Have you ever felt like you are stuck in your job?

I think most of us have had phases where we feel or felt like we are stuck. Nothing seems to be moving and we don’t seem to be able to get out of it. I have dealt with that several times in my life. Usually it goes along with a job situation, where you get no recognition, but extra work somehow finds it’s way to you.

DANGER!!! – This means you are in a toxic situation. And it it does not matter if it is just toxic for you or toxic for all.

You need Change

No, I am not saying you need to resign from your job. But you need to remove yourself from the situation for a few days and totally disconnect then think about it.

Take a few days of leave. I know, you are saying you can’t afford leave. Ok, let’s just think about this for a minute.

  1. When you fall by the side with burn-out, your company will easily replace you
  2. If you stay you will burn-out
  3. You are entitled to leave – read your contract!

So go ahead and book at least 1 week leave. For the sake of your physical and mental health. You need to disconnect and think. For that you need distance from the situation. So don’t wait too long 🙂

So have you applied for leave? Then let’s plan your leave

Steps you need to do:
  1. Do nothing to do with work for 2 days and try not to think about it. Do things you enjoy. Meet friends, go for walks. Go for forest walks. By the way, it is proven that you can think clearer when in the forest. Why do you think the forest is my Happy Place? It is the positive energy that comes from the trees and the peace and tranquility.
  2. Now it is time to analyze the situation. What is stressing you out? What part do you feel frustrated about? Where do you feel stuck? Put this in writing. Writing it down makes it real and you will be able to deal with it.
  3. Let’s analyze it further. Is this the general situation in the office? Is there one or more particular people who make you feel the way you feel?
  4. Do a SWOT analysis of yourself and another one about the company.
  5. Prepare a list of the things you enjoy about your work
  6. Write down your achievements in this particular position. What have you achieved? What are you proud of?

You are doing great and you are getting there!

Plan the way forward

Now that you have analyzed the situation you can start formulating your way forward. Think about the following things:

Plan – Part 1
  1. Is the situation salvageable? Then find a way out. I remember once I was in a situation where I felt stuck, I knew it was toxic, but I felt I could handle it. I also wanted to complete something I was working on. I needed that success for my self esteem. So I made a conscious decision to stay in the job and actually let a new job opportunity go.
  2. Do you need help? Decide if HR or a colleague or Senior Manager can help you. A person within the company, who understands the situation and can either advise or mentor you can really improve the situation.
  3. Do you need to work on yourself? We all do this every so often! Get a coach or a mentor. Yes, you may need to pay for this service, if you want professional service. But it is investment in yourself. I have had many different coaches & mentors in my life, who have walked with me part of the way.
  4. Is there a better place for you within the company? If so, then start moving into that direction.
Plan – Part 2
  1. Do you think it is time to move? Then start by defining what you want next and then consciously building towards that kind of job. Avoid the mistake many make, of applying for any open position. Look for something that moves you forward.
  2. If you think it is time to move into self-employment, then plan this meticulously as well. Resigning and simply calling yourself a Consultant does not do the trick. You need to get your name out. So start creating content in places like LinkedIn or Twitter, speak in your local professional organization, for example the PMI Chapter. Let people know what you know.
  3. Get Networking! Networking is so important. It can open new opportunities and you also get important connections. Just remember this is the long game. So don’t think just because you shook someone’s hand during a networking event, you will get a job. Networking is hard work. Dorie Clark in her book “The Long Game” recommends that during the first year of a new network connection you simply get to know the person. She gives very practical tips for effective networking. They may sound unusual, if you grew up in an African environment. But with some creativity, you can easily create African versions of her suggestions.
You are on your Way to Success!

If you follow all the steps mentioned above, you are well on your way to success! You will get yourself out of the mental situations you are in and your brain will be able to help you move on. Such situations are not a sign of failure, they are opportunities live puts in our way. Opportunities to grow, opportunities to change direction in life and opportunities to move your career upwards.

Here are other blogs I wrote earlier related to this topic:

Career Options for Project Managers

Developing as a Leader

Establishing yourself as a Professional

Get your name out there

Get a Coach

Learning to understand your Value



Networking – How it is done

The Long Game

Tough Situations Teach you Something

What to do when you feel you need a change in your career?

What to do when you feel you have no Influence

Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance (earlier Blog)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *