Do you feel like your career is stuck in a rut? Like you are spinning your wheels and going nowhere? If so, you need to do something — because nothing is going to happen unless you do something. Here are five tips on how to jumpstart your career.
- Forget 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 near 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.”
- Find your voice. Are you the only one who knows you want to switch departments or roles? Are you the only who knows that you want to move up the ladder within your company? If so, you need to find your voice and start letting 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.
- Prove yourself. Similarly, don't think — act. If you want to take on additional responsibilities, you need to show that you are able. If you want to move into a new role, prove that you have the skills to do so. Action speaks loudly.
- Network all the time. Networking opens doors. Networking 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.
- Quit. If you are truly unhappy with your career — 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 get yourself out of a career rut.