While we know you always dress for the job you want, not the job you necessarily have, sometimes your inner fashionista can’t solve the problem of feeling stuck with one pencil skirt at a time. It happens. You either get comfortable in a job that you took that was supposed to be a temporary gig, or you finally realize there’s no upward mobility in your current company or position. Before you knew it, you’re a few years and a comfortable salary in, and you feel like you’re sinking. These realizations are never pleasant, but once you have them, there’s good news! It’s never too late. We’ll spare you the “Today is the first day of the rest of your life” cliché speech, but we do have some ideas for when the feeling of work distress or claustrophobia is overwhelming.
When you recognize that your job isn't what you wanted or expected it to be, it's easy to spiral. Don't. Sure, a happy-hour binge sounds like it's the answer to all of your problems, but alcohol is a depressant, so boozing isn't going to help. (Plus, hangovers.) You need to breathe, relax and be clear-headed to best help yourself out of a situation that's making you unhappy.
If your current job isn't one that follows your passion, is there a job out there that does? Your trusty BFFs, Google, LinkedIn and Glass Ceiling, are good resources to help you research what jobs might help you get where you want to go.
If you like your current job or company and come to find out that there's no room for you to grow, you have a choice to make. The old "Should I stay or should I go?" quandary is scary, but use the fear to your advantage and turn it into something exciting. Is there another company or industry that doesn't currently utilize your skills and expertise, but could benefit from doing so? Reach out to those companies and let them know what you have to offer.
Life isn't all necessarily who you know, but utilizing the people you do know will always work to your advantage. Don't be shy! Everyone asks their friends and even acquaintances for referrals and favors at some point, and people are generally willing to help when asked. Remember to keep others' kindness in mind in the future when you're asked for a work connection or favor. And don't forget thank-you notes!
As much as we all love going from 0 to 60, neither life nor careers work like that. Once you have your new long-term goal, create a plan to get yourself there. You might have to start at the bottom again (hey, it worked for Drake!), but even baby steps get you to the finish line eventually, and your career is a marathon, after all.
Now that you know what you need to do, do it! It sounds simple, but following through on your plan can be the toughest part. Simply dreaming you will wind up a president or CEO won't cut it—you have to put action behind your goal and work your butt off, even harder than you do at the gym. We're not going to lie, it can be frustrating for a while because it might not seem like your hard work is paying off. Stick with it though; people will take notice of your work ethic and drive.
Okay, technically this is six steps, but we repeated the first one for emphasis. We know that "stop stressing" is easier said than done, if not impossible, so it was worth mentioning twice. Enjoy a yoga class and an Epsom salt bath, and take comfort in the fact that you're taking action to get yourself on the right path!