Career and Money Advice At The Intersection Of Business And Technology

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8 Things you should do if you feel stuck in your career

January 14th, 2009 · 2 Comments

  1. Take a Outward Bound wilderness course.  From over protected teenagers to stressed-out young professionals who are having quarter life crisis to mid-career professionals who are searching for purpose and meaning, I have known people from all age groups telling me that their Outward Bound experiences were transformational and life-changing. If you’re a mid-career professional, I particularly recommend Outward Bound’s Adult Renewal courses. If you’re fed up with what you’re doing, and thinking about traveling or escaping to graduate/MBA/LAW school, give Outward Bound a try first. It’s cheaper than these other options, and it’s such an intense experience that it could really help you. 
  2. If you live and work in one of those pressure cookers such as Silicon Valley, New York City or LA, consider moving to a more affordable and laid back environment for a year or two. I went to school and lived and worked in the Silicon Valley for 12 years. I now live in the Pacific Northwest. I miss my friends, family, innovation and entrepreneurial drive in the bay area. But, I have to say that the Pacific Northwest is much better for raising a family and achieve a balanced life. There are just so much pressure to "make it" in the Silicon Valley. I’ve nothing against it, and I’m striving for financial independence myself. But, I just think that when an environment are so competitive and intense, it could get a little bit toxic. Moving to a smaller, more relaxed environment will give you a different perspective. 
  3. Start writing a blog. Use blog to organize your thoughts, share your struggles, and connect with others. Since I started, it’s amazing how many people have written to me and connect with me. You’re not alone — there are a lot of people who share your concerns, struggles, and aspirations. Put yourself out there. Blogging is therapeutic. 
  4. Pursue a goal that you’re passionate about, but not related to your career interest. For example, let’s say you work in marketing in high tech (which you are getting tired of), but you’re very passionate about martial art. Set a goal to get a black belt in Taekwondo. Work hard to achieve your goal. The key here is to make sure you pursue something you’re truly passionate about. This goal will serve as a healthy distraction — you need a break from your daily grind.
  5. Explore alternative career options. I once had a coworker who worked as product manager for several years, but she really wanted to become a message therapist. She took a few message therapist classes on the side, got herself certified, and started taking on clients on a part-time basis. She then took a maternity leave. She never came back to work in high tech — she had enough clients that she started working as a full-time message therapist. If you’re really sick of your current option, come up with a plan to explore alternative options. Take classes. Start doing it on a part-time basis.
  6. If you know what you want to do, make the career switch now. Life is too short. Stop being a "working dead". Read this inspiring story of a former McKinsey consultant who became a full-time school teacher and children books’ author.
  7. Read biographies. I wouldn’t read those self-promoting autobiographies written by egoistic CEOs and entrepreneurs. I’d focus on thoroughly researched biographies written by serious biographers. My favorites are Benjamin Franklin: An American Life , Andrew Carnegie ,Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life , and Damn Right! Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger
  8. Talk to people who you normally wouldn’t talk to. Talk to a religious person if you’re agnostic. Talk to a atheist if you’re religious. Talk to people who are older than you. Talk to people who are younger than you. If you’re in high tech, talk to artists, doctors, teachers, handyman, police, government workers, etc. You get the idea – we all operate in our own small worlds. Go out and learn more from others. You do have other options; you just have to explore.

Tags: Career Transition · Frustration@Work

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Antonio Helm // Jul 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    I liked the article and loved the site thank you

  • 2 Antonio Helm // Jul 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    I liked the article and loved the site thank you

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