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Stuck in a job with no progression

Stuck In a Job With No Progression: Maybe It’s Time to Leave

Few things are as frustrating as feeling like you are frittering away your future. That brilliant job you landed after graduation was about more than a paycheck. It was about progress –– the first rung on the ladder of your dreams. Now your career seems mired in quicksand. You have an almost terminal case of the “Sunday scaries.” You dread going to work. Once there minutes pass like hours –– a true exercise in tedium. Yet you’re also working for free –– away from the office all you seem to think about is how miserable your job makes you.


If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re in a rut. There are solutions. The question is what exactly do you do when you’re stuck in a job with no progression?


Change Your Mind(set)


Are you certain the problem is your job? When you started, did it become your sole focus? Did your relationships and self care suffer? Now’s the time for an honest assessment. Despite our 24/7 always connected lifestyle, leave the office at the office. Take time for yourself. Plan a dinner date with someone you love or a group hang with your besties. Take a yoga or cardio barre class. Subscribe to a healthy meal plan. Jog. Most of all, don’t neglect sleep. Getting a solid seven nightly won’t just improve your health, it will improve your attitude.


Make feeling and being better your 2021 priority. Achieving balance will help you see if the job is really the issue. You’ll be clear-eyed when you decide whether or not you’re stuck in a job with no progression. If you still feel that you are, there are steps to take.


Fire and Rehire Yourself


Think back to your job’s early days. There were so many things to learn, so many new tasks to accomplish. Familiarity really can breed contempt. Yet no matter what the job, there are ways to alter your routine. Take note of how much time you waste at work. If you’re like the average employee, you waste about three hours during an eight-hour shift. This doesn’t even count lunch or breaks. So, take that time back and use it wisely. 


Pretend you are hiring yourself. Then become the best worker you can be. Brainstorm new projects, help your team meet a deadline, or volunteer for a task no one else seems to want. Become the office MVP –– Most Valued Professional. By accepting more responsibility and taking on more challenges, you may discover your job is suddenly fulfilling. The added bonus is your supervisor may reward your renewed diligence with a promotion. Don’t wait –– schedule time with your boss to discuss your future and where you’d like to be in a year or two. Maybe your best efforts haven’t changed your circumstances and you remain stuck in a job with no progression. Get prepared to leave.

Patient Transition


Don’t quit. You need that steady paycheck –– otherwise you might take an unacceptable new job from desperation. You won’t be any happier next year if you’ve only managed to get trapped within a brand new environment. So focus on making yourself the best potential hire you can be. Take online courses, get certified in marketable skills like Search Engine Optimization. Network. If you haven’t been to a social event for your career in a while, then make it a goal to attend a professional conference this quarter. Focus on finding a sponsor, not just a mentor. Sponsors will take direct action –– they are influencers who provide the leverage you need to get ahead in your company or another firm where their contacts make all the difference. 


Take on side gigs that better reflect your passion or your major. Above all, take your time. As you begin submitting resumes and asking contacts about open positions, the key to fulfillment is being patient. If it helps, you aren’t alone. Some polls suggest only 18% of employed millennials plan to stay with their employers for the long term. Yet the majority of all workers –– including ones under 40 –– would love to stay with one employer throughout their career. They just need to be engaged. This means being able to learn, grow, and have a sense of purpose. So if you’re not getting those vital things from your job, it’s time to make a change. 


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