What to Do When You Feel Stuck in Your Career

And How Summer, Sand and Rock ‘n Roll Inspired Me to Quit My Fancy Consulting Job

Summer, sand and rock ‘n roll have always gone together for me. I’ve always loved listening to classics from the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, the Eagles and more — but especially during this time of year.

I remember not too long ago, listening to Boston’s “Peace of Mind” on the way to the beach. After almost 9 years, I hadn’t left consulting yet, but man was I burnt out. The long hours, travel, and what felt like meaningless work had worn on me — and it was a rare day that I took a Saturday afternoon to relax rather than to catch up on work. It was on that day the lyrics really hit me..

“Now you’re climbing to the top of the corporate ladder

Hope it doesn’t take too long

Can’t you see there’ll come a day when it won’t matter

Come a day when you’ll be gone…

All I want is to have my peace of mind”

These words were a kind of therapy — a message that I needed to hear in that moment. Inspired, I wrote a blog post about it soon after… and then quit consulting altogether about a month later.

For the first time since before college, I took some time to figure out my next step — what I wanted out of my career and life. With that clarity, I set some new goals and built a plan to get there. A few months later, I was in a new career in a new industry, doing work I had never done before — and at a promoted level. (!!)

Fast forward a few years, and now this is the exact problem I help many of my clients through. If you find yourself in a similar situation — feeling stuck, frustrated and disillusioned with where you are in your career, then I want you to know that no matter where you are — it’s not too late. Here are three things you can do now to turn things around:

1) Define success on your own terms. We’ve all been sold a set of rules of what success is — and at one point it may have served us. But now you’re grown up and you get to decide for yourself what you want to do with your career and your life. Ask yourself: Who do you want to be? How do you want to feel? What makes you happy and proud?

2) Build a plan to get there. Once you’ve done the hard inner work, it’s time to build a roadmap to get there — both long-term (maybe you need to take a transition job as you get the skills or experience for your dream job) and short-term (what do you need to do tomorrow and the next day to land that promotion or new job?).

3) Work the plan. Stay persistent and refine as you learn more. Get support and hold yourself accountable — preferably from someone that’s done this before, but at the very least, from people that are doing it now.

It won’t be easy — but neither is staying in a job that isn’t right for you. You can do this! Here’s to summer, rock ‘n roll and happiness in your career and life!

P.S. Still wondering if it’s finally time for you to quit your job? Email me at kristen@findyourjobjoy.com for access to a replay of last month’s Job Joy LIVE class: “Time to Quit? How to Know Before You Do.”

Originally published at medium.com

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