You’ve graduated, secured the first job out of school, which may have opened the door to a second job that has been a better fit or pays better. Are you sitting in a cubicle with golden handcuffs, or has your job evolution led you down a significantly different path than you were envisioning in school? Another area of “stuckness” is attrition, so many companies are trying to save money by not rehiring when an employee quits, teams are picking up the pieces of that vacant position. You are now wearing so many hats, you can’t even remember your original job.

Stuck in your career? Here are 5 steps to get you unstuck

The key to all of this is to remember two things: 1.) This is simply a phase in your life; you are not stuck here forever. 2.) You are your own advocate for change, it’s entirely up to you. Here are some steps to help you move forward:

1.) Make a list of the things that make you happy. Is it data crunching? Solving problems? Writing? Drawing? Designing? Coaching? Athletic activities? Write down anything and everything at this point.

2.) Narrow the list to the things that you like/love about your job. Include things as inconsequential as the benefits package or your parking spot etc.

3.) Make a list of the things you dislike/hate about your job.

In these lists, can you see a pattern or a theme of who you are and what makes you tick? Is there an opportunity to salvage your current job by dropping a few things or discussing a management position? Really spend some time with these lists and envision wearing a new hat what does that look like?

4.) Visualize where you are going and create a road map to get there. Work on developing your brand and advertise it. Ask a mentor or someone who’s career you admire and respect, to meet with you for a cup of coffee to discuss their career paths. Be a sponge and listen how it all worked out for them.

5.) This process may take a little time, don’t quit your current job until you have something else lined up. If you think you have troubles now, wait until you have no paycheck coming in and no prospects on the horizon.

Again, I go back to the two points, this is simply a phase of your life, you are standing on the precipice of change, only you can bring that change to your life. Go get some!