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5 Ways to Get Out of a Professional Rut

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5 Ways to Get Out of a Professional Rut

Whether you work the counter at a fast food restaurant, or lead a company of 50,000 people, everyone finds themselves in a professional rut at one point or another. The important thing is how quickly you’re able to get yourself out of that rut. Here are a handful of techniques for surviving and thriving.

1. Brainstorm The Problem

It all starts with diagnosing the problem. What’s holding you back? It could be an obvious cause, or you may have to do some extra digging around. Get really honest with yourself, and don’t hold anything back.

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Instead of just saying, “I don’t like my job,” hone in on what it is that you don’t like about your job. Maybe your job is unfulfilling, or perhaps you don’t get paid enough. Could it be that the hours interfere with your social life and leave you feeling unmotivated? The more specific you get, the better you’ll be able to address the underlying cause and find relief.

2. Connect With A Consultant Or Advisor

Being in a rut is often the result of misunderstanding a particular business responsibility or not being prepared enough to handle a task. If you find that you’re in a rut because of a lack of preparation, then you may need some outside help.

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Whether it’s accounting, advertising, writing, design, customer service, or anything in between, there are consultants who specialize in the area(s) that you’re struggling to get past. Find the right one and don’t be surprised if your rut becomes a thing of the past.

3. Take Action

Once you (or you and your consultant) figure out what the problem is, you can shift your attention towards actionable steps that allow you to climb out and regain the momentum that you previously enjoyed. You will likely have to step out of your comfort zone and do something that feels painful, awkward, or forced, but once you begin to see progress, you’ll realize that it’s easier to move forward than sit still.

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4. Plan A Getaway

It’s very easy to lose sight of the big picture when you’re stuck in the day-to-day monotony of running a business, and without this overarching view, you may become discouraged and frustrated. A little mini retreat or getaway may be in store.

“Take a day or two to refocus,” therapist Melody Wilding suggests[1]. “You don’t have to travel anywhere; simply dedicate intentional time to exploring your purpose. You can do this by asking yourself big questions like, ‘What would I be doing if money wasn’t a problem?’ or ‘When do I feel most alive?’”

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5. Set Attainable Goals

As humans, we naturally become overwhelmed when we feel like we’ve gone off track. We see how much work needs to be invested in order to get back on track, and we figure it’s easier to just lie in the ditch; solving this requires you set small, attainable goals.

“Be mindful that we tend to exaggerate our abilities or wrongly attribute failure to circumstances beyond our control,” author Peg Streep says[2]. “Be ruthlessly realistic about how your talents match up with the goal you set. If your goal seems unreachable, pull back and master mental contrasting.”

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Mental Contrasting Is The Answer

You may be wondering what mental contrasting (the term used by Peg Streep) is. Well, it’s merely a psychological practice that requires you to contemplate your ideal future, while simultaneously thinking about the various short-term factors that stand in the way of you getting there. While this practice may sound silly on the surface, it actually works remarkably well; it essentially tells you what’s preventing you from moving forward. You may be surprised to see what’s standing in the way.

Featured photo credit: Gratisography via pexels.com

Reference

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Anna Johansson

Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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Last Updated on November 15, 2021

20 Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

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20 Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

“Please describe yourself in a few words”.

It’s the job interview of your life and you need to come up with something fast. Mental pictures of words are mixing in your head and your tongue tastes like alphabet soup. You mutter words like “deterministic” or “innovativity” and you realize you’re drenched in sweat. You wish you had thought about this. You wish you had read this post before.

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    Image Credit: Career Employer

    Here are 20 sentences that you could use when you are asked to describe yourself. Choose the ones that describe you the best.

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    “I am someone who…”:

    1. “can adapt to any situation. I thrive in a fluctuating environment and I transform unexpected obstacles into stepping stones for achievements.”
    2. “consistently innovates to create value. I find opportunities where other people see none: I turn ideas into projects, and projects into serial success.”
    3. “has a very creative mind. I always have a unique perspective when approaching an issue due to my broad range of interests and hobbies. Creativity is the source of differentiation and therefore, at the root of competitive advantage.”
    4. “always has an eye on my target. I endeavour to deliver high-quality work on time, every time. Hiring me is the only real guarantee for results.”
    5. “knows this job inside and out. With many years of relevant experience, there is no question whether I will be efficient on the job. I can bring the best practices to the company.”
    6. “has a high level of motivation to work here. I have studied the entire company history and observed its business strategies. Since I am also a long-time customer, I took the opportunity to write this report with some suggestions for how to improve your services.”
    7. “has a pragmatic approach to things. I don’t waste time talking about theory or the latest buzz words of the bullshit bingo. Only one question matters to me: ‘Does it work or not?'”
    8. “takes work ethics very seriously. I do what I am paid for, and I do it well.”
    9. “can make decisions rapidly if needed. Everybody can make good decisions with sufficient time and information. The reality of our domain is different. Even with time pressure and high stakes, we need to move forward by taking charge and being decisive. I can do that.”
    10. “is considered to be ‘fun.’ I believe that we are way more productive when we are working with people with which we enjoy spending time. When the situation gets tough with a customer, a touch of humour can save the day.”
    11. “works as a real team-player. I bring the best out of the people I work with and I always do what I think is best for the company.”
    12. “is completely autonomous. I won’t need to be micromanaged. I won’t need to be trained. I understand high-level targets and I know how to achieve them.”
    13. “leads people. I can unite people around a vision and motivate a team to excellence. I expect no more from the others than what I expect from myself.”
    14. “understands the complexity of advanced project management. It’s not just pushing triangles on a GANTT chart; it’s about getting everyone to sit down together and to agree on the way forward. And that’s a lot more complicated than it sounds.”
    15. “is the absolute expert in the field. Ask anybody in the industry. My name is on their lips because I wrote THE book on the subject.”
    16. “communicates extensively. Good, bad or ugly, I believe that open communication is the most important factor to reach an efficient organization.”
    17. “works enthusiastically. I have enough motivation for myself and my department. I love what I do, and it’s contagious.”
    18. “has an eye for details because details matter the most. How many companies have failed because of just one tiny detail? Hire me and you’ll be sure I’ll find that detail.”
    19. “can see the big picture. Beginners waste time solving minor issues. I understand the purpose of our company, tackle the real subjects and the top management will eventually notice it.”
    20. “is not like anyone you know. I am the candidate you would not expect. You can hire a corporate clone, or you can hire someone who will bring something different to the company. That’s me. “

    Featured photo credit: Tim Gouw via unsplash.com

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