Written by Anuva Kakkar
When you feel that the tasks and jobs you are performing at your workplace have become monotonous, boring and offering nothing new or challenging, it a hint that you are stuck in a career rut.
Career rut states that your everyday routine at the job is dull and unproductive, but it’s hard to change it. It points to a humdrum existence. Career rut leads to stress among workers and creates a sense of underconfidence and anxiety which ultimately drives to lower productivity.
Now, in our country, India, research shows the following statistics related to work stress and career rut:
A Linkedin survey reveals that one-third of the Indian population feel stuck in their jobs and going nowhere in their career.
3 in every 5 Millennials said that they will prefer switching careers.
89% of humans deal with stress at the workplace
Millenials in India leads as the most stressed in the world
Moreover, in my last company, 4 out of 5 workers took leave because of the dull and boring daily routine.
Promptly, I know, if you are here, it is already a symbol that you have lost all the motivation of being awesome at your workplace. Right? You are confused about whether you are stuck or not and what should be your next step. To be honest, I was exactly here where you are a few months back.
The entire process of realizing that you are stuck and need to fix it is an incredibly tedious and courageous task. However, I give you 100% assurity that you can do it if you take even one tiny little careful step towards your career.
So now, out of my past experience and after discussing the situation of career rut with various people who have suffered in the past, I am sharing what I discovered with you in detail. I am here to give you every bit of my learnings and I hope it genuinely helps you. Your experience and learnings can be different, feel free to share with us in the comment section.
Sign 1: You are talking loud about your job and colleagues after 5 pm
If every conversation you have with your friends, family, or relatives after your office hours and you chat about your sick job then you need to rethink about your current position in your career. It is a warning that you are hating your job and stuck in a career rut.
Thinking and discussing your job after office timings take so much of your brain space and energy. Constantly uttering how unhappy you are at your job role is a very clear warning for you to re-look. Make sense?
Sign 2: You are 0% proud of your work
How do you answer when someone asks “what is your work at your job"? Do you manipulate the facts and description? Do you feel uncomfortable sharing your work or work routine? If the answer is yes then there is a high probability that your job is not giving you challenging tasks plus you have not acquired a new skill in a long time. It is a good indication that you are not very proud of what you do at your workplace.
Sign 3: You are constantly browsing newer opportunities in the market
If you are stuck in a career rut, there is a likelihood that you are constantly searching for new and better opportunities in the market, maybe unconsciously. You might observe yourself reading about new jobs on the internet or curiously finding what others are doing in their career.
Sign 4: You are hell terrified of heading to the work regularly + always find yourself in need of a vacation
Feeling lethargic and sick every morning with a wish to take a leave from office is a clear sign that you need to re-consider your job. If you are feeling panic about going to work daily or having work anxiety then it is a warning and must take a step ahead to fix it.
Career ruts suck! They take away all your productivity and fill you with stress and unhappy vibes. Therefore, it is important to analyze when you are stuck. However, most people fail in examining and even if they do then they never take action towards getting unstuck.
Well, it is common to find yourself in a career rut, especially if you are a millennial. However, what is not okay is to not take a step towards the change.
I am glad you are here. This is a sign that you are willing to make a move to make things better.
1. Be smart, start with decluttering your thoughts: Do not merely say that you are stuck, do something for it. To come out of the rut, you need to do deeper in your thoughts and separate the outsider’s influence, if any. Further, you need to dig more inward and analyze your purpose and true vision in life.
Why this step is important: It helps you to calm down and look at the situation carefully.
You have to act wisely and stand out by asking yourself the right questions such as:
Am I feeling stuck because of the workplace atmosphere?
Am I not enjoying the current profile or is there a problem with the current role?
Am I getting impacted by my colleague’s choices and preferences?
Is this industry not for me?
What is my bigger purpose? Do I want to make money, create impact, learn new skills, or something else?
2. Go out and network with people from different industries and experiences: This tip is magical, trust me. No one told me about it when I was stuck, I discovered aforementioned myself in the process. Nothing can be as useful as networking with the right people. Go out or go online on LinkedIn or resume your older contacts and arrange calls or meetups. You will learn hell a lot and get to know things from diverse and bigger perspectives.
What if you realize that your current job is far better than the jobs available in the market and you are feeling stuck because you are negatively looking at it or what if you realize that it is time to quit the current job, take a massive risk and move on.
At the time of a career rut, networking can assist in the following ways:
Helps you keep updated and find newer opportunities
Helps in knowing different perspective existing in the world
Helps in getting fresh ideas
Helps in brainstorming
Helps in finding a mentor
Most importantly, helps in decreasing stress. Go out and network with people from different industries and experiences: This tip is magical, trust me. No one told me about it when I was stuck, I discovered aforementioned myself in the process. Nothing can be as useful as networking with the right people. Offline or online on LinkedIn or resume your older contacts and arrange calls or meetups. You will learn hell a lot and get to know things from diverse and bigger perspectives.
3. Try side hustle along with 9-5: If you are unable to figure out things then don’t worry. Simply start something extra along with your job. Either start doing some freelance work or simply learn a new skill or join a sport or anything else of your interest.
4. Take a day or a week off: Yes, this is again one of the most effective tips. Go for a one day break or else take a one week trip to your favourite destination. It is crucially important to take some alone time when stuck. It helps in knowing oneself deeper.
5. Look at things from a different perspective: I know if your job sucks then this point makes no sense. However, try to look from a fresh perspective at your job. There might be a chance that you are staring at your job with a negative outlook and hence, feeling stuck.
Give yourself the challenge to view your current job with a new perspective for a week or two. Then at the end, analyze if there is any difference that you observed.
6. Be cautious about your comfort zone: If your job is not providing a great amount of exposure, but pays you a high salary, it is obvious for you to feel comfortable even if you are unsatisfied with the daily routine at your job.
Moreover, if you are working in a particular office for a long time, there is again a possibility that you are addicted to your routine and not ready to take a step. Therefore, keep analyzing your habits and try to not get addicted to your comfort zone.