Career Advice: Stuck in Rut?

A buddy of mine from my college days called up. We haven’t chatted in years. As we were catching up, he told me (obscuring details) that he’s living in a really nice area doing some work that he does enjoy, but he’s kind of in a rut. He wasn’t sure what to do, because that area doesn’t have a great job market, so he’d have to cut back significantly in order to get by with something else. I’ve been there. Here’s part of what I said:

As we began talking, I said something that he really liked:

You have to work hard toward everything in life.

Nothing is truly free.

Working hard is a discount toward what you want.

His life of work current involves helping out people, but he’s found – as I’ve found with my career path, and others have found that have told me – that a majority of people just want handouts and freebies. They’re not willing to put in the work.

For example, a personal trainer confided disillusionment in me with the work because he tried everything he could to get people to follow a diet. He even presented reasonable options, like if they enjoyed pizza, he’d incorporate pizza into their weekly diet so they could still enjoy life and get results. They’d still cheat on their diets. They’d still expect the results of losing weight without hard work and sacrifice.

I told my friend that I didn’t want to tell him what to do with his future because then it would be easy to blame me if anything should go wrong. In situations like this, you really have to sit down at length with where you’re at in life. I frequently assess my mess. As often as I can. Do I like how my life is going? Do I feel regret toward not doing more or something else? Do I have the courage to change what you don’t like? Is this good or great?

I left the conversation with that, since I didn’t want to influence his decision.


Since you may have already decided that you’re in a rut, here are some actionable items to help:

  • Map out your week.
    • How many hours do you spend in recreation?
    • How many hours are spent doing what you must to survive?
    • How many of those hours can you sacrifice to change your future?
    • What are you willing to give up to change your future?
  • Determine the level of change you need.
    • How much are you willing to sacrifice?
    • Not much: What few things change you change?
    • Some stuff: How much are you willing to change?
    • Going “All In:” What’s holding you back, then?
  • Make goals that work for you.
    • How much can you reduce?
    • What are you willing to completely give up?
    • How much are you willing to step outside your comfort zone?
    • Where do you want to be at the end of 2017?

Don’t make a fashionable new year’s resolution.

Make bettering yourself every day your daily resolution.


Author: Zombiepaper (Anthony)

My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)

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