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The stuck feeling: Getting past it and advancing your career

Posted 25 days ago by Julia Williams
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In a recent Harvard Business Review podcast the sense of being stuck in maintenance mode is all too apparent for many UK households, with pay cuts preventing you from moving, redundancies in a poor job market and the eternal void of being furloughed and knowing what to do with your time all contributing to a sense of feeling stuck amongst UK workers.

With thousands of people across the UK set to lose their jobs across a variety of industries from high street retailers to aviation companies, it can be easy to look at your deck of cards and think “I am here for the long-haul” or that putting things on hold for another year may be the best option because hey “at least I am earning something”.

Though economically this is a viable option, putting yourself in maintenance mode at work is likely to lead to unhappiness and a lack of enthusiasm about your career, with half of all UK employees stating that pay cuts, stress and workplace bullying contributed towards a negative emotional state.

At some point, you are going to have to ask yourself “is this going to be worth it?”.

If the answer is no, then it may be time to dust off the cobwebs and jump into the job pool once again.

Given the current economic climate, we know this can be a difficult choice to make and with the candidate market more competitive than ever due to less jobs being created standing out is going to be key.



Is it time for a career change?

Before you consider whether you want to move to another company, look inwards and ask whether a career or sector change is on the cards. If like many you want to transition to a job which brings more meaning to your life, then it may be worth giving our articles on undertaking a career change post Covid-19 and moving to the charity sector a read.

Figure out your competitive advantage

Those of you who are Marketers and communications experts will recognise how important defining a competitive advantage is for being noticed and outperforming against your competitors .

However you shouldn’t just keep this skill for communications strategies, apply it to yourself and personal brand too.

For those less versed in this activity, consider looking inwards and evaluating what you are able to provide which others haven’t been able to, this may involve evaluating yourself against your fellow team members to recognise a strength. For instance, do you have a knack for solving complex problems, for creating simple yet effective creative work or is drawing conclusions for data more up your street?

What ever it is that makes you unique, take it, honour it and most importantly communicate it across all of your applications. It could be an employer is looking for a specific niche skillset and you may just fit the bill.

Develop your personal brand

Personal branding is the act of positioning yourself as a figure or authority in your industry, giving you credibility amongst your peers.

However, there is a common misconception in the market that personal branding involves a lot of networking. This is not strictly true.

Whilst networking can help to put your name on the map of potential employers, personal branding involves a deeper level of engagement and connection. It involves keeping up to date with industry news, generating conversations with key figures and sharing your knowledge and expertise to a wider audience.

Sure it could lead to a connection with a job you may be perfect for, but it can also keep your mind engaged and profile in the industry whilst you are applying for jobs. For employers searching your name across the internet this can help to convey the message that you are not only actively engaged but you are passionate about your role and industry. A fantastic bonus when it comes to them deciding if they want to offer you a role or interview.


Get the basics right

We see many applications on a day to day basis from people who could be perfect for a role but are failing to communicate their skill set in a way which makes them stand out.

Don’t just think of your CV and personal statement as a brain dump, consider them to be a Pitch about why you should get the role you are applying for.

This does not just involve tailoring your applications to the role at hand, but going above and beyond to highlight personal achievements, that competitive advantage we just spoke about, and going to extra mile to research the company and highlight how you could make a difference.

These are all just top line pointers and for a more detailed guide you can download our guide on enhancing your applications here.


Making the choice to take the leap and unstick yourself can be a difficult one right now, and this certainly is not a decision you should have to make alone. So, if you feel like you need some additional support feel free to get in touch with us for a confidential chat.


Image credit: 

Header: Photo by Jan Tancar from Pexels

Image 1: Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels

Image 2: Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels