Part of being happy is having a career that satisfies you. However, the goals and passions you had when you were first starting out may be completely different from the ones you have today. If you’re beginning to feel stuck or lost, then it may be time to make some changes. Here are four steps to help you get out of your career slump and have a clear idea of where to go next.
Reflect. This encompasses several steps. First, look back at your career and establish what you’ve been satisfied and dissatisfied with over the years. Then consider your passions and ethics and see how far or close you’ve come to a career that aligns with those passions and ethics. Lastly, consider the skills you have gained and how those apply to your career.
Craft a plan. Once you’ve completed some self-reflection, make a plan for the future. Reestablish your career goals and decide how you are going to achieve them. This could mean changing companies or positions, it could also mean changing fields. Maybe you’ll need to develop a new skill or even go back to school. Write down those goals and create a timetable to complete them.
Reach out to mentors. Any change to your career, minor or major, can take some planning and motivation. During this period of change, it may be useful to reach out to your mentors. A mentor can help you make decisions by offering you firsthand experience. They may also have connections that can help you turn your new career plan into a reality. Don’t have a mentor? Consider talking to a family friend or trusted colleague to help you through this.
Take risks. While there are many cases where small changes can help you when you’ve reached a career plateau, many times it’s the bigger and sometimes scary changes that can really propel you forward. Don’t be afraid to take your career in a completely different direction. This also means you shouldn’t let the fear of starting over keep you from making a change that will be personally fulfilling.