving around. The key is to identify that decision and confront it. So, let’s make a plan to do just that, shall we?

Perhaps you’re finding that your current role just isn’t giving you that spark anymore. If that’s the case, have you spoken to your boss about it? It might be a bit nerve-wracking, but it’s a conversation that could open doors for you. Maybe there’s another role within the company that you’ve got your eye on? Now might be the perfect time to explore that possibility.

Or maybe it’s not about the role but the skills you need to excel in it. The world is changing so fast, and keeping up with the pace is crucial. If you’re feeling a bit out of your depth, it could be a sign that you need to refresh your skills. Have you considered asking for additional training or signing up for a course? It’s a fantastic way to boost your confidence and get you back in the game.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let a little work slump derail your ambition. Instead, use these tips to get back on track and reignite your passion for your career. Falling into a work rut doesn’t mean you are in the wrong job, role, or field; it just may mean you need to take a step back, reevaluate things and plot a new course.

Remember, a work slump doesn’t define you. It’s just a chapter in your story, not the whole book. So stop asking yourself what to do when you are stuck in a rut – keep believing in yourself, and don’t be afraid to take that step toward change. After all, the greatest growth often comes from the challenges we face!

We have all been here. You got this, girl!

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Last modified: May 11, 2023