How To Move Past Your Professional Brick Wall

Are you feeling stuck and unsure of what to do to get you back on your preferred track?

There have been plenty of times where I have felt like I was plodding through mud or as though I was hitting a professional brick wall, so you are not alone.

How do you move past the feeling of being caught in job-embedded quicksand so you can continue to develop in your work life?  Below are some tips gained from personal experience and outside inspiration that may help you move past the bog and into your the next phase of your career:

  • Set goals.  Where do you see yourself going in three months, six months, a year, or five years? Setting clear goals for yourself, no matter how audacious, that are broken down into accessible increments will provide you with a road map to get you from where you are to where you would rather be.  To that point, make sure you write your goals down. Studies have shown that those who write down their goals and dreams are 42% more likely to achieve them than those who just keep them in their heads.
  • Switch it up. Do you teach in a classroom?  Try a new project like PBL or Genius Hour.  Consider having your students teach a lesson or two.  That would offer them the opportunity to showcase their learning and to reinforce it by teaching their peers.  You can even pair up with a colleague to do an interdisciplinary project.  If you work in another capacity, small things like playing music, taking on new projects, or gaining new certifications outside the field of education (such as Adobe certifications) or take a free online course on a platform like edX.  It’s always fun to learn something new.

…and if you feel as though the only answer is to leave your job/post/position/school…

  • Remember that wherever you go, there you are.  Whatever the challenges you are experiencing, it is paramount that you take a good, hard look at yourself.  What aspects of the challenges can you control?  What negative experiences are you feeding into?  Changing job positions, roles, schools, companies, etc. will not guarantee that things will get better.  Sometimes they will, especially if you are leaving a toxic environment.  That said, you must be sure that you have worked through whatever “funky stuff” you bring into the equation or else it will follow you around like a stinky fart in a shower.  I highly recommend the books Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck and The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor to help you see the brighter side of things.

Additional Suggested Readings:

You can and will move past this point and things will get better.  Take some time to pause, figure out your next steps, and put one foot in front of the other.

What steps do you have to get “unstuck”? Share those in the comments below.

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