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5 Brilliant Moves to Get Out of Your Career Rut

If your day-to-day routine in the workplace becomes monotonous, it can leave you in a professional and a personal rut. Once you fall into this abysmal place, you might feel stagnant and find it difficult to pull yourself out. While it’s possible to leave your position with grace, there are a few things you can try first.

Here are five brilliant moves you can use to help break out of your rut and revitalize your career.

1. Use your creativity to spark motivation

As a creative person (and everyone is a creative person in some realm), your ingenuity is one of your best strengths. Use this capacity to kick your creativity up to the next level and look at your routines differently.

  • Inquire about taking on a new and stimulating project at work
  • Ask your boss if it’s possible to receive cross-training with another position at your company
  • Schedule short and focused work periods during times that are most likely to help you maximize your focus
  • Reconfigure or move your workspace to create a change of scenery
  • Ask for an expansion of your current role to include some new duties
  • Pursue the potential for flexible hours or remote work opportunities. (If you already work from home, look into joining a co-working space, so you’re not inside the same four walls day in and day out).

Getting stuck in a rut is one of the most frustrating feelings a creative person can experience. You can mitigate it by discovering ways to switch up your routines at work. Use that powerful imagination and see what you can come up with! 

2. Re-envision your objectives

Stop using the long-term lens to determine whether you’re reaching your goals. Instead, trick your brain into seeing that your objectives are closer than you think with these methods:

  • First, take a moment to acknowledge all the victories you’ve already achieved. People tend to forget their triumphs almost as soon as they’ve celebrated them, returning to the grind too quickly. Savoring your wins can give you a foundation to build upon. 
  • Try measuring time in days, rather than months. In a study a few years back, researchers found people “work harder” to reach their goals when their perception of time is altered.
  • Track even your smallest accomplishments as they come — finishing a project, even making it through another month. Each one will help you gain confidence and increase your motivation.
  • Make a list of attainable, short-term goals and focus on those first. You can move on to bigger and better things once you get your groove back.
  • Keep in mind that work-life balance is as worthy an ambition as a big promotion, and pay some attention to achieving that, as well. 

Any accomplishment you make while in your rut will help. Every win goes a long way in sparking motivation towards reaching any longer-term goals you hope to achieve.

3. Get your finances in order

Are you struggling to make ends meet? If so, the financial stress is enough to suck the energy right out of your workday, zeroing out your focus and motivation. The only way to fix this, of course, is to take steps to improve your financial status.

  • Tighten your trouser belt and curb your spending
  • Create a budget and stick to it. If you’ve never devised one before, consult a few budget how-to articles and get cracking.
  • Make an effort to improve your credit score so you won’t be denied loans or credit (or receive high-interest rates if you are granted credit).
  • Strive to use credit cards as little as possible so you don’t continue to spiral into debt

You don’t have to aim to have heaps of cash — just set a goal to pay your bills on time and avoid interest and overages. Over time, you’ll get your finances back on track. In the meantime, taking action will help you focus on your work.

4. Try something completely new

As a professional, you should never stop learning. Rather than focus on work-related certifications or skills, try something completely different to stretch yourself — maybe even something way out of your comfort zone.

For example, you can take a cooking class or learn how to read blueprints so you can help design your own house. You can take lifeguard training, learn to scuba dive, or take CPR training or a certification course in safety techniques. Learning unfamiliar (and much-needed) skills will help you to build confidence, and you might even save someone’s life one day.

Getting a few new skills in your proverbial belt is always a good way to get yourself energized, and classes among new groups of people can help you begin to see things from a new perspective. Think about your interests or things you’ve always wished you can do… and then do them!

5. Increase your tech savvy

Information overload can be incredibly stifling. Don’t keep pushing against the tide of information flowing through your professional and personal life; try to streamline it instead. You can clear out much of the digital clutter by navigating your files to the cloud. This will keep them safe, organised, and accessible from almost anywhere. 

A career rut can be a difficult point in life, but remember: It happens to the best of us at some time during our careers. It might be hard to recognize the warning signs at first, but if something doesn’t feel right, listen to your gut and take steps to correct things before you get “too stuck” in this sluggish spot. 

Use these five techniques to climb out of your career rut and start to see your revitalization take place. Once you get the ball rolling, it won’t be long before you see yourself approaching a whole new horizon.   

Guest Post By Molly Barnes, Digital Nomad Life


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