“5 Proven Techniques to Break Free from a Career Slump”

How to Get Out of a Professional Rut: 5 Techniques for Surviving and Thriving

Whether you work in fast food or lead a company of 50,000 people, everyone finds themselves in a professional rut at one point or another. It is natural to experience a sense of feeling stuck, bored, or demotivated at work. What is important is how quickly you are able to get yourself out of that rut. Here are a handful of techniques for surviving and thriving at work.

1. Brainstorm the Problem

Diagnosing the problem is the first step to getting out of a professional rut. Get really honest with yourself, and don’t hold anything back. Instead of just saying, “I don’t like my job,” try to pinpoint what it is specifically that makes you unhappy at work. Is it unfulfilling work, low pay, or work hours that interfere with your social life? The more specific you get, the better you’ll be able to address the underlying cause and find relief.

2. Connect with a Consultant or Advisor

If you find you’re in a rut because of a lack of preparation or misunderstanding a specific business responsibility, you may need some outside help. Many consultants specialize in different areas such as accounting, advertising, writing, design, customer service, or anything in between. Find the right consultant and don’t be surprised if your rut becomes a thing of the past.

3. Take Action

Once you (or you and your consultant) figure out what the problem is, you can shift your attention towards actionable steps that allow you to climb out and regain the momentum that you previously enjoyed. You will likely have to step out of your comfort zone and do something that feels painful, awkward, or forced, but once you begin to see progress, you’ll realize that it’s easier to move forward than sit still.

4. Plan a Getaway

It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when you’re stuck in the day-to-day monotony of running a business. A little mini retreat or getaway may be in store. “Take a day or two to refocus,” therapist Melody Wilding suggests. “You don’t have to travel anywhere; simply dedicate intentional time to exploring your purpose. You can do this by asking yourself big questions like, ‘What would I be doing if money wasn’t a problem?’ or ‘When do I feel most alive?’”

5. Set Attainable Goals

As humans, we naturally become overwhelmed when we feel like we’ve gone off track. When we see how much work needs to be invested in order to get back on track, we figure it’s easier to just lie in the ditch; however, this requires you to set small, attainable goals. “Be mindful that we tend to exaggerate our abilities or wrongly attribute failure to circumstances beyond our control,” author Peg Streep says. “Be ruthlessly realistic about how your talents match up with the goal you set. If your goal seems unreachable, pull back and master mental contrasting.”

Mental Contrasting

Mental contrasting, the term used by Peg Streep, is a psychological practice that requires you to contemplate your ideal future while simultaneously thinking about the various short-term factors that stand in the way of you getting there. While this practice may sound silly on the surface, it actually works remarkably well. It essentially tells you what’s preventing you from moving forward. You may be surprised to see what’s standing in the way.

In conclusion, professional ruts are part of any job, but with the right mindset and techniques, you can overcome them. By brainstorming the problem, connecting with consultants or advisors, taking action, planning a getaway, setting attainable goals, and using mental contrasting, you can get back on track in no time. Don’t let a professional rut hold you back – master the techniques and start thriving today.

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