Whether you’re a recent college graduate or you’ve been working in the business world for years, you might have reached a point in your career where you feel you have stalled. When this happens, you might need to do something to jumpstart your career. One or more of the suggestions below might be just what you need to get moving again.
Strong networking skills are a critical component to success in business, but not everyone is great at it to start with or knows how to make the necessary connections. Professional organizations and alumni networks are good ways to get to know more people along with, of course, taking the opportunities you can at work to socialize outside of the office. You might want to set goals for the networking events you attend.
You may decide that tonight you are going to meet six new people. If you struggle to introduce yourself to people, think of some icebreakers. Complimenting people can be a good start. Another common networking failure is not following up. Stay in touch with people that you meet, and don’t be afraid to ask for something that you want.
Get an MBA
Getting an MBA is a big step, but in some industries, it is necessary to advance beyond a certain point. In other industries, it is not a requirement and may not be held in as high regard as experience is, so make sure that you know whether and how an MBA fits into your career path. You also should have some work experience before applying for an MBA, and most good programs will expect this.
The right program at the right time in your career in the right industry can be life-changing, opening up a whole new set of possibilities. Professional school isn’t cheap and isn’t usually funded the way an academic pathway would be, so if your company isn’t one that will pay for you to pursue an MBA, you may want to look into taking out a student loan from a private lender. One advantage of getting MBA student loans over your undergraduate loans is that you have probably built up a credit record at this point, and if yours is good, you should have some options with favorable interest rates.
Consult a professional
Sometimes, it takes an outsider to help you pinpoint what the issue is. Consider working with a career counselor or life coach to help you identify the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, what is holding you back, what your goals are and what you need to do to reach them.
Go it alone
Sometimes, that sense of dissatisfaction is not a sign that you need to move up or change jobs but that it’s time to strike out on your own. This isn’t a career goal for everyone—some people dream of being a Fortune 500 CEO, not an entrepreneur—but it might be for you. If you are feeling hemmed in at your present company and as though your ideas and skills aren’t being utilized, starting your own business might be the answer.