How to Get Unstuck:  A 5-step strategy to help you get out of your career funk

1st February 2018

I often have people come to me for coaching because they’ve lost their career mojo.  They’re not happy with where they’re at and feel stuck!  I hear things like ‘I’ve been there too long and I don’t have the confidence to make the change’, or ‘I don’t know where to go next’.

Couple that feeling with the fact that it’s no longer new year so you’ve realised there isn’t going to be a new you, and you’re at risk of a major career funk!  The dark nights, dark mornings, and dark weather do little for our motivation!

The warning signs have all been there.  Is Sunday evening a time of dread?  Was the thought of going back after the Christmas break enough to bring you out in a cold sweat?  Were you having nightmares featuring your co-workers?  It’s time you did something.

“if you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it” Mary Engelbreit

Don’t despair!  Help is at hand.

All you need is a strategy.  To identify where you’re going, and how to get there.  It really is as simple as that.

‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right’ Henry Ford

You can ALWAYS change your job.  You can get a new one, or you can change your current one!  It’s all in how you think about it.

Here’s a strategy to help you develop some more productive thinking patterns:

  1. Work out what’s wrong:

    Take some time out to reflect on what’s really getting you down. When unhappy, you can tend to blackwash everything with those thoughts.  I want you to get specific.
    What are the tasks, or incidents, or elements of your job that drain you?
    Saps your energy and makes you dread your day?
    Do you KNOW you DON’T WANT from your career?

  2. Identify what you want:

    A simple place to start is to flip what you don’t want and turn it into SOMETHING YOU WANT INSTEAD. This could help you understand what you need to be doing more or less of in your current role.  Or help you see that it’s a complete change you need.  Close your eyes and imagine your ideal day at work.  The more vivid and exciting you make it, the more you’ll be motivated to action.
    What are you doing?
    Seeing, hearing, feeling?
    Gives you the most energy?

  3. Create a plan of action:

    You’ve identified your desired destination, now you need to work out how you’re going to do it.
    What needs to happen for that to happen?
    What are the key milestones and actions you need to take?
    Whose support do you need?
    How will you know you’ve achieved it?

  4. Take the first step of getting unstuck:

    Progress and change only with action. Knowing what the first steps are, makes all the difference.  Until then it’s just thinking.
    What’s the first step?
    How will you know you’ve achieved it?
    What are the next two steps?
    And then?

  5. Keep yourself motivated:

    Making a change isn’t easy if it were you’d have done it ages ago. Remember, it’s not going to happen in a straight line.  There will be setbacks, but if you’re ready for them, and you have a coping strategy in place, you’ll keep going.
    How can you hold yourself accountable?
    What can you do to be kind to yourself?
    How will you recognise and reward your progress?
    What do you need to remind yourself of when the going gets tough?

With these 5 steps, you have the basis of a strategy to transform your career.  Share your plan with friends and family, to get their support and make you accountable.  Ask a trusted friend to help you work through it, as they will challenge your thinking better than you can.

If you’re really serious about making a career transformation and you want to get some expert help, then why not check out my Personal Brand Makeover Programme.  This is the fast track to getting the results you really want.  Take control of your career, accelerate your success, and catapult your confidence to a whole new level.

Sinead is the Founder of Generation Women and is a Career and Leadership Coach.  She has almost 20 years’ experience of developing leaders in global corporates.  Her passion for helping others excel in their careers has resulted in her clients landing the jobs they want, being headhunted, and stepping up into leadership with confidence.  She’s the Director of Leadership Development for Lean In Ireland and a passionate advocate for equality.




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