Are you feeling unsatisfied or stuck in your career? You aren’t the only one. Studies show that only half of North America employees are satisfied with their job. What’s worse is that only 26.3 and 37.5 percent, respectively, are satisfied with the promotion policy and potential for growth. Getting “unstuck” requires effort on your part, whether that means asking for a promotion or raise, networking for a new career opportunity, or breaking away on your own and starting a business. The following tips should help:
If You Stick With Your Career
Make Yourself Promotable
You work hard and put in the time, but you still get passed up for promotions. According to Forbes, the reason could be that women spend more time on non-promotable tasks (tasks that don’t contribute to your performance evaluation and advancement) than men do. Pay attention to what jobs and achievements tend to result in promotions, or ask your manager what you can do to advance to the next rung on the ladder.
Ask for a Raise the Right Way
Asking your boss for a raise might be as enjoyable as a trip to the dentist, but it’s a necessity if you want to get what you deserve and break free of the cliché parameters women feel bound by. Practice what you’ll say to exude confidence, and make sure your request clearly states how you are performing at the salary level you are asking for to support the raise. Remember, it’s a negotiation, so you might not receive exactly what you are asking for, but don’t let yourself get talked out of what you want, either.
If You Want a Career Switch
Network, Network, Network
Should you decide to switch companies or careers, you’re already aware that you’ll need to job search, but don’t underestimate the power of networking. Nurture the connections you’ve made, and seek out new ones in your desired field or place of work, including senior leaders, hiring managers, information holders, and mentors. Attend networking events, but don’t be afraid to establish a conversation via LinkedIn.
Schedule Job Interviews Appropriately
If you are working full time, you might think it’s impossible to schedule an interview. Ask for as many phone interviews as possible to your level of interest and job fit, only scheduling an in-person interview for those jobs you are serious about. Schedule interviews before or after work (asking for time off or using sick days if necessary), but be willing to reschedule if your request can’t be granted on that particular day.
If You Want to Become an Entrepreneur
Create a Test Website
If you decide to quit the 9-to-5 grind completely and become an entrepreneur, create a landing page first to gauge interest in your product or service. Create a basic website with a consistent theme, and be sure to add an option for email signup or third-party identification, such as Facebook (Mailchimp is a popular one). You’ll need a host for your website as well. A great one for new and small businesses is SiteGround, which has options to meet all your needs, including cloud and WordPress hosting in addition to shared, VPS, and dedicated servers. The packages are affordable too, which is a plus when you are in the testing stage.
Explore Female-Oriented Funding
Funding is a major part of launching a business, but using your own personal funds or a bank loan might not be enough. A great avenue to look into is grants. While there are federal and state grants you can explore using resources such as the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), there are several private grants (some for women specifically) worth examining. Check out this list courtesy of Entrepreneur.com for some potential grant opportunities.
When it comes to your career, feeling stuck isn’t a good feeling at all. You have options, including taking the necessary actions to move up the career ladder in your current position or a new one altogether, or branching off on your own and starting a business. Rather than hope for the best, take initiative and decide your next steps.
Guest Post by Julie Morris
Life and Career Coach