6 Ways You Can Get Out of a Career Rut

Tired disappointed woman working at office desk with a laptop, connection and computer problems concept
Image via iStock.

Whether Gen Z or Baby Boomer, we’ve all been there. The much-dreaded career rut is an affliction that many of us professionals have dealt with at least once in our lives. However, feeling stuck in a job comes with opportunities. Recognizing stagnancy in a career can open doors for new changes. 

Katie Sanders from The Enterprisers Project (an online resource for chief information officers) talked to IT leaders about advice they would give to those who still find themselves in a rut. Their six pieces of advice follow. 

1. Your Journey Is Not Linear 

There is no right way to go about pursuing a career, and paths are rarely a straight line. Often, professionals encounter a fork in the road. Instead of pushing forward, sometimes it can be refreshing to go off the beaten path.

2. Act First, Get Inspired Later  

Some people wait for inspiration before springing into action. But an object at rest stays at rest, and sometimes taking the plunge is the only way to spark creativity.  

3. Have Passion 

Addressing your issues with passion will help you meet your goal.  

“I believe that passion is at the heart of great work. If you are passionate about the problem you are working to solve, doors will open up for you.” said Shailesh Kumar, SVP of Engineering at project management app creator ClickUp.  

4. Consider What You Want to Do  

Sometimes you must step outside your comfort zone and consider what you want to do, over what you have to do. E.G. Nadhan, Global Architect Leader at software firm Red Hat says that having a “startup” mindset helps make this much-needed pivot in your career.  

5. Have Agility 

It’s important to adapt to ever-changing technologies in your office and career field so your skills can stay fresh. President of StarCIO Isaac Sacolick tells The Enterprisers Project that it’s necessary to continue investing in learning and relationship-building to get out of the rut. As leader of a business transformation consulting firm, Sacolick also knows the importance of being open to feedback.

6. Envision the future  

Taking a step back and asking yourself where you want to be in the next five years helps you prioritize your career goals. Collaborating with family and friends who can toss ideas around is a good way to find direction. Author Vicky Oliver (301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions) emphasizes the importance of facing your fears.  

“Never be afraid to take baby steps — possibly twenty of them — to achieve the career pivot of your dreams,” she said.  

Read more about how you can get out of the rut on The Enterprisers Project.  

Tess Vigeland tells Time Magazine how to dig yourself out of a career rut.


Montgomery County Community College, the sponsor of MONTCO.Today’s Career Corner offers more than 100 associate’s degree and certificate programs at the college’s Blue Bell, Pottstown, The Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale campuses, and online.

Funded by Montgomery County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and student tuition, Montgomery County Community college offers a high-quality, affordable, accessible education that leads to relevant, rewarding transfer and career opportunities.

Take advantage of all the College has to offer — from challenging educational and professional development opportunities to stimulating activities and cultural programs. Their doors are always open.

Learn more about the College’s degrees and programs or plan an in-person visit to get a firsthand look at the College’s state-of-the-art facilities and friendly campus life. 

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