What to Do When You Feel Stuck at Work

Girl at desk.

When it comes to changing careers, you should always look before you leap. However, it’s terribly easy to end up working the wrong job, and then feeling stuck in a career rut. But what do you do when you feel stuck in a career? Knowing how to cope with a job that makes you miserable can change your life for the better, and it’s a simple three step process.

1. Understand Why You Feel Trapped At Work 

It’s easier to find a better solution when you understand the problem. The first step to stop feeling trapped at work is to understand why you feel that way to begin with. The last thing you want is to uproot your life by changing careers, only to discover you’re just as unhappy with a new position.

One reason why people feel stuck in a rut at work is because they’re working with the wrong company. People thrive when they’re able to make use of their unique skills, like when their personalities align with their career goals.

Most people are ambiverts, meaning somewhere in the middle between introverted and extroverted. But if your personality leans to one side or another, you may want to seek out career opportunities specifically for introverts or extroverts.

Even if you’re in a job that matches your personality, sometimes the company is to blame. If you’re not receiving adequate compensation for your skills, then feeling stuck in a job rut is only natural. Money is one of the most common reasons people feel this way, and ultimately end up changing career tracks.

Even if you’re being adequately compensated right now, having no opportunity for upward growth could make anyone feel trapped at work. Having no opportunities for career advancement consistently ranks among the most common reason why people change jobs, even above financial reasons alone.

Sometimes people grow and change. You may have realigned your career goals, or no longer feel passionate about your job. You may have taken a job expecting one thing, and ended up with another. Sometimes the problem is the industry itself. As industries change and evolve, the things you once loved about them can cease to be.

2. Consider Changing to Another Industry If You’re Stuck in a Career

It’s important to remember that you’re not limited to whatever industry you started with. Many of the skills developed at one job can be applied to another. It’s just a matter of knowing what transferable skills you have, and then searching for a job which can make use of those skills. You’ll also need to know how to show those transferable job skills on a resume.

Certain industries are looking for those with transferable skills, such as the insurance industry. Why? Because the industry is a big tent. It needs a wide variety of talented individuals, from marketing experts and data analysts, to sales staff and customer service representatives.

In one position or another, almost any set of transferable job skills can be applied to success in the industry. That makes the insurance industry a particularly good choice for someone who’s switching careers because your transferable skills can be more important than anything else.

If you’d like a better idea of what kind of insurance careers could match you specifically, consider checking out MyPath’s Career Wizard Quiz.

3. If You Feel Stuck in a Career, Meet People Who Can Help Instead

If you’re stuck in a career rut, it’s important to reach out to people who can help you. Like ignoring a cavity, failing to explore your options only makes things worse. You probably already know several people who can help you on the right track, including family and colleagues.  

Additionally, entering new industries means you’ll need to meet new people. When it comes to who gets the job, knowing the right people can be just as important as having the right skills. Attending networking events can also help you get a better idea of how well you would fit in a new line of work.

As you explore career opportunities that align with your talents or passions, be certain to include industry related networking events on your to-do list. Industry events in particular can be a great resource for launching a new career path, just be sure you’re prepared with a few professional networking tips to find a job.

Stop Feeling Trapped at Work

Finding the right job can take time. If you find yourself feeling stuck in a career, then it’s time to start exploring all of your options. Take a moment to check out MyPath’s Career Planning Resources, they can help your search stay headed in the right direction.