I hear this question frequently when clients contact me. This question is often accompanied by the belief that everyone else seems to know exactly what they want to do, that they have taken all the right steps and have chosen "wisely" in terms of career.
The perception that everyone else has landed their ideal job or is comfortably settled in a "successful" career for the duration of their working lives is quite common.
In reality, feeling stuck over career choices and career development post high school and post University/College is common. Feeling stuck when we are not fulfilled in our careers/jobs is in fact common. Feeling stuck when we are mid-career and we are facing a career transition (chosen or forced upon us) is increasingly common. And feeling stuck when we have reached retirement age and unsure as to how we can continue being engaged is also common.
Is it okay to feel stuck? Yes!
It reminds us that the natural movement of our lives includes contemplating new possibilities, weighing choices, making decisions and shifting direction.
It nudges us to take pause, take stalk of our experiences and what we value, and to bring fresh perspective to our capacities, expertise and our growth.
It provides the space to acknowledge the different stages of our lives and to leverage the different versions of ourselves throughout our working lives.
It gives us the opportunity to reflect on our definitions of meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling work and how these change throughout our lives.
It gives us a moment to ask ourselves: "what do I want to be involved in right now"? "what is my unique value at this stage in my work/professional life"? "what would I like to develop further at this point in my life"? "how do I want to contribute going forward"?
Taking some time to discover what we are experiencing when we are stuck, deepens our self-awareness, helps us gather information and gain perspective on our present lives. Taking pause to reflect helps us to accept the movement of our lives. It helps to remind us that we are actively and creatively engaged in our life-long relationship with work. And it helps us to weigh choices and make decisions we can stand behind.
Feeling stuck? Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a 25 minute consultation call and to receive more information on how an integrative and existential approach to career counseling can assist you in moving forward.