Are you feeling stuck at work?

Are you feeling stuck at work?

Career development: What To Do When You Feel  Stuck!

Are you feeling stuck at work? So you took this job full of enthusiasm.  You thought it was the right job, at the right time, in the right place.  It looked interesting and you liked the people who interviewed you. They told you how the company was committed to good management and developing their people.  There seemed to be really good opportunities to advance your career. And everyone told you how lucky you were to get a job.

You’ve been there a year now! And things have not turned out as you expected. Yes, the job was interesting when you first started. There was a lot to learn. Your manager is good at her job but these days she never seems to know what is going on at the top.  Everyone’s budget has been cut. A member of your team who left to go travelling has not been replaced.  You and the rest of the team are having to work harder. Provide cover is difficult. So, there is very little possibility that you will allowed to go on that part-time training course. Even if you fund the training yourself.

Right now you are feeling stuck at work

You are feeling stuck and wonder if you made the right decision. But all those people who told you were lucky to get the job are saying you would be foolish to leave.

Sadly, you are not alone! I keep hearing this tale from clients and from people I meet in social media. There are lots of good organizations, and good managers. But right now they are not offering many career development opportunities for their staff. Training budgets were cut a long time ago cut and vacancies are being held again.

Uncertainty means people are reluctant to move on. And that means opportunities for promotion, and for moving round inside the organization, may be less.  Everyone in the public and private sectors seems to be working harder and longer.

So what can you do?

Well, first of all see this for what it is; it isn’t personal.  These tough conditions are likely to continue. But there are job opportunities out there. And job search is much better done while you are already in employment. But don’t just jump to thinking that leaving this employer is necessarily the best move. Instead, start to think creatively about where you are now and the job you do.

Are there changes you can make to improve how you and your team are working? Can you show you are improving productivity and efficiency? Can you make improving things a special project that will benefit you, as well as the company?

What about forming a learning group with your own team? How about developing an action learning set as a regular lunch time activity? Perhaps you could learn in your own time how to facilitate the set.  That way everyone will benefit.

If you are in an organization that has other people at your level, could you organise a job swap? It would give you and a colleague some wider experience.

If your manager really doesn’t know what is going on at the top, can you find out more yourself? Could you use the internet to find what is happening in the sector? What is the world outside saying about your company and its major customers?

It’s up to you in the end!

Of course it is always sensible to keep your CV up to date and keep your eyes open for other opportunities. Even though the best move is not necessarily out.  All jobs have periods when they are more or less interesting. Much of the motivation to do the work is going to need to come from within you.  What is special about what you do and how can you take pride in it? At the end of the day, you, not your employer are responsible for your career development.

Working with a career coach really can help you get passed the block. Why not take advantage of my offer of a free half hour coaching session to find out how I can help

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link


2 thoughts on “Are you feeling stuck at work?”

  1. I have heard of many who are stuck at this situation and don’t know whether to get out or to wait it out. Like you said I feel that you should keep your CV updated and keep your eyes open for new opportunities but exhaust all your options with your present job.

  2. Pingback: Career Development – The Value of a Career Plan and Making One | WiseWolf Talking - the WiseWolf Coaching Blog

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