5 steps to getting out of feeling stuck in your job or career
So you’re feeling stuck in a career you absolutely hate. Maybe it’s what you went to school for, maybe it’s what you took out loans for, or maybe it’s what Mom and Dad helped you pay for. Either way, it wasn’t cheap. Money wise nor time wise.
Feeling stuck in your job vs. stuck in your career
So first, let me make the distinction between feeling stuck at a job and feeling stuck in a career.
Feeling stuck in a particular job means that you probably don’t hate the work that you’re doing or the field that you’re working in, and maybe you actually/hopefully like it, but there’s something about the job that you hate. Maybe it’s the people you work with, the people you work for, the job demands, the toxic work environment, etc.
Now if you are feeling stuck in your career, that means you’re feeling really crummy about the entire field of work you’re in as a whole.
The outcome of these two situations, if you follow the instructions I’ll share with you in a sec, will probably be different.
If you’re feeling stuck in your job, you may want to consider getting a different one. And if you’re feeling stuck in your career, it’s time to take a hard look at what career you’d like to switch to instead.
And really, all “career” means is “what are you doing to do to give back to the world?”
5 steps to help you decide what to do
But no matter which one of these two categories you fall into, the approach is the same. You are the only one who can decide which way to go. And many times, these decisions end up feeling so overwhelming, we’d rather park our butts down in front of Netflix and ignore the issue all together instead.
Except you wake up the next morning still wondering why you’re going to the same job even though you hate every minute you’re there. (Don’t worry, I’ve totally been there…at least 6 times so far.)
Alright, so I’ve outlined 5 steps below to help you figure out what your next steps are. So you can say goodbye to indecision and goodbye to “I don’t know what to do!” Remember, all of this is yet another big fat practice in trusting your intuition!
Step: Check in with Future Self
When I was bouncing around from job to job within the occupational therapy field (which I have a big fat fancy – expensive – degree in), I would check in with Future Jess to channel her energy before making a decision. Well, I didn’t always do this, which is why I stayed at my first and last jobs for as long as I did.
Because I tried it both ways, 1. consulting my intuition or 2. not, I can tell you without a doubt that making decisions from a place of Future You saves you a crap ton of TIME. It eliminates the need to yo-yo in your decisions.
So channel Future You. And the easiest way to do this is to think about a feeling that Future You always thinks, e.g. love, peace, joy, etc. So close your eyes, take some deep breaths, try to slowly slow down your breathing, slow down your heart rate. Then recreate that Future You feeling in your body.
Step 2: Be open to receiving the answer to question, “What am I thinking that is causing me to feel stuck right now?”
Yes, this part is a little weird but you’re basically asking your intuition, your subconscious mind, your spirit, whatever you want to call it, for the answers while channeling Future You, spirit you.
Pay attention to the very first thing that pops into your head, whether it’s words, images, sounds, or feelings. Don’t question it, just accept the first one.
Step 3: “Can I fix it?” (Yes.) “Do I want to fix it and why?”
The main reason why we go back and forth when we’re having trouble making a decision is because we’re not clear on the “soul” reason why we’re making a decision in the first place.
Again, keep your mind’s eyes, ears, nose, feelings open to receiving the answer to this question. It will help you stick to your decision once you’ve made it.
Step 4: List out reasons why you actually are NOT stuck.
This part is important to help your mind understand that it really is not backed up into a corner. When we feel stuck, our neurological responses go into fight-or-flight mode. This is why when some people feel frustrated or stuck, they’ll get angry (fight mode: “Work was fucking stupid!”) while another person might avoid thinking about the situation altogether and pretend it’s not happening (flight: “Oh work? Oh yea, work is great! How are you?”)
So building an evidence list to prove to your mind that you are in fact NOT stuck can help get it out of that fight-or-flight primitive state so you can make smarter decisions.
Step 5: Ask your Future Self, “What do I need to do to fix this situation?”
Lastly, this is the fun part. Whatever answer you get, the challenge is next to trust that instruction, and DO IT.