9 ways to progress your career when feeling lost
If you don’t enjoy your job, it can be really hard to positively progress in your career. It can leave you feeling lost, especially if you have no idea what to do to make a positive change or how to make it happen.
Lots of questions about your career arise and most remain unanswered. You may know you want a career change, but you're unsure how to make it happen. Where do you start? Who do you talk to? How do you know what job is going to suit you? How can you achieve a good work-life balance?
You may want to progress in your current role, but your confidence has taken a knock. Who do you turn to for help? How do you overcome the stress you may be feeling? How do you restore your confidence?
You may be returning to work after a career break and are unsure of what jobs are available. Where do you start with your job search? How do you create a career that provides a degree of flexibility?
To help you find the answers to all of your questions, start following the nine ways to progress your career below. Whether you are wanting a career change, returning to work, or advancing your career, these should help steer you in the right direction.
9 ways to progress your career
1. Be aware of your thinking patterns. Your thoughts may be harming you and your confidence, stopping you from moving forward. Permit yourself to think positively about yourself and your capabilities. You will achieve a lot more with these positive thoughts.
2. Find your imagination and create a vision of your ideal career. By allowing yourself to imagine your ideal career, you will give yourself the best chance of achieving the best career for you. As George Lucas once said, "Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you imagine it."
3. If you are looking for a new job, perhaps through returning to work or a career change, consider the following;
- Take a close look at your skills and how they can transfer to other sectors or industries. Make a list of skills and make them specific. For example, if you are good at decision-making, identify whether you enjoy making decisions about people or things, and what you like to achieve through decision-making (the objective).
- Identify your interests and passions. What do you love doing? What do you love talking about? What do you frequently think about doing?
- Look at your career options and explore how to combine your skills with your interests and turn this into a career.
4. Seek further opportunities through networking, either within or outside of your organisation. If you are wishing to go for a promotion, networking within the organisation is important. If you are looking for a new job or career change, who can you talk to who can help you explore and enhance your research about different job ideas you have?
5. Start matching your aspirations/ideas with reality. What have you found out? How does this match what you want to achieve? What more do you need to find out?
6. Put all the information together, work out your career goals, and how you are going to achieve them. Think about long-term goals and short-term goals. Think about what resources you can use and who can help you.
7. Think about your non-work-related goals. How can you make a positive difference in all aspects of your life? Perhaps you have a hobby that you have wanted to pursue for a long time but haven’t had the chance to. Can you now make time? Think how good it will make you feel when you have achieved it.
8. Seek further help. Speak to family and friends who have been through a similar experience.
9. If you are still unsure, engage the services of a career coach or performance coach. Career coaching can make you think and see things more clearly. A career coach will be able to help you overcome the challenges you face, identify what you want, and move forward with your ideas.
Spend time focusing on you and your career to allow yourself to positively progress in your career. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment".