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How To Dig Yourself Out Of Your Dead-End Job

Dead-End Job

It’s a sorry situation that more and more people in the working world are starting to find themselves in. There’s security in a dead-end job, some might think, but security isn’t enough for everyone. If you’ve been in a job for years and you’re starting to see the walls close in on you, it’s time to pay attention to those alarm bells. Once you’ve identified a dead-end job, you have to figure out how to get out of it.

If you feel like you’re stuck in a dead-end job, then a new career path could be the choice for you. Even though the thought of this might be daunting and seem like a lot of hassle, you will be happier in the long run.

Photo by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash

Know what you want and what you’re willing to pay

There are going to be no assurances here that you’re not taking any risk by looking outside your current place of work for a job. You might have to make choices that see you taking a pay-cut, for instance, if you need to take fewer hours in order to study or to spend more time looking for jobs.

You need to make sure that any sacrifices you make are getting you in the right direction.

Plot out exactly what you want from a career opportunity and whether your current position really lacks it, whether it’s a new experience, training opportunities, internal promotion possibility or more.

If you frame your gains and losses only financially, you might be making a mistake there, too. Start considering the opportunity cost of your career moves, too. Taking a pay cut in order to reduce your opportunity cost isn’t always a bad move. You just have to know what you’re giving up and what you stand to gain.

Make your position clear

Your employer should know your feelings and have the opportunity to provide you what you need from your current place of employment. However, this does not mean you should threaten to quit. No-one likes being threatened and very few people respond positively to it.

Even if it somehow gets you the promotion you want, it creates a friction between you and the boss that can become an issue further down the line. Instead, focus on what you could provide to the business and the skills that you’re ready to apply. If your employer doesn’t have the sense to see the good in helping you move into a better position, then it’s time to look outside that company.

dead end job

Up Your Education

If you’ve not got any other skills than for the job that you’re currently in, consider going back into education to learn the skills for the job that you desire. There are so many different options available, for example:

    • An apprenticeship will offer you paid work while you’re learning, although the rate of pay is often much less than you would get in a regular job. If you’re able to spare the cash loss while you’re training, then this would be the option for you.
    • Earning a degree online, such as a Master’s in HR online will help you get the skills and degree you need while allowing you to keep your current job.
    • Going back to college is another route that you could go down. If you have other commitments like family and children, then there are normally part-time courses available for you to take, which also means that you could be working at the same time.
    • Getting yourself a scholarship in your desired field would ensure that not only are you going to get the training, but you’re also going to be paid the wages that you’d expect from it too. A scholarship is basically a sponsorship, so the people are sponsoring you for the position you’ve filled. Ideally, you’d have experience in the field of work you want to work in.

“Many experts say continuing education is more important than ever because most college graduates will go through five to seven job changes over their careers.”

There are hundreds of different courses that you could be taking, so have a think about what career path you would like to take and follow your dreams.

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Reboot Your Skills


If you’ve been in a job that’s offered few opportunities to learn new skills, you might have a skill set that’s a little out-of-date. You need to find the time to learn them yourself.

Finding time to take an unpaid internship elsewhere can be helpful. However, getting back into education can often be both more practical as well as more effective when it’s spotted on a resume. There are options like a community college, night school, and online learning that are making those new skills more accessible.

If you don’t want to go back to school or just don’t have the time, there are also many options for training that will build on skills you already have.

Isn’t training the same as education? Yes and no. Education is generally where you’re learning something completely new to better yourself and widen your skill set. Training is where you’re furthering your knowledge on something you already know. If you’ve already got a particular set of skills that you’d like to put into practice for a new career, then consider training for them instead. For example:

  • If you’re handy on computers, you could take some training to improve how you’re using them so that you could go into a career to do with computers.
  • If you’re a good driver and you like the idea of going into the transport business, learning how to become a truck driver will give you the ability to go into a new career.
  • If you’re a nurse, why not think about taking more training within your field so that you could be carrying out more procedures. Also, the more skills you have within your field, the more money you will earn.
  • It’s likely that you took a class in school or college that gave you some skills that you would like to take up again. Taking classes that will improve these skills will help you kickstart yourself into a career change. Skilled classes are often held at all different times so that people who work or have other commitments can attend and learn too.

So, if you want to improve on some skills that you’ve already obtained with the goal to turn it into a career, then consider paying for some training for you to do exactly that.

Photo by Jordan McQueen on Unsplash

Learn how the game is played

Similarly, if you haven’t looked for a job in quite some time, your knowledge of the best ways to find them can be out of date, too. There are blogs that can provide excellent information on what employers look for from applicants nowadays.

This includes nailing your resume, cover letters, and interviews. But it also includes learning the resilience to survive the job search. For one, don’t be amongst the many who make the mistake of believing they’ll land a new job straight away. A 30-day plan isn’t always the most practical. Instead, consider making a 4-month plan and consider how you’re going to factor your current job and educational efforts into those four months.

dead end job

Start creating opportunities

Your chances of landing yourself a job that offers you everything you want are going to increase exponentially based on how much proactive effort you’re willing to put into them, too. Working on your job search tactics and your skills make a better professional out of you.

But a better career means taking that professional and putting them out there. For instance, beyond applying for jobs, you should be networking within the industry you want to join, taking the chance to find mentors, get advice, and make your name more known.

You should also consider the opportunities you can create from scratch for yourself. For instance, do you have the skills to create your own job and start working for yourself? What steps would you need to take to make that reality?

Escaping a dead-end job is never an easy process, never a simple choice. It takes a good long look at yourself, what you want from your career, and what you’re willing to do to get it. But it is doable. Never doubt your ability to work at it hard enough to get yourself into a better career position.

Taking a leap

Sometimes, training and education aren’t necessary when it comes to entering a new job. Many companies offer on-the-job training or don’t require any skills apart from good customer service. If you can’t afford to take up training or to take yourself back into education, then consider taking the leap and going for a new job that doesn’t require you to take any time off work.

You might find that in your current job, the chance to better yourself will open up. Why not take the leap and try to go for a promotion within your current job. This might be a good idea if your current wage is good, you live fairly close to work, and you already know everyone. Sometimes, the change in your current job can help you rediscover the love for where you work.

As you can see, there are three different options for you to take if you feel like you need to make a change when it comes to working. Think about which route is better for your lifestyle and make the changes today.

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