Professional Development

How to gain powerful traction when you feel like you’re stuck in your career

Written by Guest Contributor

Life’s tricky. If you haven’t figured that out yet, soon enough, tricky moments shall soon arrive. But what does tricky mean? The term is very subjective, therefore it can be perceived through different angles. Here’s what I find tricky: the moment when you absolutely don’t know what is going on with your life, and the primary reason being your professional life.

It couldn’t get trickier than that because choosing and pursuing a career is a heavily important matter that each of us has to encounter. A lot of professionals start their jobs with full force. They’re eager, excited, and motivated.

You might have felt the same when you’ve first started. But now…something has changed. You might feel somehow stuck with what you’re doing. A feeling of “not belonging” might be present in your mind, soaking the beauty of your life.

That, my friend, happens to many people. We, humans, don’t really belong to one place only. We have a strong urge to experience diversity. If we’re put ourselves in one small box, it’s obvious that we’re going to feel stuck.

Well, if the previous description fits your situation, you’ll definitely appreciate the advice that’s about to follow. Gaining traction during these moments of “despair” lies in your ability to execute different actions. Without further ado, let’s get straight to the practical tips.

Spend Some Time with Yourself and Think

Do you ever take the time to be with yourself and only with yourself? Spending moments alone can benefit you tremendously, as this useful time helps you put your thoughts in order. Life often pulls us in different directions. In fact, there are many individuals who lack control over their lives.

These individuals believe they’re “busy”, yet they’re soaked into a negative cycle that never gives them time to think.

Considering that you’re struggling with your career and something simply doesn’t feel right, set aside one hour each day to reflect and introspect. At first, let your mind travel to wherever it pleases. Then, cut off all the thoughts and internal speaking. Be without thoughts, be free.

Ask Yourself Different Questions

Surprisingly, asking yourself questions and then answering them using an objective perspective is going to pay off well. Whenever you feel like you’re stuck, ask the most relevant questions on the matter.

  • What work actually is.

Step back and think about what work actually means. Simply put, it is an agreement between two sides. You deliver value and get paid. Everyone does it one way or another.

  • Why are you doing it?

Why are you working? What is the main reason behind your involvement? Is it necessary? Or you’re just in a deep comfort zone?

  • Is there a change that you’re afraid to make?

Dave Watson, HR manager at CareersBooster, suggests:

“You really need to figure something out: are you afraid or not? Fear as an emotion doesn’t come through conscious channels. The main triggers of your fear sit in your subconscious mind, waiting to take action.”

But, when you ask yourself this question and trying to answer it objectively, you’ll find more answers than you probably imagine.

  • Are you afraid of failing the transition between two jobs?

Some professionals are afraid of not keeping up with the pace. They know that they’re ought to make a change, yet they’re afraid that they won’t be “good enough” at their next job. Well, do you have the same type of fear? If yes, let me clarify something: whatever you’re imagining now is merely an illusion of what the reality will actually look like if you’re making the change.

Check For the Symptoms

If you’re not sure whether your feeling of being stuck is caused by your career’s impact, start looking for different symptoms or clues. First. Are you feeling dissatisfied while you’re at work only? Second. Are you going to work only for the sake of getting paid? Third. Is your professional growth stunned?

These are three important factors that need to be considered as soon as possible. All of these signs appeal to your human’s basic needs. If you neglect your needs, you’re likely to feel…well…stuck.

1. Is Change Required?

Once you took the time to analyze what’s going on, you should be able to decide whether a career change is required or not. Feeling stuck doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go. By taking some alone time, you might, in fact, find out that the problem is elsewhere. Or, you might figure out different ways to continue your career by making different changes.

Therefore I’m asking you…is a change required?

No – Build Momentum and Move Forward

If you believe that your job is not the main issue of your negative feelings, then you need to consider building momentum and moving forward. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Think of your higher purposes goals and develop a plan that helps you achieve them. Ideally, choose a single goal and stick to it.
  2. Commit emotionally to everything you do.
  3. Focus on your professional growth.
  4. Strengthen the relationships with your colleagues.
  5. Take small, small steps.
  6. Be grateful for what you have in the present moment.

Yes – Make a Change

In case you’ve decided that you’re no longer able to continue doing what you’re doing, a career shift is required. The first preparation is mental. Before taking real action, you must put everything “in place”.

Eliminate your fears, raise your standards, and be courageous. There’s nothing to be afraid of…really. You’re going to experience new things, and that’s good! If people wouldn’t be so afraid of change, they wouldn’t spend most of their times thinking “what could have been if…”


To tell you the truth, you’re really one step closer to making a huge progress with your life. It’s extremely important that you’ve already realized that something’s wrong. And, you cannot let this negative cycle go on forever. Follow our insights, put them in action, and don’t be afraid of improving your life for the better.

About the author:

Eva Wislow is a career coach and HR Executive from Pittsburgh. She is on a mission to help people find their true calling. Eva maintains a strong interest in bringing the digital revolution in human resources. Follow Eva on Twitter.


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