How to get unstuck in your career
Not everyone thinks about what their ‘career’ might look like in the future. Often, we don’t make measured decisions that take a whole-of-life approach. Some people are focused on getting through uni and haven’t even thought about their next steps after graduation. Others may be focused on a clear career path but may not have considered other options. This blog post will delve into some of the questions you can ask if you feel stuck in your career.
Are you driving your own career, or is it someone else?
Sometimes we make our career and study choices based on what other people feel would suit us rather than following our own curiosity. You may have had conversations with family and friends when deciding what to study. Those opinions could have influenced your choice of degree. If you feel comfortable with it, that’s okay. However, sometimes you may not be sure you are on the right track or feel the influence is too much. There are a few questions you could ask yourself if you’re feeling this way:
- Are there other industries you might be interested in?
- Were there other degrees you considered going into?
- What career areas or industries are you curious to know more about?
Using these questions, you can then start to get a sense of your different options.
Are your career decisions aligned with what is important to you?
The way we work is rapidly changing. Graduates can expect many different jobs and up to six types of careers throughout their life. Ensuring your work and study choices align with your core values can help you navigate the ever-changing labour market.
Your core values and motivations are the deep-down feelings important to you. For example, you might be focused on living a life with less waste, so working for a company with sustainability as a core value may be necessary. Thinking about your career in sync with your values can create a sense of purpose, fulfilment and meaning. Then, you are more likely to enjoy your work and stay longer in a job.
Have you explored different options for your future?
Sometimes you might feel a bit stuck when you think about your future. It might be that when you started your study, you felt clear about what you wanted to do, but now you are unsure. Alternatively, there may be so many career options available that you don’t know where to start.
Pivoting your career direction mid-degree is possible and doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. There are some simple and highly effective ways to address this, and they can be fun and informative. Career and life design is a process that involves reflecting, exploring, and experimenting with different futures. You can include your values, interests, and goals and create a career and life that feels fulfilling and meaningful to you.
Have you used the life design model?
UTS Careers offers an innovative way to think about your future. Adapted from Stanford University’s Life Design Lab, the UTS approach to Career and Life Design challenges you to approach things differently when making career decisions. We use design thinking approaches of ideating and prototyping to explore your career in a fun and helpful way.
UTS students who have explored this approach with us in our Career and Life Design Workshop feel the same way:
“It really helped me to navigate a way of thinking of not only my career but my life as well… throwing out tradition and really focusing on what I want and creating a path for those choices”
~ UTS Student
In this post, we’ve given you some clues about how the elements of Life Design can help you make decisions and get unstuck. If you want to know more, UTS Careers regularly hosts workshops where we will use Stanford University’s innovative approach to design thinking to address the “wicked problem” of creating your career and life. Keep an eye out to join us for the next one, to test your interests and ideas, and be prepared to challenge your thinking using the Life Design approach.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Tracey Glover Chambers
Tracey has a diverse background with over 20 years in media and corporate sales. The last 10 years has seen her develop skills and experience in the Higher Education sector where she has focused on Career Development Learning and Work Integrated learning in the curriculum. Tracey is committed to empowering people to navigate and explore their career and life options and to make informed decisions about their future.