Guest Contributor

4 Ways to Dig Yourself Out of a Career Rut

By | Molly Barnes | Digital Nomad Life

Anyone who’s been doing the same job — any job — day in and day out may find themselves in a rut at some point. When this occurs, it can affect their professional and personal lives both. In coaching, you probably see this happening with your clients all the time, and you give them good advice to help them to break their own monotonous stretch. But what do you do when it happens to you?

As you know, a career rut is a dangerous place to stay. It can leave you stagnant, or even jaded. After working so hard to build your expertise and attain your position, it can be difficult to accept feeling this way about a career you love. Fortunately, there are ways you can pull yourself out of a rut and put that spark back into your daily life and work.

1. Invest in yourself

You spend so much of your time investing in other people, giving them suggestions and ideas to add value to their careers and lives, but you might be neglecting your own advice. So take a step back and make some room to invest in yourself. 

Why not learn a new skill? Whether you pursue a new industry-related certification or try an IRL course like first aid or CPR training that enhances your general capabilities, acquiring a new skill is always invigorating. Or try boosting your tech abilities with a cloud storage account and new productivity apps; making yourself more viable technologically is never a bad idea. Plus, gaining fresh knowledge often serves as a strong motivational jump-starter, so give something new a try.

2. Change up your routine

Changing up your daily routine can do wonders for your well-being. Try rearranging your workspace, working flexible hours, setting aside time during the day to hit the gym, or making a pact with yourself to have a leisurely lunch at least once a week. (Maybe try some of those great new restaurants you’ve been itching to go to!)

3. Step up your game in your personal finances

If you’re stuck in a lull, focus on some financial goals. These can help bring you to a place down the road to a time when you can simply enjoy life. And aside from securing your future, setting financial goals is a good way to build some positive energy as you work through professional struggles. Take some of these steps:

  • Set monthly financial goals to build up your savings.
  • Broaden your financial portfolio and make some investments. (Maybe even make a small risky one to see if it pays off!)
  • Plan for your future by opening up a new retirement account.
  • Even look into buying a house to build equity or upgrading your current home to add value to it.

The state of your credit also can play a huge role in your financial health. If it’s a little on the low side, strive to bring your credit score up, so you can better pave the way toward your financial future. Even if your credit is stellar, it’s a good idea to check your score routinely to make sure it stays that way. (With identity theft still a perennial problem, you want to make sure thieves aren’t tarnishing your good name.)

4. Make a change of location

If you’ve been working in a tough market and feel like you’re spinning your wheels but still going nowhere, maybe it’s time for a more drastic change of scenery. Relocating can do wonders for your mindset and help keep you moving forward. Consider these options:

  • Explore job opportunities in a new market.
  • Branch out to work with a new client base.
  • Set yourself up in a new community to enjoy a fresher work-life balance.
  • Find a place where the cost of living is lower and you can still earn a good salary.

Keep in mind, you might be able to work remotely and maintain your current client base as you explore new places. Relocation doesn’t even need to be a permanent thing — perhaps allow yourself six months or a year to refocus, and then see how you feel before making a permanent decision.

4. Up your networking game

If you’ve been lagging on the networking scene, it’s time to get yourself back into the game. Make some new business cards, spiff up your website, and polish your resumé. In the process, you can meet new and interesting people, find new career opportunities, maybe bring in some new referrals, schedule a few lunch dates, and generally find ways to pull yourself out of your lull. Meeting other people who inspire you can do wonders for your life both professionally and personally.

Don’t let your own rut prevent you from reaching your goals and dreams. If you fall too far, it can be hard to reset yourself. Even worse, you don’t want your own struggles to spill over into the professional advice you’re providing your clients. Instead of taking such a risk, push yourself out of your comfort zone, map some new goals, and step into something new. Take time to invest in yourself, and before you know it, you can restore your balance, finding yourself healthier, happier, and more fulfilled.

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