Feeling stuck can be a good thing

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At some point or other you’ll find yourself feeling stuck. Whether that be in your personal or professional life. So long as you realise that it’s not a permanent state of mind then you’ll become unstuck. It just takes some time.

There’s a saying a friend of mine used to have as their laptop background – if you don’t like where you are, move, you are not a tree. It’s 100 percent true. If you feel stuck, do something about it.

Personal lives are perhaps easier to fix than professional lives but I’m all about business these days so we’ll stick to fixing the professional funk we’ve found ourselves in.

If you don’t like where you are, move, you are not a tree.

Whether you’re vying for a new job, missing out on promotions or having a decline in business there is always something you can do about it. Yes, it’s incredibly frustrating. Sometimes the professional progression you crave takes time and patience that a lot of us workaholics don’t seem to have. But if you’re stuck right now, chances are you’re on the brink of something really amazing happening professionally.

You may find that being stuck professionally is the kind of motivation you need to drive your career further. There’s nothing like feeling like you aren’t going anywhere to spur you on to change your circumstances.


We’ve all been there. The trouble with my generation – the millennials – is we find ourselves with a very short attention span. We’re used to a fast paced world that has been programmed into us from a young age. Social media is used to make our lives seem more glamorous than it really is. As a result we see the lives we want, but don’t necessarily live the life we have.

Social media will not fix your feelings of being stuck. Rather it’ll do the opposite. It’ll send you into a further decline. Remember that not everything is all it’s cracked up to be online. Someone may be living a crazy professional life in London, drinking with colleagues several nights a week and taking in amazing scenery as they do so, but are they happy in their life?

It’s natural to be unhappy in your job. Sometimes it’s a real struggle to get through the day whereas others it’s a breeze. That’s just professional life. But if you think the high-life of London is what you want then you have the ability to make it happen. It just takes work.

Social media will not fix your feelings of being stuck. Rather it’ll do the opposite.

Inviting your colleagues out and spending time with them outside of work may make your work environment more enjoyable 9-5. More often than not it’s the people that make the job worthwhile so invest in your colleagues. It won’t bring you the advances professionally you’re eager for but it will help you along the way until something else comes along.

If all else fails and you’re still feeling stuck at work you have the option to apply for a new job. Apply for everything and anything. You may surprise yourself with what might come along. New opportunities are always around the corner. Your perfect job may not be what you’re currently doing, it could be something completely different. But you won’t know unless you put yourself out there.


There’s only so much a company can do to help you advance your career. If you’re lucky your job might have the benefits of personal development and offer training to you if you ask for it. In that case – take it.

Showing the initiative to progress yourself really helps you in your current role but also when you apply for other jobs. When they’re looking at the criteria on their checklist they will have a box that asks whether the candidate has shown a desire for personal progression.

If you can do additional training at work then do so. If you can ask for more responsibility then do that too. You probably won’t be rewarded with a pay rise but it’ll give you a new focus. That new focus will give you something else to aim for. Soon you’ll feel less stuck because you are advancing your career yourself.

The same can be applied outside of the office too. There are many opportunities to personally advance yourself. Whether it’s evening classes, learning a language or even volunteering – personal progression is now easier than ever.

By filling your professional time in a useful way you’ll find yourself unstuck and ready to progress onto bigger and better things in no time.


The best way to counteract your feeling of being stuck is to do the things you love on a regular basis. The feeling of being stuck sometimes resembles depression. You lack the energy to do anything with your ambition but all you know is that you want to be anywhere than where you are now.

By surrounding yourself with the good things in your life your mind is taken off your professional worries. Spending time with family is a huge positive. Hitting the gym is always a good way to relieve the stress. Even trying something completely new like rock climbing will take you out of your comfort zone.

Remember that being stuck is a state of mind more often than not. By having your brain focus on your personal life for a bit you’ll soon notice the difference it makes to your professional mentality.

Just because you take your foot off the career pedal for a week or two doesn’t mean you’re going backwards. You’ve got to take care of yourself to advance yourself further. If you focus purely on the professional then you’re at risk of burning out. You can’t advance if you’re burnt out.

So, if you’re feeling stuck professionally – know that you’re not alone. It’ll happen more than once in your career. But you have the ability to turn things around if you really want to. It’s up to you to do the work.

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