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Bored at work?  Dreading the moment the alarm goes off every day?  Walked into your performance review to hear “sorry, no promotion this year,” or stuck in a job where a promotion was never an option?

Career ruts are no fun.  But you don’t have to stay stuck in one.  Here are five ways to break free.

Know what you want.

When you’re stuck in a rut, it’s easy to list what you don’t want – more of the same!  But deciding which direction to move can be tougher.  Start by listing the reasons you embarked on this career path in the first place.  Did you love technical challenges?  Enjoy working with people?  Get inspired by the financial opportunities?  See a way to make a difference in the world?  Figure out what inspires you, and use this as your yardstick for choosing among new opportunities.

Seek out leadership roles.

Even if a promotion wasn’t in the cards this year, you can gain valuable leadership experience.  Offer to head up a project team, or sidestep work entirely and take on a leadership role with a charity or other community organization.  Leadership can often change your perspective on work, helping you see new opportunities and distinguishing yourself to your current boss or a new one.

Make a lateral move.

Fifty years ago, the only way most people moved “up” the career ladder was to move up to ever-increasing levels of management.  Today, you have more options.  A move into a new department, a specialist position, or a new career path altogether can provide fresh challenges – and often, a pay boost – without making you wait for a leadership position to open up.

Consider temp work.

Contract work offers great opportunities for change, challenges, and a new lease on life.  In contract positions, you can learn new skills, expand your professional network, and take a “test run” with employers before deciding whether or not to apply for a long-term position.

Talk to a recruiter.

Staffing firms specialize in helping professionals get out of their ruts and into jobs where they feel included, valued, and inspired.  Talk to a recruiter for more ways to move forward on your career path.

At ExecuTeam, our experienced recruiters can help you find the job that will keep you moving forward in your career – and get you excited to work again.  Contact us today to learn more about our job opportunities in Houston and beyond!

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