I recently talked to a friend that felt he had done a bad career move lately. When that happens it can be really frustrating, and it made me think about what to do in situations like that.
When lost in the wilderness, you might want to remember the STOP acronym which stands for Stop, Think, Observe and Plan.
As it turns out, this acronym works well in other contexts, too. Being lost in your career is no exception. Though some other tips like "make a fire" and "look for shelter" might not be relevant.
If you find yourself on a job where you feel you stagnate or that doesn't move your career forward, the first thing to do is to slow down. I don't mean stop working, but don't make any rushed decisions.
Rushing things can put you in an even worse position.
You can probably still learn and benefit from your current job, and you should always strive to make an effort. Not only because it’s the right thing to do with regard to your employer, but also to retain business relations and to feel better about yourself. It is easier to go to work when you get involved and have a positive mindset.
Contemplate the current situation, and your options to get back on track.
How did you get here? Why don't you like it? What is missing? Where do you want to be? This is important to carry out the next two steps: observe and plan.
Once you've settled on some career goals, observe the world around you.
Perhaps there are job openings available at your current company, that you haven't thought about.
Go over your network, and start browsing for job offerings.
What can you do, based on where you're at right now, to help you move in the right direction? Is there any training to take? What tasks should you get involved in that will move your career forward?
Finally, make a plan on how to reach your career goals. Update your CV and social network profiles. Attend training if appropriate.
Once its time to go to an interview, make sure you’re prepared. You can find a lot of great resources and tips over at theundercoverrecruiter.com, for example this post: Top 10 Job Interview Tips and Tricks
If you don’t know where you’re going you’re bound to end up in places you don’t want to be. If you do, stay positive and consider it a learning experience.
Do you have other suggestions on how to get your career back on track? Drop a comment!