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.

Let’s Not Politicize Tragedies

Feeling the tentacles of overwhelm slowly creeping around me, I fired off a quick text message to a dear friend of mine.

Holy what?! Another mass shooting? 58 souls gone? Over 500 wounded?

Disbelief. I was in utter disbelief.  Why, why, why would someone be driven to do such a heinous act…again?

Returning to my phone, I unlocked many messages of prayer, healing, and other feelings of repudiation streaming through Facebook and Twitter…and then there were the cries for more/less/amended gun control, more security, and metal detectors at every building entrance.

One word: Stop!

Just stop.

Can we just take a moment to mourn with Las Vegas?  Can we just take another moment to support our brothers and sisters in America’s Playground?  Can we take a moment to be authentically introspective about our society and ourselves?

If we could adequately prevent this from happening through political means alone we probably would have done so by now? But we haven’t.

Past presidents have pushed gun control.

Past presidents have worked to roll back gun control measures.

Maybe it’s more than the guns.  Maybe it’s more than the laws.  Maybe its something within ourselves and our society that needs readjustment.

Whatever the solution, I know it won’t be easy, but it will take all of us to figure it out.  For the time being, how about we aim to be there for our fellow Americans in prayer/positive thoughts/whatever you believe in and leave the politics for another day.