When you feel stuck in your career, do this…

When you feel stuck in your career, do this…

We can all get stuck at some point in our careers. I started to feel this way when I became a mother and left the company I had been working for since my graduation. I knew that I wanted and needed something to change but didn’t know which direction to go in. When I talk with many of my clients, I see that they often feel stuck in their careers for different reasons.

Why are you feeling stuck?

So, what are some of the main reasons for feeling like you're stuck?

  • For years, you have been climbing the corporate ladder and you have lost sight of your motivation.
  • You were never actually interested in the job, you just took it for the money, or because others advised you to do so.
  • You have changed as a person due to an important life-changing moment (becoming a parent, getting burned-out, etc.).
  • You got a job that doesn’t give you any joy, but you are afraid to leave it.
  • You discovered that your job is not a match for your talents or interests.
  • You lost contact with yourself and you simply do not know what you want anymore.
  • You feel swamped by the endless possibilities you see around yourself.
  • You lost touch with the job market.
  • You know what you want, but you are terrified to admit it.
  • You lost your self-confidence.
  • …. You name it.

So, what to do next? How do you get unstuck?  

Seven steps to getting unstuck

Do not panic. There is hope. If I got unstuck, and many of my clients managed it as well, then you can do it too. Here are seven steps that you can follow to help you get unstuck:

Step 1: Acceptance 

Admit that you’re stuck. That’s it. Every change starts with admitting and accepting the status quo.

Step 2: Clarity 

Ask yourself, “What is the primary reason I feel stuck?” Is it on the above-mentioned list? Your starting point is having clarity about your reason for being stuck.

Step 3: Get help from positive people 

Ask for help. Do you think you can get unstuck yourself without the help of others? If yes, great. If not, do not hesitate to ask for support. The greatest and the most talented people on this planet frequently accept the help of others - that’s the reason why they have come so far. When we feel stuck, we are lost in our own internal chatter and we lose perspective. Talking to others can give you a new perspective. Remember to accept help from positive and uplifting people.

Step 4: Ask a professional for help 

If your private circle is not able to help, turn to a professional. My clients feel that asking a professional for help comes with great benefits: “Family and friends give you advice based on their own life situation and their own beliefs and limitations, a coach does not advise and gets to the information you’ve locked inside yourself, as it is the only way to find the answers that will truly satisfy you.”

Step 5: Identify your values 

If you still insist on doing it yourself, start by identifying your values - they will tell you a lot about yourself and why you feel stuck. Also, examine and identify your life purpose - it is like a compass that can point you in the right direction.

Step 6: Take ownership

Get rid of the word "but" in your vocabulary and see your situation as a gift for learning more about yourself. Make a concrete plan for the coming week, month, three months. Decide whom to contact. What is the first small step that you can take today?

Step 7: Give yourself some love 

Lots of it actually. I know this could be the most difficult point. I am always so busy with giving love and attention to my kids, family and clients that I often put myself last. I also know that showing love towards myself – taking "me- time", doing yoga, eating healthy – recharges my batteries, so that I can give more love.

Have you ever felt stuck in your career? How did you get unstuck? Share your tips below!

Dorota Klop-Sowinska


Dorota Klop-Sowinska

Official Member of Forbes Coaches Council. I specialize in international career and expat coaching. I am the author of the book Career Jump! How to Successfully Change Your Professional Path...

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