Your presentation provided a valuable opportunity for our attendees to learn about the various filters that can hinder effective communications and provided actionable insights on how to communicate with clarity to all levels of project stakeholders, team members and peers.
D. Bailey - President, Westchester PMI
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How to get new traction when your career is stuck

What do you do when your job appears to have no future? Perhaps you are working for Attila the Hun with no salary increase in sight. You have forgotten what an annual bonus is, because you have not received one in many years. Yet you show up every day with a smile and do your best because you need the job to put food on the family dinner table. Some days, you wonder if this "hell on earth" will ever have a happy ending.

As the T-Shirt says "Been there, done that,...". I have been working full-time since I was 17 years old - (I needed to put food on the table). Some jobs are "heaven on earth", some are bearable and others jobs were just plain unpleasant. I have learned skills along the way to help move my career forward out of these situations and now share these strategies with clients through my coaching work. If your career is a car stuck in the mud with wheels spinning and no forward movement, then read on.

Here are the steps to become unstuck in your current job and get traction to move your career forward to the next step.

1. Take time to think about what your ideal next step is. Do you want a promotion? What appeals to you about the promotion? Do you want to change careers? How will you enjoy the new career once you have accomplished the career change?

2. What skills are needed for your promotion, or new career? (Hint: Managers hire people who can do the job. Can you do the job with your current skills or must you learn new skills? Do you need to get an industry recognized certification?) Go and ask the manager in the department that you want to move into, what skills are required to be successful in this job.

3. Identify the gap between your current skills and the skills needed for your current job. Write down the skill gap. Talk it over with your professional coach so that you understand what the gap is.

4. Make a project plan to fill the gap. How can you learn the skills you need for the new position? Set SMART goals, that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound to realize your project plan.

5. Honestly, answer this question "What support do I  need to make this plan work?" Do you need your manager to support you? Your family? Must you take a loan to pay for the training that you need?

Although these five steps are simple, they are not easy. Face facts and realize that you are making significant personal changes here. Reach out and hire a coach to encourage, support and work with you. I wish that I had engaged a coach at the various points in my career when I was stuck and stayed stuck for too long.

Obviously, you should continue taking the proven ongoing career actions of networking and personal marketing every day. Keep on building your network of employees at your organization and use every opportunity to get to know people. If your company has a Toastmasters club, then join it and take a leadership role. Market your skills during your daily tasks at every opportunity. Marketing is simply "Telling people what you do". Go for it, and tell people what you do.


Harsh Reality check:

1. Your manager has a lot of influence on your life at work. Do what you can to make your manager look good and be valuable to your manager, even if you disagree on everything. He is also doing a job for a corporation (although Attila the Hun types seem to get up in the morning with the sole purpose of expressing their self-anger at the world). As tough as this is to do, speak with your manager and find out how you can add more value and make his life a little easier.

2. Your career is where it is because of you. You have to change if you want to take control of improving your situation. Personal change is hard because it requires you to admit that what you are doing now, including your values and beliefs are not working. Maybe you made mistakes and your past decisions would never have worked. Perhaps your decisions were good decisions years ago, but are not good decisions today. The fact is that something you believe in is not working for you in this situation. You need to face up to reality, and make changes if you want to gain career traction. It is hard for everyone although you have to face it first-hand if you want to have steak on the dinner table.

3. Get outside help. You have come to realize that your job isn't fun anymore, yet clearly are not able to make improvements on your own. Admit that you need help and get it. Don't remain stuck hoping that your situation to improve. Find a trusted coach who is strong enough to hold up the mirror for you so that can see what you need to do next. Your coach will  help you to identify a few action steps each week that will get you out of the mud and put solid ground under your wheels again so that your job becomes yet another milestone on the road to your successful career. 

Copyright 2018 Wayne Botha Email Wayne Cell: 860.214.4897