How to Get Out of a Career Rut

in a rut

A career rut is more common than you think. Your daily tasks feel mundane, repetitive and you feel underwhelmed at work. We are wired to want to learn, grow and develop, and when we don’t… we get bored. So if you are feeling like you’re in a career rut yourself, we have some pointers to get you out.

1. Clarify What’s Making You Feel Stuck

When you are feeling stuck, try to pinpoint what’s making you feel this way. Even if it’s your overall job, get specific. Are your daily tasks feeling mundane? Is it your surroundings? Is it your lack of used vacation time? Does your cubicle need some sprucing? Once you narrow down what exactly is making you feel “stuck”, you can go about taking the necessary steps in changing it.

2. Spruce Up Your Space

Cubicles can feel, dull. Although this is your workspace, this is where you spend MOST of your day. If you’re sitting in a space that has only the bare necessities, get creative. Develop a space that “sparks joy” as Marie Kondo says. You want your space to bring happiness and sense of fulfillment. Get some of your favorite decorations, picture frames, quotes, stationery, bins etc and have fun with it.

3. Switch Things Up

If you follow the same routine every day, it may be time to switch around your to-do list. Split up the tasks you enjoy throughout the day. If you nestle your repetitive tasks in between tasks that are more enjoyable, the repetitive tasks won’t feel so “draggy”. Another good time to do them is right after lunch when you get a burst of energy. You’ll be in a better mind frame to tackle them, too.

4. Do Something That Brings You Joy

Make a list of all of the things that lift you up. Now go do one of them. There is nothing like an activity that lifts your spirits and takes you out of your funk. What activities do you like to do? Are there events you can attend? Something fun you can do after work? Regardless, adding that excitement and newness to your routine will lighten up your day.

5. Focus on You

Sometimes our lack of self-care can cause a rut. When was the last time you slept in, read a good book, took a bath, took a vacation day for no reason, went to the park, or baked your favorite food? Take time to rejuvenate. Say “no” to things that are draining you and allow yourself some “me time” to fill your cup back up.

6. Avoid Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is easy and comfortable, but it won’t help you grow. Take on new projects, challenge yourself with new tasks, or speak up and ask for more responsibilities. Your comfort zone is the best way to get into a rut. Progress creates fulfillment.

7. Ask for Guidance

Sometimes we need a different viewpoint to understand where we’re coming from.  Confiding in someone else can create hope and encourage you to continue addressing this feeling in order to change it.

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