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.
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.
Reboot your skills base
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you’ve been in a job that’s offered few opportunities to learn new skills, you might have a skill set that’s a little out-of-date.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 and more accessible.
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.
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.
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Good luck in your search,