Sometimes, we all feel stuck at our job with seemingly no room to move forward and no option to start over. In some other times, this situation was called your regular employment. Unfortunately, we work in a much more competitive environment when stalling is just as harmful as falling through and the nature of the business forces us to constantly improve and break our own break ceilings.
The meltdown we will, most likely, experience when the COVID-19 finally settles down doesn’t make this situation any easier.
So what are the steps we should take even when there’s seems we have nowhere to go and how to find that inner drive that will keep us fueled along the way? Let us try to find out.
Set a system of measurable goals and follow them through
You don’t want to move the mountains, just use every day as an opportunity to become 1% better – or even less. Just make sure you are not moving backward. Naturally, these aspirations will be easier to meet if you develop your long-term goals and then break them up into SMART objectives. If you are unfamiliar with the acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Constrained and it represents an excellent way to make your intentions more actionable and give them urgency. Follow one of these goals every day to develop the habit of constant improvement.
Make data-driven decisions
The entire business world is driven by pools of data and advanced analytics so why wouldn’t you use these assets to inform your career choices as well? To do this, of course, you will need to let your ego and pride take a back seat and let the data serve as your mirror. But, these constant self-assessments, industry surveys, company audits, etc. will help you to observe your professional weaknesses and notice opportunities for progress that may have escaped you at first glance. And with the knowledge of where you need to go, you can easily go back to step one and put your wishes into concrete steps.
Find the most efficient way to acquire knowledge
Doing more doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to accomplish more. Every one of us has its own set of habits and personal preferences going against can only push you back. Here, we can pick up a thing or two from students who use Griffith notes and similar materials made by other students to find an easier way through the curriculum. So, find the way of learning that suits you the best, schedule everything you need to do for the hours when you feel the most productive and make your tasks as enjoyable as possible. Otherwise, you will build up subconscious resistance and move forward much slower.
Build a supportive environment
Here, we don’t think about the physical environment (although this may prove to be of tremendous help as well) but rather your social circles. People have virtually unlimited potential of effortlessly soaking in information, interest, and motivation from people around them. So, if you want to engage yourself in a life of constant learning and master the skills from some specific business areas, be sure to mingle your way into the company of people with similar interests, skill levels, and aspirations. Without this safety net, you will be left only to your own devices which can burn your fuel very fast. Make sure to find that fuel in the social interactions and surround yourself with people that will push you forward.
Start your own projects
This is especially important if you feel your company doesn’t leave you enough room for progress from the get-go. Resolve this problem by trying to add some sort of value to your company and making yourself invaluable. You can do that by raising the performance of your colleagues or by pushing some other benchmark. But, the best way to go is to start your own projects since they make a nice addition to your portfolio and give you an opportunity to expand your skill set with planning, management, and other senior-staff duties. Handling these tasks will make you a much better candidate for promotion.
Last but not least, even though you might be good at something, you will have a hard time capitalizing on that knowledge unless you have some sort of formal certification. Therefore, you need to be curious, stay committed to some task until you learn something from it, and attend the right conferences, but also make sure that you obtain some professional credentials for your efforts. Also, do your best to transform your formal education into practical skills and demonstrate them whenever you see the opportunity. Otherwise, your superiors will put all of your previous academic efforts into question.
We hope these few examples gave you a couple of useful ideas about the ways to get your career off the ground and finally push it in the right direction. The present-day business world is very competitive and it looks like things are only going to get more difficult as time goes by. In situations like this, constantly moving forward looks like the best way to go. Now, you know where to start.