Ambition makes us work harder, push forward and overcome challenges because we know it’ll all be worth it in the end. Whether it’s meeting that tough deadline or finally scoring that promotion, ambition is what leads to the achievement we all strive for in our careers. But there may come a time when your ambition is waning, and you can’t figure out why you can’t focus at work. You may not even think about getting a promotion anymore, and every day at the office is exactly like the one that came before.
Dead-end jobs aren’t just low paying, limited growth positions outside of the corporate world. They exist in every industry, and some of them are well hidden thanks to a good title, comfortable pay and some decent benefits packages. So, you know something might not be quite adding up in your job, but what is it? Is this really just a ‘you’ problem, or could you be stuck in a dead-end job? Do you feel like you need to get stress under control in terms of your work/life balance? Here are three warning signs you need a career change and what to do about them.
Your Voice Is Continually Silenced or Ignored
The best work environments foster collaboration and teamwork exists to elevate the individual as much as the group. Each part should be as important as the whole, but that isn’t always the case. Poor management, narcissistic bosses and even office cliques can cause people to be forced into the background. All your ideas fall on deaf ears, and you may have stopped even having any new ones because you feel they don’t matter anyway.
You deserve a job that gives you what you need to feel valued and important. Any career that causes you to feel useless isn’t worth pursuing. While speaking up a bit more and voicing concerns may be helpful, the best way to really resolve a toxic work environment is to leave it. You can’t change other people, and you can only be the bigger person so long before you wind up mentally drained and emotionally burnt out.
There Is No Projected Path for You
When management hired you, did they make you feel excited about the potential to grow and develop inside the company? Does your company help you evolve, or is there a know-your-place mentality that keeps everyone in their place? Without a clear path from management, you are never going to magically rise in rank and achieve a more fulfilling position. The people who promote should be actively creating opportunity for you to grow.
If you think you’re stuck in this line of work, opening new avenues can come in a few ways. You could go back to school, or you could look for online skills certifications that boost your odds of landing a job with a better company. Paying for the courses might be a challenge, but taking out a student loan from a private lender can help. You’ll be able to pay for your education within your budget and avoid high interest rates after you finish with school.
You Are Responsible for Other People
Your role should have clearly defined, specific tasks that match your job description and skillset. If you are taking on uncompensated work from your boss or colleagues, you need to figure out why that is and make some changes. If the fact of the matter is there’s really nothing else for you to do, then it’s time to polish up that resume and start looking for a better role.
A simple side hustle can turn into a full-blown career if you invest in it the right way. Right now, more than 44 million people in the United States have some type of side hustle, but there is always room for success. It doesn’t matter whether you sell cosmetics to family and friends or you spend your evenings and weekends selling houses, you just have to know how to run and grow your business.
The following tips may ignite your side hustle into a full-time gig:
Organization of Efforts
The first step is to get organized. Ideally, you need a place and a system to get your ideas in order and track your efforts. Start with listing everything out and dividing those concepts and activities by status and timeline. This way, you can spot any deadlines and identify follow-up opportunities. Getting organized in your business efforts also helps you establish a calendar for your efforts and prioritize your tasks more effectively.
Establish Your Personal Brand
Next, work toward establishing your personal brand. If you sell for a company, they may have their own branding efforts and systems that will help would-be customers know that you exist. From websites that list real estate agents to yoga instructor databases and shopping websites that let people look for a rep in their areas, these bits of marketing are an excellent first step, but they should not be the entirety of your branding efforts.
You also need to consider your personal brand. The customers you attract are going to need to choose you over someone else in your area or another provider. Make that decision easy for them by developing your personal brand. Get on social media and start posting about things that matter to your future customers and establish yourself as a personality in that field. Also, build a website and work toward creating an email list. Make people care about what you have to say within your field. Just make sure you remain authentic in the process.
Build a Team
You can make things easier on yourself by building a team. While you could hire help, there are other ways to minimize your workload. You can outsource many tasks using technology or set up automated efforts, such as scheduled social media posts or reminders about following up with your clients.
Whether you sell a service or product, knowing ways to market your business can make a big difference in your level of success. While you can acquire this knowledge by studying a class or reading blogs, there is another way. Consider direct selling. Companies such as Amway invest in creating training videos to help their salespeople succeed. If you sign up, you will have access to all of those tools and resources. Check out this video on how Amway works to learn more. You may even want to start selling Amway!
Turning your side hustle into a full-time career is not impossible. You could shape an entirely new future for yourself by organizing your efforts, building a personal brand, outsourcing where possible, and improving your marketing. Even small efforts in the right direction can have big rewards.
While most people around the world have been using social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and the like for fun, communication, and relationship-building over the years, it’s important not to forget just how useful the networks can also be for your career, whether you’re actively searching for a new position right now or not.
In fact, the various online platforms where people go to share data, exchange ideas, make comments, and meet new connections can be the ideal place for you to increase your network of contacts and raise your professional profile. In turn, this can help you to land an exciting new role when you need to (or even when you least expect it), or to expand your customer base for your own venture.
To make your profiles more effective though, you will first need to make sure that your information is as complete as possible and always up to date, with full descriptions and quality, professional photographs used at all times. You must maintain a professional manner on each site (no pictures of you looking drunk or taking part in illegal or otherwise frowned-upon activities!) and you need to be careful about only ever posting accurate, truthful information.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your career today, read on for three handy ways in which you can take advantage of social media.
One of the first things you should start doing if you want to boost your career is network online. Social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are fantastic for this, and will help you to “meet,” and develop connections with, other professionals in your industry.
To do this well, it is important to firstly ensure you have put up a comprehensive profile on LinkedIn, as this is one of the most popular and beneficial social networking spots for people who want to find a new job or make good contacts.
On the site, you need to post your resume in an online format. It must not only be accurate and up-to-date, but also well written and properly formatted. As such, it pays to organize a resume evaluation service to check out your information so that you can be sure that you’re not making any mistakes.
Your LinkedIn profile should include things such as:
Your relevant skills and achievements
Recommendations from people you have worked with or consulted to in the past
A business-appropriate photograph of yourself (no social pics here!)
Some relevant examples of your work where possible
Keywords that relate to your industry and job area
Once you have all the necessary info posted online, it’s time to start working on building more connections. There are multiple ways to do this. It is a good idea to post regular updates about your career successes, new skills you’ve gained, training you’ve completed, events you’ve attended, or any other relevant news that will help to generate interest in your profile.
As well, make sure you join some of the LinkedIn groups which are relevant to your position or sector. Once this is done, take part in online discussions whenever you feel you can add a unique view on the topic or some useful information. This will help you to chat and engage with potential and current contacts and to develop relationships further.
Build Your Brand
Next, keep in mind that, no matter the industry you’re in, it is always a good idea to work hard on building your brand. Branding is not just for businesses, as many people think, but rather is also important for individuals too.
Most social media sites, but particularly Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, are fantastic avenues to help people promote themselves by consistently demonstrating their brand. The updates you post online and the profiles you set up for yourself can go a long way to create an image that will help to stand you in good stead throughout your career.
Recruiters, employers, and clients typically check out social media sites when conducting research, and can use the information they see to determine if you will be a good fit for a company or position.
On your online profiles, make sure that you are always consistent when it comes to branding elements such as the images, logos, font, and language you use. This will help you to develop your own particular “voice” that can set you apart from your competition. The image and summary details that you put on one social media platform should be used across them all, so that your style becomes easily and quickly identified and gives people an accurate idea of who you are and what you represent.
You can also further your brand by using social media sites to become an industry expert. Your posts are the perfect platform for promoting your skills, knowledge, and experience, as well as a variety of content that you write or collate, such as blog posts and articles, quotes, infographics, e-books, pictures, and the like. By regularly posting information that helps others in your industry and demonstrates your expertise, you will see your standing as an industry expert rise.
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