Want to Quit Your Job/Degree But Have No Idea What To Do Next? Here’s 5 Top Tips to Get Unstuck and Feel Back in Control of Your Career
You just spent 3 years completing a degree that’s made your parents proud but secretly, you’ve over it and now you’re feeling guilty.
Or perhaps you’ve been working away in your job for the past few years, but now? It’s totally lost its original sparkle and shine. Your bored out of your brains, and there’s something inside of you that knows there’s got to be more out there for you.
But what do you do when you’re questioning E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G and you don’t know what that next career move actually IS?!
First of all, it’s going to be ok. And second? You don’t have to stay stuck for too long (pinky promise!). As a fellow twenty-something who once stepped away from a respectable Master’s degree in Social Work (and who’s always taken pride in her career ambitions), I know the anxiety and the discomfort that appears when you’re faced with a career crossroads.
Despite what has unfolded, or the fear and disappointment that is starting to creep in, there IS a way to transition into meaningful work and become unstuck in your career! All it takes is a little bit of investigative work (a shot of courage and tequila! Kidding!) but here are my top tips that have helped me to course correct when making important decisions about my career. And the best part? These tips have also gone on to help many of my own coaching clients feel confident and back in control of their careers too.
1. Find The Good In The Here And Now
There’s a very good reason why this tip is top of the list and that’s because it’s absolutely necessary to prevent yourself from going cray! I know it’s challenging to show up to uni or work when your motivation is declining and you’re already half checked out, but hear me out.
Find the good in the here and now.
Whether it’s the fact that you have lovely, supportive co-workers that send you funny emails throughout the day, or maybe there’s one uni subject that you’re totally geeking out on and loving at the moment. When you put your attention back into those seemingly small, but good things – you’ll turn your hopelessness into hopefulness.
And it’s that kind of vibe and mentality that will not only help you to sweeten your current work days, but will also help you to see past the fog and be in a much clearer headspace for the brighter days to come.
2. Know That It’s Ok To Change Your Mind
I think one of the biggest reasons why we stay stuck for so long is because we put so much pressure on ourselves to ‘finish what we started’ And that’s especially the case if you’ve WANTED this particular job/course/path for so long. The truth is, something inside of you knows that it’s no longer working and now it’s time to give yourself a big fat permission slip to change your mind and release the pressure from yourself. Just deciding that this is no longer for you can be a relief, and before you start convincing yourself that you’re a failure for ‘giving up’, please know that you are NOT a failure. I repeat, you are not a failure!
Everything that has gotten you to this point has not been a complete waste of time, and now that you’ve gathered all the extra information and experience that you need, you can then make the next best career decision that feels right for you. If you happen to be feeling scared about this potential change, remember that this entire process has helped you to narrow down what it is that you like and dislike about your current work/uni situation. And that is going to help you get closer to where you want to be (#winning!)
3. Play The ‘What If?’ Game
By this stage you might have an inkling of the direction that you want to head in, or maybe you’re still unsure, and this is where the ‘What If?’ game comes in handy. Ask yourself;
What if I stuck out this job/course for the next 6 to 12 months, how would I feel?
What if I could let go of this particular path/job, what would be different?
What if I got to the end of my life, not having the courage to try out THIS job, or have a go at becoming THIS, how would that feel?
What if I could do anything that I could possibly want?
You can ask yourself a variety of ‘what if?’ questions but only you will know the answers to each scenario. Whatever comes of this exercise, asking yourself can be the difference between staying continually stuck, or feeling inspired by a whole new range of possibilities…which brings me to my next point.
4. Explore Your Options
Marie Forleo once said that ‘clarity comes from engagement not thought’ and I couldn’t agree more. Whilst you’re still studying and working away, this is the perfect time to research and explore your options, ask questions and actively look for new opportunities. You might even like to engage in work experience, or sign up for a short course on weekends or outside your regular work or study hours. I know this process can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re undecided about two particular career paths or you’re umming and ah-ing about the short-term pain for the long-term gain. You might like to work with a coach (you can find out more about my own programs here) or touch base with your own mentor within your field for guidance and accountability.
When you start to realise that you have options (and great ones!), this instantly puts your mind at ease knowing you can start crafting your own achievable plan to get there. Feeling like you have no options = major freak out, which is why this exploration phase and giving yourself time to dabble is the perfect way to find your feet again.
5. Timing is Everything and Yet There’s No Such Thing As The ‘Right Time’ To Do Anything
I know this final point is contradictory, but sometimes timing is everything. That perfect job might be 3 or 12 months away – which I know can be frustrating when it feels like there’s so much out of your control. To that I say: Keep trusting, keep enjoying the here and now and focus on taking consistent action towards where you want to go. Finding the right path and working in a meaningful career takes time lovely one.
On the other hand, if you waited for the ‘right time’ to dive into something new, switch courses or even put your hand up for that promotion, you could be waiting a… very LONG time. Make a start, back yourself and choose your own ‘right time’. I definitely didn’t feel like becoming a life coach and starting my own little side biz at 24 was the ‘right time’ but I’m SO glad I followed my heart and did it. You never know what kind of fulfillment could be on the other side of taking a big, brave leap too?
If you’ve been feeling stuck with your career, I’d love to know which tip/s you found the most helpful? And if you’d like some extra help to take the stress out of your next career move (without having to freak out about cashola or making the ‘wrong’ decision), you can book in a no-obligation complimentary consult with me here. Let’s nut out your next best steps and get you feeling inspired about your career direction again!
You’ve Got This.