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What to Do When You Feel Stagnant in Your Civilian Career

What to Do When You Feel Stagnant in Your Civilian Career

Earning a paycheck and pursuing a career can be two very different things. If you aren't advancing in your line of work you'll inevitably start feeling frustrated. Many people are so focused on doing a good job that they don't realize competence just isn't enough. In fact, that's what's expected of you. Advancing your career is about taking advantage of opportunities, even if you have to make them yourself. Here are some ways to revitalize your interest and make some progress.

Ask for More Responsibility

If you want greater challenges and more respect, look for opportunities to take on a larger role or make a bigger impact. Take some initiative and propose some ideas for change. If you have some suggestions to save money or improve output, and the data to back them up, pitch your ideas. You could also offer to mentor new hires, or network and try to take part in teams or projects that are generating some buzz around the office.

Learn Additional Skills

If you feel you need new skills or credentials to improve your value, get them. Take college courses, certificate programs, exams, or whatever else you need to do to build the skillsets that are in demand. You might even want to consider enrolling in an online MBA program so that you can go to work in the day while increasing your education on the side. It isn't always easy. Passing the charter financial analyst exams, for instance, can take 300 hours of study. This kind of proven expertise, however, can boost your earning power for the rest of your life.

Start a Sideline

If your real idea of success is being your own boss, consider using your spare time and money to develop an income source that suits your talents and interests. Every entrepreneur tends to start small. Bill Gates started Microsoft out of his garage. You can also get small business loans for operating capital. You might want to keep your day job at first, but if it's something you enjoy, learning to operate your own business can become your career focus.

Change Jobs

Often a change of jobs, or even careers, is in order. If you feel like you have limited opportunities at your current company, or have stepped on the wrong toes, you should look for something more promising. Take a good look at your resume. With the right education, you could start a more promising career in management, finance, or marketing.

Don't allow your career prospects to slip away. New skills and new goals can provide just the right combination to fire up your motivation.

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