Are You In a Groove Or a Rut?

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What’s the difference between being in a groove and being in a rut?

When your job is exciting and motivating, you’ll feel like you’re in a groove – looking forward to the challenges that come with your job. When you feel like you’re in a rut, the job has become routine and boring and that can be a signal to look for a new opportunity, hopefully within your current organization.

It might be tempting to blame HR or your manager for your boredom or discontent with your job. Instead of being a victim, why not focus your questioning inward? Even as companies try to do a better job in talent development, it remains your responsibility to shape your own career plan.

Here are a few suggestions for thinking about your career path and how to get unstuck if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut.

Determine what you like and dislike about your current role. What brings you the greatest enjoyment about your current position? What would you like to see eliminated? Look at other jobs within your organization, either at your current level or at a different level from where you’re at now. What would it take for you to shift into that position? Go and meet with someone who does that job now, or the manager of that group. Let them know that you’re interested. Then let your current manager know that you have an interest in a change of position. Ask for their advice and recommendations.

Sometimes your current manager will give you signals that they really want you to stay. After all, if you’re a top performer, they don’t want to lose you. If what you want isn’t available in your current organization, you’re going to have to start looking externally. Remember that other companies might look more attractive from the outside, but they might have a different feel from the inside. If your company has other divisions or locations, you could look at those options as well.

Your company will likely be supportive of your career development if you're known to deliver results consistently. Click To Tweet

If your performance isn’t up to expectations, you’ll need to be very persuasive as to why you’ll do better in a different position compared to the current one you have.

If you are told that you’re not a good fit in another position that interests you, listen carefully to the feedback and work on the areas that you need to work on in order to be better positioned in the future.

By taking charge of your own career path, delivering results consistently and being focused on self-improvement, you’ll be more satisfied with your career plan and generally happier in life.

What’s one piece of advice you provide to a member of your team who’s uncertain about their career plan?

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