We have an epidemic! People everywhere feel stuck in their jobs. Some feel like they have no options to get unstuck. Unhappy at work, they know they are not passionate about what they are doing. Yet, many are unsure of what would make them feel excited to get up and go to work in the morning instead. They know they need to make a change or at least feel motivated to make some changes. However, moving away from what they are doing to some unknown doesn’t feel right either.

So if this sounds like you, what options do you really have?

  1. Don’t jump ship, just yet – The worst thing you could do is quit your job to try and “figure it out”. Without a plan, this approach rarely ends well. Unless you have lots of money, you may be forced to take any job and potentially end up in a worse situation than you were in to begin with.
  2. Do your homework – Get to the root of what’s making you unhappy. Is it the company, the work, the people? Or is it you? Maybe, you lack the confidence or the skills to do the work. Perhaps, it’s the commute you dislike or the lack of flexibility. It’s important to identify the elements that you most enjoy, the things you really dislike, and the items that you are okay with. No job is perfect, so there will always be some amount of compromise.
  3. Connect to your “WHY” – I love facilitating transformation and change in people. And while making a difference in people’s lives is my life’s purpose, I recognize that there are many jobs and professions that would have allowed me to serve and live my life’s purpose. I chose to become a “coach”. Others may have chosen to become teachers, counselors, managers, change consultants, etc. Life purpose is not necessarily a job or a career, but rather, how you show up.
  4. Get clear on what’s most important to you – Values shift over time. So what was important to you when you started your career, may not be important to you any longer. Take inventory of what is really important to you now and prioritize the list. You may find that providing a nice lifestyle for your family is number one on your list, perhaps higher on the list than career satisfaction. If that’s the case, it may keep you in a job or career that you don’t love until such time as the kids grow up or you’ve saved enough money. As your priorities shift and change, so do your choices and options.
  5. Get the right support – It’s not always easy to be objective when it’s personal. Getting an objective third party perspective can be very helpful. Enlist in a good mentor or coach to help you “figure it out” and get you on the right path.
  6. Set a plan – While the decision to change can happen quickly, sometimes there are many steps involved in the process. Identifying what steps to take before you take action will save you time and angst in the long run and give you tremendous clarity.
  7. Take action – Take the first step, no matter how small it is – move towards what you want. Before you know it, you will have made major progress towards what you want.

You probably have a lot more options available to you than you might realize. It’s not always easy to see them for yourself when you are stuck. Start by getting unstuck. And if you need some help to get unstuck, contact a professional coach.