Feeling Stuck In Your Career? Do This First.

Black female sitting at work suffering from headache

"How do I stop feeling so stuck?"

Getty

I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. You know deep down you’re ready for a change in your career. You know you’re qualified to do the next thing, and you’re motivated to make it happen. But, you can’t seem to figure out how to get a move on it.

One minute you’re thinking about quitting, the next minute you’re wondering if you should just stay put. You’re applying and applying to jobs, but secretly you still feel like you can’t move past the invisible barrier in front of you.

I felt that way for four months before I finally decided to get serious about my job search; four months of feelingcomplacent, stagnant, sad, and envious of everyone else who seemed happier than me.

And, here’s the three-step process to get out of that funk more quickly:

Step 1: Declutter

“Stuck” is typically the surface level feeling hiding the true emotions you’re experiencing. If you want to get unstuck, the first step is to get to the root of what’s causing you to feel stuck. 

For example, are you feeling afraid to change industries because you’re scared you may fail? Are you waiting for your boss to give you a promotion and it’s causing you to feel stuck? Are you feeling the pressure to get a new job as quickly as possible and it’s making you feel stuck because you don’t know what to do to make it happen fast enough? Are you feeling so overwhelmed by all the advice on what to do next that it’s making you feel stagnant and uncertain? 

It’s easy to walk around saying, “I feel stuck,” because it doesn’t require you to do anything about it. But you have to be willing to ask yourself the hard questions so you can get clarity and address the real issue keeping you stuck.

Step 2: Decide 

Once you get clear on the true lingering fears, problems or concerns, you have to decide what you’re going to do about it. 

Clarity comes from action not thought. You can’t think your way into clarity, so if you’ve been waiting to magically wake up one morning and feel unstuck, it’s not going to happen. You have to make a decision. 

For instance, one of my clients was feeling stuck because she felt like she didn’t know what she wanted to do next in her career. But, when we got to the bottom of her feelings, she realized she knew exactly what she wanted to do, but she was simply scared to end up in the same type of environment she wanted to leave. Once we got clear on that, she then had to determine the best type of company culture for her so that she could view her next career move from that decision rather than from her fear. 

Or, if you’ve been feeling stuck because you’ve been waiting for your boss to give you a promotion, then you have to decide how long you’re willing to wait. Your decision could be to put yourself on a deadline: “I’m going to give my all to this position for the next 6 months and if I don’t receive a promotion by [specific date], I’m going to dedicate 100% to my job search.” 

Regardless of the issue causing you to feel stuck, once you get clear on it, you have to decide on the strategy, solution or action you’re going to take to help you move forward. 

Step 3: Trust the Process 

Action results in feedback. Feedback results in clarity. Clarity results in confidence. So, once you decide to take smart action, you’ll gain more clarity and as you gain more clarity you’ll gain more confidence. That’s the process you have to trust.

Feedback could be as simple as how you feel after making a decision or the momentum that occurs after you’ve tried a new solution. 

Keep in mind nothing happens overnight. You have to trust that baby steps are still steps and recognize that things happen gradually more often than they happen quickly. So if you’re willing to take the steps necessary to move forward, you have to also be willing to trust the process it will take to make the progress you desire.


Overall, getting unstuck in your career starts with you. You are always in control of your career and it’s your responsibility to change the course of your career if you’re stuck and unhappy. But first, you have to be willing to declutter, decide then trust the process. 

Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level and secure the positions they've been chasing. Grab her free guide.

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“How do I stop feeling so stuck?” I get that question a lot, and I’ve been there. 

Stuck in my thoughts. Stuck at a job I no longer love. Stuck working on things that no longer excite me. Stuck in the mundane routine I called life. Stuck trying to figure out the next move. Just stuck. 

It feels like a huge cloud is hanging over your head and the only thing you can think about is how stuck and unhappy you are. 

I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. You know deep down you’re ready for a change in your career. You know you’re qualified to do the next thing, and you’re motivated to make it happen. But, you can’t seem to figure out how to get a move on it.

One minute you’re thinking about quitting, the next minute you’re wondering if you should just stay put. You’re applying and applying to jobs, but secretly you still feel like you can’t move past the invisible barrier in front of you.

I felt that way for four months before I finally decided to get serious about my job search; four months of feelingcomplacent, stagnant, sad, and envious of everyone else who seemed happier than me.

And, here’s the three-step process to get out of that funk more quickly:

Step 1: Declutter

“Stuck” is typically the surface level feeling hiding the true emotions you’re experiencing. If you want to get unstuck, the first step is to get to the root of what’s causing you to feel stuck. 

For example, are you feeling afraid to change industries because you’re scared you may fail? Are you waiting for your boss to give you a promotion and it’s causing you to feel stuck? Are you feeling the pressure to get a new job as quickly as possible and it’s making you feel stuck because you don’t know what to do to make it happen fast enough? Are you feeling so overwhelmed by all the advice on what to do next that it’s making you feel stagnant and uncertain? 

It’s easy to walk around saying, “I feel stuck,” because it doesn’t require you to do anything about it. But you have to be willing to ask yourself the hard questions so you can get clarity and address the real issue keeping you stuck.

Step 2: Decide 

Once you get clear on the true lingering fears, problems or concerns, you have to decide what you’re going to do about it. 

Clarity comes from action not thought. You can’t think your way into clarity, so if you’ve been waiting to magically wake up one morning and feel unstuck, it’s not going to happen. You have to make a decision. 

For instance, one of my clients was feeling stuck because she felt like she didn’t know what she wanted to do next in her career. But, when we got to the bottom of her feelings, she realized she knew exactly what she wanted to do, but she was simply scared to end up in the same type of environment she wanted to leave. Once we got clear on that, she then had to determine the best type of company culture for her so that she could view her next career move from that decision rather than from her fear. 

Or, if you’ve been feeling stuck because you’ve been waiting for your boss to give you a promotion, then you have to decide how long you’re willing to wait. Your decision could be to put yourself on a deadline: “I’m going to give my all to this position for the next 6 months and if I don’t receive a promotion by [specific date], I’m going to dedicate 100% to my job search.” 

Regardless of the issue causing you to feel stuck, once you get clear on it, you have to decide on the strategy, solution or action you’re going to take to help you move forward. 

Step 3: Trust the Process 

Action results in feedback. Feedback results in clarity. Clarity results in confidence. So, once you decide to take smart action, you’ll gain more clarity and as you gain more clarity you’ll gain more confidence. That’s the process you have to trust.

Feedback could be as simple as how you feel after making a decision or the momentum that occurs after you’ve tried a new solution. 

Keep in mind nothing happens overnight. You have to trust that baby steps are still steps and recognize that things happen gradually more often than they happen quickly. So if you’re willing to take the steps necessary to move forward, you have to also be willing to trust the process it will take to make the progress you desire.


Overall, getting unstuck in your career starts with you. You are always in control of your career and it’s your responsibility to change the course of your career if you’re stuck and unhappy. But first, you have to be willing to declutter, decide then trust the process. 

Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level and secure the positions they've been chasing. Grab her free guide.

I am a millennial career strategist, fancy for career coach. I help high-achievers navigate their job hunts and secure the positions they’ve been chasing. I also consult...