It’s common to find yourself in a career rut
Getting in a rut in your career can happen to anyone. Before Julia Child became a chef, she was a CIA agent. Ronald Reagan didn’t become a politician until he was well over 50. At one point, Walt Disney got fired by a newspaper editor for a “lack of imagination.” Joy Behar, comedienne and host of “The View” was a high school English teacher until she was 40.
It’s easy to spot a career rut. You know the feeling, not wanting to go to work or being jealous when a friend gets a new job. Maybe you change the subject when your career or job comes up. The real problem is knowing what to do about this feeling of ennui when it comes to your livelihood. One of the first things you need to do is figure out what your career path should be.
Listen to the Doctor
Dr. Susan Heitler suggests the following visualization exercise that will help you focus on what are meant to do.
Find a comfortable chair where you can relax. Read each question, then close your eyes and concentrate on your answers. Working with a friend who reads the questions to you is beneficial. Verbalize your answers if possible. Don’t worry, it’s not a test. There’s no right or wrong answer.
1. Picture a car. Describe the type of car and color.
2. If you were one of the systems or parts of that car, which one would it be?
3. What is the role of that part? Why does that role appeal to you?
4. How can you convert that to your work environment?
Changing your rut is going to require more work
If you’re in the wrong place, then you will have to make a plan to get to the right role. Maybe you’re in the right position, but you’re bored. See if you can change the parameters of your job. Volunteer for an organization who can use your skills. Open new doors to find new possibilities.
Although I’m not in a career rut myself, this exercise helped me see that I’m in the right place in my career. I feel like I’m the suspension system. I’m support staff. It makes me very happy to be behind the scenes holding things up. With each of my clients, I provide stability and control for them to get where they are going. I’ve found what I love to do. You deserve the same.