6 Ways to Get Out of a Work Rut


1. Get to the root of your issues
Were you looked over for a promotion? Received a less than stellar evaluation? Working through office tension? Usually the shift in your attitude was trigged by an event. Think about when your mindset changed and address it. You need to find the root of the problem before you can fix it.

Blaming others will not help you get out of the situation. Be honest with yourself about how you could handle matters differently. The only person you can control is you. Focusing on the future instead of the past could give you a healthier outlook.

2. Ask for new responsibilities
You may feel that you hit a wall in your job. However, your current position doesn’t have to be the end of the road. Talk to your manager about ways you could add value to the agency. Be specific in the tasks/areas you are willing to take on so the additional workload doesn’t become a burden. Showcasing new skills could lead you to your next position inside or outside of your organization.

3. Weigh your work options
Ask yourself why you took the position as a starting point. Write down the aspects that you like and don’t about your job. Compare the list. Maybe you have evolved and realize more of what you want, or don’t want, in your career. Consider what you value most and which position best lines up with your goals.

4. Find a mentor
A mentor could guide you with organizational and industry knowledge. He or she could offer an objective point of view. Your mentor could help you learn from his or her own successes and failures. Seek out someone you respect with a great reputation.

Featured Blogger Hannah Cooper gave sound advice in her blog post “5 tips to become a great mentor”.  An ideal match for you should exhibit these traits.

5. Take some time off work
Personal problems could affect your ability to perform at work. It’s a challenge, but not impossible to keep the two areas of your life separate. Use some personal time off to relieve stress if you can. PTO could help you get out of the day-to-day work rut.

The holidays are approaching and you could extend your weekend with an extra day or two.  I blogged about some signs in my post “3 flags that show you need a work timeout.”

6. Explore other opportunities
It may be time for you to move on to a new position. Explore new opportunities but not to the detriment of your current job. Look for other positions on your own time.

Proceed with caution with your job search and social media posts. Think about what you stand to gain and lose before accepting a new role. The salary could be higher, you’re your out-of-pocket insurance costs could be as well.

Camille Doty is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Francesca El-Attrash

Great post Camille! Really helpful list to keep handy right there. I think there’s always a rut we hit at some point in our professional journey.