As a coach, I hear this expression a lot, and I can empathise – I’ve been there too! But as you’ve probably noticed, staying in that comfort zone gets quite uncomfortable over time. More importantly, that sense of ‘stuckness’ and lack of momentum in your career can really get in the way of reaching your goals and I’m on a mission to change that!
If you can relate to some of these feelings, please keep reading! Knowing what it actually means when you feel this way, and how to break free from it, will help you move forward in your life and career!
Reason 1: You’ve stopped growing and learning
Basically, you’ve gotten too comfortable. We need to be forever learning and improving our skills in order to feel good about ourselves, it’s how we’re programmed! In fact, research shows that depriving our brains from new learning opportunities makes us more susceptible to depression, while learning new things helps build confidence and a sense of self-efficacy – the belief in our own ability to meet challenges and reach goals.
Solution: Ask yourself what you want to learn more about today, in the next month – and within a year! What skills would you like to acquire or build on? And then, open up your mind to where learning opportunities lie and consider how you could incorporate some self-development into your days? It could be through articles, books, podcasts, YouTube, TV shows, informative social media channels, conversations with interesting people, events or seminars, online courses or tertiary education. It’s probably never been easier to upskill than it is today – you just need to make the decision to prioritise that time for yourself.
Reason 2: You don’t have goals or a sense of direction
Did you know that planning or anticipating a trip can make you feel happier than the actual trip itself? As humans, we need to have things to look forward to. The simple reason is that once we’ve set a goal, we can start visualising it – and then make a plan. Once we have a vision and a plan, we’ve got some very strong motivators and catalysts to ensure we reach that goal.
Solution: Put pen to paper and challenge yourself to visualise your future self! Where do you want to be in 1 – 3 – 12 months? Big changes may not happen overnight but having an action plan will without a doubt support you in making your dreams reality.
Reason 3: You’ve been considering a change for so long, it now feels too hard to make the move
Worked in the same company or role for what feels like an eternity? You’ve probably considered a career change for years already but always found a way to talk yourself out of it. I get it, with change comes an element of risk and you’ve doubted whether it’d be worth “sacrificing” what you have, even if you’re dreading Mondays. The problem is, doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Deep down, you already know it will be worth it.
Solution: Take one step. It can be any step, sideways or forward, big or small, but take ONE STEP. Your future depends on it. It’s taken you many steps to get to where you are, it’ll most likely take a few steps to get out of it as well, so focus on what you can change today, this week or month – but not longer than that! There’s no point in waiting. Your first step could be to get your resume sorted or get in touch with a professional career coach if you’re not entirely sure where you want to go.
Reason 4: You feel your job is so niche, a career move would be extremely difficult
It might not feel like it, but this is actually a mindset thing. Regardless of how specialised your skills are, there are always ways to sell yourself into another role or industry!
Solution: Take inventory of your strengths. Drawing out people’s transferable skills is our specialty at KLCC, so if you’re struggling, you know where to turn. Getting that outside perspective is a really eye-opening exercise, especially if you’ve been in the same career for a long time. Most people aren’t fully aware of the skills and traits they possess – they come so natural to you, you don’t even think about it! Once you know what your new selling point is, getting that new job won’t seem so unachievable anymore.
Reason 5: You feel you simply can’t leave your job because they need you
Reason 6: You’re suffering from decision paralysis
You’ve got so many options open you’re ending up not choosing any of them. It’s really common and even has a scientific name – it’s called decision paralysis.
Solution: This is the time to narrow down your options – try the process of elimination! As a word of advice, be wary of other people’s opinions on what you should choose. No one knows you, your dreams, passions, interests and preferences the way YOU do. If you still can’t make that choice, my best suggestion is to discuss your options with a coach who can help you get clarity on what you really want. Our job is not to advise, but to ask questions, hold space and reflect back in a way that allows you to have your own revelations.
Reason 7: You’re lacking confidence and struggling to see your self-worth
I felt the need to include this last one as well, because sometimes that ‘stuckness’ goes a lot deeper than what can be addressed in a blog post. Although there’s no quick fix to deep seated confidence issues, they can most definitely be worked on and will improve with time and effort. We offer 1:1 confidence coaching and have a whole module on this topic in the Career Accelerator Program, if you need a boost or want some good tips and techniques to help you grow your confidence back up, but it may also be something you should consider talking to a mental health professional about.
Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career you truly want! Get in touch to start your next career chapter, it could be closer than you think!
Don’t wait for the right opportunity. Create it.
Book in for a free 20-minute career strategy session with one of our consultants, so you can start taking action today!