As with most other professionals, there may come a time in your career in which you feel you’re at a standstill. Maybe you’re in-between jobs or looking to switch paths, or you simply don’t know where to go next. Maybe you’re a new grad having a hard time finding work. Whatever the case, it never feels good to be standing still when you’d rather be moving.
The good news? Even the most minor adjustments can help spark some changes. Here are some ways to spur that job placement or career change you’re looking for:
- Maintain a work-life balance. It may seem counter-intuitive, but what you do outside work has just as much—if not more—of an effect on your career as your activities on the clock do. To advance in your career, you have to be proactive, responsible, optimistic, and enjoyable to work with, and it’s difficult to put forth that kind of effort when you’re exhausted or unhealthy. It’s for this reason that many successful professionals cite restful personal time, healthy diet, and regular exercise as keys to their success.
- Explore. Don’t restrict yourself to only one path. If possible, examine other possibilities for the future, such as considering other companies beside your target one or other positions that can grow out of your current title. The more open-minded you are, the less you’ll stand in your own way, and the more likely you are to get moving.
- Focus. While it’s important to explore, you should still have a goal in mind—a promotion, a career change, or landing a position with a certain firm, to name some examples—and know what you’ll have to do to get there. Still stay open to new possibilities, but pursue your target goal in an organized and focused fashion. Having a game plan and smaller goals to build up to your larger one is a great way to keep yourself working.
- Be communicative. If you’re currently employed and don’t see any more growth on the horizon, try speaking with your boss about what potential advancement opportunities there are for you and what steps you can take to get to them. If you’re unemployed, being frank with connections—especially interviewers—about your desire to move forward is the best way to display your ambition.
- Pick up a new skill. Whether you’re currently employed or not, you have access to the tools necessary to sharpen already existing skills and pick up new ones. Currently employed professionals have the opportunities to pick up new tasks at work, participate in extra training (if available), and observe those in positions above them; however, both these professionals and those currently unemployed have access to the internet and the many resources it provides. Attending a webinar or signing up for a continuing education course are two great examples of skill-building you can do in your own time, which will also show initiative and dedication.
- Stay current in industry news and advancements. Many choose to create and contribute to a blog dedicated to their field or contribute to discussions on LinkedIn; these are both great ways to not only stay up-to-date on the ins and outs of your profession, but to have your voice heard in the community. However you choose to do so, staying involved in your field is crucial whether you’re currently working or not. You never know what you’ll come across and how certain information or leads could help shape your career in the future.