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Why you Feel Career Stuck when you want a Career Change

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Why you Feel Career Stuck when you want a Career Change

If you start a career today, you are likely to experience a career change 5 times and have 17 jobs over your lifetime.

You are probably surprised at that prediction. The whole idea of career change can sound scary. The practical steps to career transition may have you feeling stuck what to do and how to go about it.

The idea of changing careers should not be such a scary task. Change itself is something we are all tolerating and must tolerate daily. COVID-19 is an example of an extreme change we are having to negotiate.

We all now hold daily change in our hands. Our handheld phones alert us to the latest change in the News, Facebook, Instagram etc. Technology, Politics, Environment and our Society are constantly changing.

Your family and you as an individual are changing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

So it is expected that jobs and careers will naturally follow these changes. We cannot expect them not to change.

If change is happening all around us, why don’t people know what to do. Why do they feel career stuck?


Career skills haven’t been taught to navigate the complexities of the interaction of all the above changes with their own life, as the script of career has changed dramatically.

The Career Script


The script that was handed to you from your parents and grandparents went like this:

Choose one Career, stick to it, get promoted and you will have that Career for Life.

This idea came from the 20th century and has played out for generations. In the 20th century, people moved from the farms to the cities where institutions, corporations and organisations developed.

It was within these institutions the worker would gain work, structure, predictability, and security.

Your career progressed in a linear fashion. Through loyalty and hard work you would have been expected to be promoted via the career ladder.

Your career path was laid out for you by somebody else. You moved through your personal life stages in a predictable fashion knowing you always had a job and financial security.

Typically you went to school, university, left the family home, married, raised a family, retired, got your gold watch and/or pension and then you would die. Pretty easy and straightforward.


Well, the problem is that we are now in the 21st century and the career script has been torn up!

It’s simply outdated and is causing anxiety and stress among many Generation Y and Generation X workers.

Unfortunately, this script is what many are hanging onto when making career decisions.

It’s time to talk about this and set the record straight. There has been a fundamental shift in the reality of the workplace. It is mismatched against the expectations of current workers.

The Global Shift

Let’s start at the beginning when things started to change.

In the 1990s globalisation opened markets, competition and the free flow of goods and services across continents.

Worldwide economics changed in a major way that challenged our local institutions to supply new goods/services to new markets.

In doing so, they could no longer operate based on the structures they had created for a local domestic market.

They had to change.

career change

Redundancies & downsizing resulted and to this day continues to happen.

This is not going to change, it is now part of the working landscape we all have to accept.

With new international supply chains being opened, this created new job opportunities that would see the start of job change for many local workers.

For example, it was typical to see workers from the construction and engineering industries in the late 90’s and early 2000’s leave Australia, live and work in another OECD country.

They were highly sought after for their expertise & skills. Many left to take advantage of these new job opportunities.

In 1999–2003, there were around three Australian-born people aged 15 years and over living in another OECD country for every 100 Australian-born people in that age group living in Australia.

Career Changes

For the past 10 years, Job Change has continued with many seeking out different employers both locally and overseas. What is emerging now, however, is a new trend of making a complete career change.

Career change takes the next step of dismantling the idea of a Career for Life.

While globalisation redefined institutions, the rise of the internet has eroded the idea of a job for life. Gone are the days that an institution will give you the career path you expect it gave your parents and grandparents.

The internet is an even playing field for anybody and anyone to be an institution and take part in the demand and supply chain across the world.

The career options and possibilities you have available to you now are so diverse but at the same time, they can be confusing and overwhelming.

Simply, there is an abundance of choice available to you and you now are the institution!

Feeling Stuck

No wonder you feel stuck. All this outside change would have anybody confused about what to do.

The economics of work carries more risk and uncertainty than ever before. Many people are not equipped with the right career tools and strategies to navigate the rough seas.

Nobody is telling you what to do with your career.

You don’t have a predictable timeline of what job you will have, which gives you no security to plan other things in your life.

Related: Career Development & Career Path Planning Matters in 2018 at Every Age- Find Out Why

Take Action

The biggest mistake I see people make is to postpone making any decisions about their own career paths.

They still are under the illusion that the organisation will look after them in the long term.

You are now the institution and it is up to you to take control of your own career change.

But remember nobody expects you to be an island. If you don’t have the skills, reach out and get support and assistance.

In the age of knowledge abundance, don’t expect an internet search engine to be your career advisor, and provide you with personalised solutions you need to move forward.

You are an individual different from others, you have your own career story to date and there are many complexities and layers to your unique career situation.

Getting people unstuck needs a comprehensive approach. With lots of discussion & other activities, you can see how you can fit into this new way of working.

Understanding how to write the next chapter of your individual career story is an empowering feeling.

8 in 10 People Hate their Job

People are becoming bored, dissatisfied and unfulfilled in their careers and jobs.

The work they once enjoyed has become routine. There is no longer any challenge.

Worldwide the rate of disengaged workers is a whopping 87% reported by Gallup.

That means 8 in 10 people hate their job, feel trapped and stuck in a rut.

To escape the pain, they hang out for annual leave entitlements and spend big on holidays for some rest, relaxation and pleasure.

When they return they are back to the job they hate and recycle through the whole process year after year until something jolts them.

Related: 7 Signs of Work-Related Extreme Stress & Potential Work Burnout

Don’t wait till somebody taps you on the shoulder and hands your last payslip.

If you are thinking of Career Change, know that it is a process and it involves learning new skills.

The goalposts in the new world of work have shifted and will continue to shift.

If you are serious about improving your lifestyle or work satisfaction remember two things:

1. The old Career Path script has been torn up

2. It’s your responsibility to adapt and learn what is required to increase your chances for a meaningful and secure livelihood to look after yourself and your family.

If you want a career change, what do you feel is stopping you?