Is Your Career Stuck in Gridlock?
Change your GPS
by Peter C. Diamond
The end of each year brings the promise of the next. However, like many
others, you may struggle with a stalled career or lack of personal and
professional growth. The prospect of initiating change is daunting. This is
particularly true if you’re looking for a job, wanting to change companies or
start a new career.
When times are good, you are charging forward on autopilot without much
thought. You are positive and future focused. When times are bad, you suddenly
feel as though you are stuck in neutral or worse yet reverse. You quickly become
mired in negative thoughts and lose perspective and hope about the future. This
can easily show up in your attitude and how you present yourself. People want to
hire and be around people who are positive and will bring a good attitude to
Finding your way out of career and life gridlock requires you to reset your
internal GPS to Good - Present - Space.
GOOD: Focus on the positive and the good in your life. To help you get started,
visualize where you have been and where you are heading by creating a diagram of
your Life Arc. On a piece of paper, plot your career and life milestones from
your twenties, thirties, forties, and beyond.
Reflect on past work and life experiences where you’ve been fulfilled and
successful. What were you doing, with whom and how were you being to create that
success? When were you enjoying life the most? When were you having a positive
impact on others? When were you feeling the most fulfilled?
This provides a visual snapshot of your career progression focusing on the good.
Viewed in its entirety these experiences create a compelling story for you to
tell about your accomplishment and the value you bring to an organization. Now,
what do you want more of in the future? What’s your desired outcome for the new
year? This could be a new challenge, improved work environment, more
responsibility or learning a new skill.
With this in hand, starting today, you always want to talk positively about
yourself, current and past employers and what you want in the future. This new
habit is life and career affirming.
PRESENT: Concentrate on the here and now and what you can impact in the present.
Today is the only day that matters. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity
to accomplish something. The more action you take today the greater chance for
results. Action creates satisfaction.
Identify one small step that you can do today that creates forward momentum
toward your desired outcome. To lock in this commitment, write it down and keep
it in a visible location. This will make it real and increase the likelihood of
making it happen.
Once completed, identify another step and follow this pattern. Completing a
series of small commitments is manageable and will add up over time.
SPACE: Let go of burdens and baggage weighing you down. Emotional energy is a
precious commodity. In order to make room for the good, you’ll need to let go of
the bad. That may require you to forgive others as well as yourself. This should
include any wrongs from previous employers. You may have a long list of what you
would of done differently. But the truth is, the past is just that: the past.
While it played a role in where you are today, it is not an indicator of the
future, especially if you have a commitment to change. The release of this
emotional energy will allow you to create space for the good you want to bring
into your life. The past is history and no reflection of that you can do in the
Listen to your “good” inner voice. You have a good inner voice along with the
not-so-good one. The latter will cast doubt and distract you from acting on your
commitments. The good one focuses on your potential and prospects for achieving
future success. When doubts creep into your mind, as they are bound to do,
simply let them pass through and replace them with something that lifts your
spirits. This could be a past success as noted on your life arc or someone or
something thing that brings a smile to your face.
Resetting your GPS shouldn’t be a solo mission, enlist help. Surround yourself
with people who are positive, have a good attitude and want to help. While it
may not be easy for you to ask for support, all you have to do is put yourself
out there and allow others to assist you.
Getting out of career gridlock takes commitment, motivation and self-discipline.
With some focused attention and a shift in attitude you will open yourself up to
opportunities and create situations that will ease and hopefully release your
state of gridlock.
Peter C. Diamond, “The Amplify Guy”, is the author of
Amplify Your Career and
Life: 4 Steps to Evaluate, Assess and Move Forward. He is a professionally
trained, certified coach. He works with hundreds of senior-level executives and
others to guide them through change, ranging from navigating career shifts and
creating better work-life fulfillment to greater career and leadership
enlightenment, and renewed self-respect. His corporate clients include Leo
Burnett, United Airlines, National Association of Realtors, Razorfish,
mcgarrybowen, Fresenius Kabi, PVS Chemicals, Human Rights Watch and
Intelligentsia Coffee. For more information, please visit
and connect with him on Twitter, @petercdiamond.