Stuck in a Dead End Job?


Got the Sunday night blues?  That is what happened to me several years ago when I absolutely dreaded going into work on Mondays.  By Monday morning, I was already in a bad mood.  By the time I got off the exit to my office building, my stomach was in knots.  It truly was a miserable existence.  I had no idea how I got to that point.  What I did know was that I needed to figure out my next move.

Maybe you are going through a similar experience. Your job was right for awhile, but not anymore. However, you are feeling stuck because you like the people you work with, you don’t want to have to start over, or maybe the money is pretty decent.  Well, take it from me – I’ve heard all the excuses and I had a few of my own for staying in that miserable job for as long as I did.   But you know it’s time to leave. The only thing left to decide is your next move. 

Take action now to get unstuck

Face the unknown
Many people stay in a bad job situation is because of the fear of the unknown. Think about that for a minute. Are you hanging in there just because it’s familiar? Well, what if the unknown wasn’t scary? What if it was actually filled with happiness and wonderful possibilities? Yes, there will be a transition period where you leave what you can do in your sleep and head into unfamiliar territory. However, I can  assure you that the uneasiness and doubt you feel is temporary.  In fact, the impact of staying too long  in a situation that is bad for you is far greater than the steepness of a learning curve.

So, how might you make unknown territory more comfortable? Take some time to learn about it by doing  research, volunteering, and talking to people. Take it a step further and conduct informational interviews with those who work in your area of interest.  Find ways to educate yourself.  There are a variety of training courses that you can take on a diversity of subjects. If you take some time to shine light on the unknown, you just may learn that there was nothing to fear after afterall.

Explore the possibilities
There are a lot of successful people in the world who just decide that they know what they’re doing. I’ll never forget an old client who discovered her gift for public speaking in Toastmaster’s and went on to become a highly paid consultant just because she decided she was worth listening to. Is there something you’ve been thinking about doing, but putting it off?  Perhaps now is the time to explore those interests.  You never know what hidden talents are waiting to be discovered.

Take baby steps
Part-time work or small projects work well if you are considering self-employment. The hours are long when you don’t give up your day job, but if you’re pursuing your passion you’ll find the energy. Go ahead, print some business cards and get started at your own pace. Before long you’ll feel ready to venture out on your own.

Dive in
This happens to be my favorite. I get enormous energy from leaping off metaphorical cliffs. Instead of screaming “NO,” try saying  “Geronimo.” I’ve changed careers and relocated on two separate occasions.  Each experience brought me closer to my ideal role.  Sometimes it takes a geographic change to get yourself out of a rut.  If that is truly not a viable option for you, make a change that is outside of your typical comfort zone.Try something out there and see if you can fly.

Maybe you’re not a leaper, but don’t let that stop you. You can always plan for contingencies and put away some savings. Find answers for all the what-ifs that are holding you back. However, be careful not to over prepare. Carefully and realistically consider the likelihood of those what-ifs actually happening.  Then make your next move!

REMEMBER, if you only do what you already know how to do your world would get pretty stale. Growth is an essential part of life. There always comes a time to move on.  When that time comes the universe has a way of providing you clues. The money for graduate school appears, child care arrangements work out, an article about a new company catches your eye. Pay attention to the signals. Then trust your judgment. If something tells you this new opportunity is right, it probably is.

– Wishing you continued success!

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