Stuck in a Rut? Here Are 6 Ways to Progress in Your Career

4 minute read

It’s not uncommon to feel stuck in your career. You find yourself doing the same thing day in and day out and that can be a bit monotonous. But what’s worse is that the monotony eats at us over time, killing any sense of motivation and negatively impacting our productivity. And who wants to work the rest of their life in a job that doesn’t inspire them? You can do better than that.

There’s no reason for you to put up with a job you don’t love and sacrifice opportunities to progress in your career. But how can you dig yourself out of a hole of self-discouragement and find something that makes you feel passionate about your work again? Here are 6 easy ways to get out of that rut and get back to doing what you love.

Stuck in a Rut? Here Are 6 Ways to Progress in Your Career

1. Remember to stay positive

If you’re not feeling fulfilled at work, it’s easy to become pessimistic. The lack of motivation in your job often translates to the job search—you just don’t have the same will to attack it head-on. But you can’t let the bad feelings consume you.

If you’re dreading Monday, or feel as though you’re wasted in your current role, try thinking about the big picture and envisioning where you’d like to be. So rather than focusing on the negatives here and now, you’ll shift your sights to the good things on the horizon. That way, you’re in the right mind frame when a new opportunity to progress in your career comes along.


2. Do a bit of research

You might be feeling stuck because you think there’s nowhere else to go in your current job. But that could all be in your head. Have you ever considered talking to your manager about what your role could evolve into?

There’s a common misconception that progressing in your career is all about moving up, but our jobs can fan out in a thousand different directions; it’s just about finding the direction that interests you.

Start looking around at what’s available in your own organisation. Is there a role you can work towards that feels more meaningful to you? Maybe a sideways move could be beneficial if the role is more interesting. If not, it’s time to start investigating where you can take your skills in other organisations. Think about whether you want to stay in a similar charity or work with a totally different cause. Then figure out how your skills can be transferred.

Stuck in a Rut? Here Are 6 Ways to Progress in Your Career

3. Learn to think outside the box

Many careers have clear cut progression lines where you know exactly what you need to do next to reach an end goal. The charity sector, however, isn’t always like that. You can forge your own path and get ahead by finding new ways to further your cause.

The main reason a lot of charity sector workers get stuck is that they can’t visualise where they want to go next. Think about what you want from your job, and if the route isn’t there, create it for yourself.

It can be helpful to reach out to other charity workers and learn from their career progression. A great place to start is on CharityConnect or LinkedIn. You can even message a few people to learn more about their career journey.


4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

And that brings us to our next point—no man is an island. If you want to break out of that rut, you’re going to need the help of others. Ask a friend to read over your CV, or a colleague to help you work out what you’re best at. If you don’t want to ask the people around you, you can find help online.

It can also be a good idea to reach out to a professional career advisor. They can help you discover why you’re feeling stuck and advise you on whether or not you should consider moving on from your current role or organisation. If you don’t want to do that, it’s still worth asking for advice from friends in the industry. They can help you see where your skills can be put to the best use.

5. Work out what makes you special

What is it about you that makes you unique? After all, there’s a reason you managed to snag your current job. Really sit and brainstorm what it is that makes you such an asset in your charity. Once you know what your Unique Selling Points (USPs) are, you’ll know how to start selling your services to the causes you feel strongly about.


6. Develop your communication skills

You’d be amazed at how important communication skills are in any job. In the charity sector, it’s even more crucial to fine-tune your communication as you’re likely to be working with sensitive subjects and vulnerable people.

Learn how to be adaptable; it will make it easier to for you to communicate in almost any situation and showcase your worth when you’re thinking about how to progress in your career.

Ultimately, it’s all about realising you don’t have to stay stuck in a job that doesn’t drive you. You just need to know what you want, discover your worth and learn how to communicate it in a way that moves you towards a more fulfilling role. Put these tips to good use and you’ll find a fantastic job that you love and a cause you can get behind in no time at all.

Start searching for roles today.


This post was originally published in 2020 and has been updated to ensure relevance and to reflect the current job seeker experience.

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Brenda Berg

Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs. She is self-motivated results driven individual who is encouraged to travel and share gained experience in career, business and self-development.

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