Rebecca Dallek: Moving Past “Stuck”

This week, we feature two stories about women who were somewhat “stuck” in terms of the direction their careers should take. Karen Lehrer reinvented herself twice, moving from fashion to counseling psychology before she finally returned to her passion for design and painting. Erja Järvelä, our first non-US based story to be posted tomorrow, spent 16 years with Finnish mobile telecoms giant Nokia before finding her way to shamanism and a career as an energy healer and health coach.

The theme of being “stuck” has come up a few times in the stories we have profiled so we thought to reach out to Career and Leadership Coach Rebecca Dallek and ask her perspective on the subject. Here’s what she has to say:

Rebecca Dallek“Stuck” is the most common word I hear from my clients. Below I outline the top 10 reasons clients find themselves unmoving when a change is necessary.

  • The crack (I mean the pay) is good. A highly inflated salary can be very hard to leave behind.
  • It is better than it was before. Past jobs were really bad and this one is better than bad.
  • The market is bad so you figure you might as well just hunker down.
  • Inertia. When you work a full time job, it can be hard to motivate yourself to do anything beyond your day-to-day.
  • You don’t know what steps to take to change careers so you do nothing.
  • Changes sounds great but you don’t know what career you want next.
  • There are too many careers and you can’t choose so you don’t.
  • You figure the devil you know is probably better than the devil you don’t know.
  • Your friends complain about their jobs too so you figure it is normal to dislike your career.
  • FEAR is the number one reason people don’t make a career move. Fear can be paralyzing for all of us and keeps us immobilized for years or a lifetime.

If you answered with an “amen” or “that sounds like me” to any of the above, you may want to reevaluate. Remember, we’re working longer than ever before and staying stuck can last a very long time. See if you can prove your stuck statement wrong. Can you find a friend who loves their job or a career changer who walked away from the money and is happier, overall?

Understand that fear is a powerful foe. Break the change into small and manageable pieces. Start with research and information gathering. Eventually those baby steps might turn into a big change.

As far as I know, we only live once. A change is not going to fall out of the sky. You are the only one who will make the change happen. Take any action at all to move yourself forward. Thinking does not count as an action!

For further reading, I recommend Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath

Feel free to email me with questions or comments

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