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5 Ways To Bounce Back From A Career Rut

5 Ways To Bounce Back From A Career Rut

Instead of bounding out of bed each morning, some people hate going to work. While they might be grateful to have a steady stream of money being deposited into their checking accounts on the 15th and last day of every month – and perhaps even health insurance to boot – they don’t like the job groove they feel stuck within.

If that sounds like your story and you don’t know where to turn, here are tips on getting out of your career rut:

1. Do one practical thing towards your new career every day

Don’t be overwhelmed by thinking you need to make some gigantic change to follow your passion. Instead, while keeping your day job, perform at least one activity each day in the direction of your dream career. If you’re a barista at Starbucks with dreams of becoming an international model, that one step might mean registering for UK Models – or if you’re a corporate America stiff with dreams of being a sportscaster, upload your first ESPN-style sports commentary video to YouTube.

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Activity begets activity, and by throwing a bunch of stuff in the direction of your bliss, something’s got to stick eventually.

2. Pretend you have $50 million

The first tip is great, only if you already know what your new dream career would be. However, there’s a subset of the public who are confused as to what they’d like to actually do.

In order to find your heart’s desire, ask yourself these questions: If you received a $50 million inheritance free and clear tomorrow, what would you stop doing? What would you continue doing?

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If your answers run along the lines of quitting your job and taking the next season to write the Great American Novel, chances are your desired vocation is that of a novelist.

3. Keep a dream journal

Every morning upon waking for the next 30 days, jot down what you can remember about your dreams. The subconscious provides plenty of clues – albeit symbolic and sometimes hard to decipher – that could help you determine what you really want to do with your life.

If you’re really busy, devoting tons of time to your current job, sometimes the nighttime is the only right time where you’re silent enough to truly listen to what’s going on inside. This “artist’s way” of uncovering internal messages could lead you on a better path.

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4. Create your own job

There are instances when you might not find exactly the kind of career that floats your boat whilst searching through listings on Indeed or other popular job boards. Perhaps that’s because the niche job that would be perfect for you has yet to be invented – until you create the field.

When companies like the ridesharing firm Uber were launched, they created a successful market that not many folks realized there would be such a high demand surrounding – at least enough to turn it into the behemoth that it is today. In the same manner, that new invention or service that’s been rattling around your head or is the subject of your doodles could transform into a million-dollar firm when launched.

5. Do something crazy and out of the ordinary

Generally, people who are stuck in career ruts might be truly responsible, measured and non-risk-taking type of souls that tend to remain in situations that are no longer working for them beyond the time they should.

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Instead of impetuously quitting your job, go against the grain of your normally staid personality and try a task that will shake you out of your comfort zone. Take a Toastmasters International class to practice giving impromptu speeches in front of strangers, or sample a hot yoga session.

You never know what new doors might open if you try something different – and by trying all of the above tips, you might find your destiny sooner than you expect.

Featured photo credit: Exhausted young man with card boxes over him / Stock Photo ID: 46776250 via bigstockphoto.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2018

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

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1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

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3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

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5. Failure is often the best way to learn

I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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