Updated: Sep 5, 2022
Do you feel stuck, stalled, or stagnant in your career? Like you are on autopilot, going through the motions, but you aren’t seeing the growth you crave? Maybe you have expressed your desire to learn more and take on challenging opportunities, but it falls on deaf ears. Well, you are in the right place! I’m about to walk you through what I did to remove myself from the STICKY floor of my role to skyrocket my career.
First, I want to tell you a bit about my background.
My career started in health fitness and I thought that I was going to be in a career for the rest of my life. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have a very first job outside of college be my dream job and be the job I was going to retire from. (No joke, I remember thinking that!)
Now we all know that I am not a #health and #wellness instructor anymore! But that was my dream job for a long time - for almost 8 years! And it served me so well and health & fitness to this day is one of the #core values and foundations of my life.
But being a growth-minded individual and a person so passionate about learning and growing and advancement… it was clear that it wasn’t a career that was going to last me to retirement.
After 8 years, I felt #stuck. I felt stagnant. I recognized that there was no more room for growth. And that at the ripe old age of 25 I had reached my peak. Say WHAT? I started feeling frustrated, bored, and quite honestly, annoyed at my job. I knew I needed to #change.
I wanted to go someplace where I was going to be able to grow. And that decision is ultimately what led me to HR and changed the entire trajectory of my career and my life.
So HOW did I do this? How did I make the career pivot from fitness and wellness to Human Resources?
What are you skilled at? What are your strengths? What are you passionate about?
What do you want to continue to do for the rest of your life?
What is important to you?
What do you never want to do again?
Fun fact: you can build your career by things that you’re good at but maybe you don’t love. (This is not recommended.) Take HR, for example, I am good at doing employee relations and employee investigation but I do not love it! In fact, I cringe whenever that comes up for me but I know that there are others out there that thoroughly enjoy investigating and getting to the truth.
Remember -just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you enjoy it.
You can work and build a career that is based on your strengths and your passions.
This prevents you from getting stuck in a rut and from dwelling on the negative.
Pay attention to those things you hate. Those things you hate will also guide you! Maybe you don’t know what you want to do but do you know what you don’t want to do?
You must also create a career that creates opportunities for you.
I am all about the law of attraction but also putting in the work.
I believe in the power of #networking and when you put the two of those together, opportunities will come to you. When I started putting in the work, by networking on #LinkedIn, reaching out to people who had roles that were more elevated than mine, and putting content out that served others, opportunities started flying my way. I was asked to speak at National Health & Wellness Conferences. I was asked to #mentor. I was asked to interview for other positions. I was asked to be a panelist! (All in my current role that I felt STUCK in.)
I then took those opportunities and marketed them. When I was ready to get out there and start applying, I found that interviews came easier, and conversations started happening all around me with key players in the HR space. People were impressed by the work I was doing, and what I had already accomplished.
The point here is even if you are STUCK. You can create opportunities for yourself that will help lead to your next step. You can’t sit there and be stagnant - you have to act! You have to create!
And as much as people will cringe when I say this - I am a firm believer that
It’s not what you know it’s who you know.
If you are going to get yourself out of the sticky floor of a stagnant role, you must network. You must foster relationships.
Relationships are one of the top ways that can expedite your success.
There are different types of relationships that are so critical to your success. There are the people that you work with every day that can speak to your work ethic what you do day in and day out your skills your expertise. Then there are those that are outside of your day-to-day network - such as coaches, mentors, or role models. But one key relationship I want to talk about today is the role of a Sponsor.
A Sponsor is someone- who has the influence to move you where you want to be. They have the power to take you from where you are to where you want to go next.
How can you form relationships in today’s remote world?
I think that it is important to connect with people remotely the same way that you would connect with someone in the real present world. Ask them for coffee even if it has to be a virtual copy ask them for a 15-minute call.
Also - People love to talk about themselves. And I’m not saying this to make it sound like everybody’s vain but people love to talk about the work that they’re doing ask them about a project that they’re doing. I know I do! I often reach out to people I see doing great work on LinkedIN and send them a message saying “hey! I loved your post about XXX. Do you have 15 minutes to connect so I can learn more about what you are doing?” More often than not, they DO have 15 minutes for you!
Make a goal every week about how many people you want to reach out to and how many people you want to form connections with. I usually try to connect with 5 people on #LinkedIn, and work to form meaningful connections (as in, actually schedule a conversation or get an InMail going) with one person.
Another thing you can do if you are feeling stuck or stalled, AFTER you have really examined your #values, your #strengths, and what you love and hate doing, is create some sort of plan. It could be a #one-year plan, a #two-year plan, #5-year plan - it is whatever the situation calls for! But this plan needs to be super flexible because time changes everything. Remember when I thought I was going to be a fitness professional for the rest of my life? If you had asked me then, I would have NEVER placed myself as a Chief People Officer and podcaster. Never!
I want you to take your flexible plan and think about what are the gaps that you have in your skills and in your résumé that you need to get there. For example, let’s say you want to be a leader of people. But you have zero experience being a manager. What can you do to close that gap so that when you’re ready to apply to be a manager there’s no question that you were the right person for the job? When I decided I wanted to transition from a fitness and wellness career into HR I started taking online classes in HR Management. I went and I got my human resources certification. I started exposing myself to different aspects of human resources while still in fitness and wellness to get experience that I could translate into HR.
You should always be thinking: What do I need to be doing every few years to reach my goal? And yes I said every FEW years because it does take TIME to add skills and experience to your resume. Just keep adding tools to your tool kit.
And remember how I told you to keep the plan flexible? If you change your mind - that’s OK. Just update your path. Change your GPS. One thing I didn’t tell you is in my journey from fitness to wellness, I thought maybe I should go into Project Management - so I went out and earned my PMP (for those of you that are not familiar with this certification, it is the Project Management Professional Certificate, and it is SUPER hard to get. It has a very high failure rate for first-time test takers). But I passed that test, and slapped that baby on my resume because guess what? Even if I don’t want to be a TRUE PM, most jobs all have some sort of project management aspect to it! And voila - transferable skill. See what I did there?
As much as you plan your career you have to leave room for some beautiful unexpected things.
You can plan all day and all night, and you can work for things but the best-laid intentions do not always work out. And that is OK! Take those moments to reflect and pivot.
If you feel stuck in your career you need to optimize what you can get out of that career that job. Not every job that you have is going to be rainbows and unicorns and butterflies. Sometimes you have to put in your time. I had to put my time into employee relations investigations and learning how to do a good job doing those things to have a role as a chief people officer.
If the job you’re in has you feeling stuck you have to start rethinking about what you can get out of that role. Can you learn a new skill? Can you take on something different? Start forward thinking so that you can optimize and leverage your current role as shitty as it may be there is something good in that role and in that opportunity. Start thinking about what you can take from that role and put it on your résumé. Get all the tools skills and education that you can and harness that for your next role.
A critical piece is that you have to figure out and start marketing how your past experiences will play out in the future role that you want. One wouldn’t think that I had the skills to be an HR after being a fitness and wellness coordinator for almost 8 years. But when you peel the layers back and look at it- I was a People leader so I had skills and management. I had been interviewing so I had skills there. I’ve been working with C-level leaders and strategic business partners so I could leverage my communication with executives and leaders. And all of that parlayed into my HR business partner role.
You have to figure out how your past experiences can play into the future role that you want. And you have to be good at storytelling. You have to paint a picture for the person who’s interviewing you to really showcase that you have the skills. Maybe it’s not the typical linear change (just like mine moving from Fitness to human resources) but you need to create stories that you can shape that showcase your skills and experiences.
One thing I want to touch on is that it is super important that if you are feeling stuck or stalled in your current role you don’t jump at the next thing and the next opportunity that comes your way. Not all opportunities are created equal. And you don’t want to make the wrong move. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
So often we feel stuck that when an opportunity comes around we think we have to take it. But I want to challenge you to truly evaluate if this move going to take me closer to where I want to be next or is it just a move. You don’t wanna take a move that just shuffles you around. You wanna make a strategic move because then you’ll be stuck in another career that probably has a whole bunch of other things that you don’t love about it and you’re gonna feel like “well do I need to stay here for a year since I took this job” and then you have put yourself even further away from making that best move for you.
You want to take intentional steps and make intentional career moves that are going to help you go from where you are now to where you want to go next.
So! If you are feeling stuck, I implore you to follow some of these steps I outlined earlier! Figure out what you love, what you hate, and what you are good at, and not so great at.
Create your plan.
Close your career gaps
Get unSTUCK from that sticky floor of being stalled and stagnant in your career so that you can move from your NOW to your NEXT.