What do you do when you feel stuck in your career?

Q&A Monday is a little different this week. This time I’ll be asking all of you guys the question, because quite frankly I’m the one who may need the answers.

Sometimes we get really stuck in our careers. Some of you may be feeling stuck at your day job, perhaps contemplating a move to a different field or opportunity. Some others may be considering jumping ship from the 9 to 5 altogether. And some of you may be in that weird limbo when you’re looking for a regular job but nothing seems to pan out.

I commiserate dearly with all of the above mentioned situations. So much in fact that I’ve been feeling stuck in my own right as of late. I’ve been burning the candle on both ends lately – day job, side business(es), coaching classes, blog, working out and getting over a relationship. It’s taken a toll on me and I feel exhausted all the time, which is not at all how I want to live my life. All I really want to do is stay in bed and veg out and at the end of the day it all comes back to one key question I’ve been asking myself for months – am I stuck at my job?

My answer as of right now is kind of. I’m stuck in the idea of not knowing how to propel my business forward with the time constraints I have (even though I’m making a nice chunk of extra income this month). Stuck in the limbo between “Do I quit the day job and do the blogging/coaching/writing thing full time?” Am I really ready to pursue my dream of running my own business full time? What if I fail an end up like the some of the crazy people I interview?

I always see countless examples around me of people who took a risk to pursue their own passions. My boss is a stellar example as she started an employment agency 44 years ago. The owner of my local yoga studio was a New York City investment banker back in the day. The owner of my local MMA studio also jumped ship and created his own business a year ago. My most recent ex boyfriend was the owner of a restaurant. All of them took a risk and have succeeded to some degree.

I also see countless examples of people who failed at their own businesses and are now having a hard time finding a decent job. How do I see this? Because I interview them all the damn time.

All of these examples have made me both excited and petrified. I have huge dreams and aspirations – and I know damn well I’ve got the chops and focus to succeed (if only I had the time). But am I really ready to kick this up to the next level? Am I really ready to make the local coffee shop my telecommuting office? Am I ready to really dive deep into creating a coaching program? Am I steady enough to deal with the stress of running my own full time gig?

The truth is that I’m not sure yet.

A couple of years ago I did the freelancing thing full time because I couldn’t find a job. It was scary. I was making $5.00 in a month’s time. It was stressful and overwhelming. All of this in the midst of a very nasty Quarter Life Crisis at the age of 22.

Granted, back then I had no focus. I had no idea what my niche market or target audience was. I had no clue as to what I could provide other than my writing chops. I had no idea how to land clients, promote affiliate products or sell ad space. I didn’t even know what coaching and consulting was. Now I’ve got all of that more or less figured out, or at least I’m much more clear about it.

I know I’ve come a very long way. But I’m still dealing with some major inner ick. So once again I’m asking all of you, what do you do when you feel stuck in your career? Have any of you quit your jobs to pursue your passions full time? Share in the comments!

For those of you who may be feeling the same ideas of overwhelm and burnout I leave you with this video from Marie Forleo. And by the way, yes, I did decide to vegetate all weekend in order to recharge.

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3 Responses to What do you do when you feel stuck in your career?

  1. Ada October 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Funny, I’m just writing up a blog post about this very thing. I’ve spent a lot of time feeling trapped in my day job and frustrated by the lack of time I have for my side hustle. I’ve always assumed that my goal is to do the day job until I can cut loose and focus on the side hustle full time. But my day job adds value to my life and not just in a “financial secure” sort of way. I’ve grown my business skills with the day job and it also provides me with the funds I need to make a travel a part of my life. So I’m signing a two-year contract with my employer. Yes, that will mean I’ll have turn down some freelance clients. But it also gives me more time to truly plot out my leap into the full time freelance world and to gain more clients and more experience, all without worrying about finances. As long as we keep doing the thing we say we want to do with our lives, we are making progress, even if we devote 40 hours or so of our week to work that maybe doesn’t truly make our hearts sing. My advice? Don’t throw in the towel on the day job yet. Keep building and strengthening your freelance business, set a savings goal or a timeline for when you want to go solo, and keep working hard. It’s so easy to feel like we’re spinning our wheels, but really, we are making progress every single day.

    • Amanda Abella October 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      Oh I;m in the same boat! My day job has given me sooooo many skills and great material! It’s also very closely related to what I write and coach people about. I’m very grateful for that. I think I’m just having an anxious/impatient moment.


  1. Daily Interest: The "Worst Place in the World" Can Affect Your Credit | SALT Blog - October 15, 2012

    […] If you’re feeling stuck in your career, you’re not alone. SALT Blog contributor Amanda Abella asks readers of her own blog, Grad Meets World, what they do to get out of a rut. […]

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