No-one wants a dead-end job. Why would anyone search out a job, go through training, and show up every day if they knew it was going nowhere. Even when you are in a job you need for financial reasons, there is no reason not to move forward. Moving forward in your career is important, no matter where you are at the moment. Becoming stagnant is never the answer.
Here are steps you can take to maximize your potential:
1. Think about where you want to be in the long run. Have a plan, but make it flexible. Look at it from time to time to see if it still lines up with your goals. Have a loose five, ten, and twenty-year plan. Simple or detailed, it should simply serve as something to keep you moving forward.
2. Figure out what you can control. If the things you can control are in disarray, focus on putting them back in order.
3. Keep learning. There is a saying: “the more you know, the more you grow.” This is true in your career. Having more skills and knowledge will both make your job easier and ensure that you impress your current employer or your future boss.
4. Talk to your boss. There is never harm in asking the boss how you are doing and if you can do anything better. How will you know, if you don’t ask? If you don’t know, how can you improve?
5. Do not focus only on today. Sure, today may be drudgery, but focus on the goal. Keep your objective in your eye line, and you will get there.
6. Learn what your weaknesses are. Once you know and understand your weaknesses, you can come up with solutions that compensate for them. It is better to know your weaknesses and acknowledged them than it is to pretend they do not exist.
7. On the other hand, know your strengths. And when you understand your strengths, you should get out there and use them. If you have a talent, show it off!
8. Find a mentor. Learning from the experience of someone who has been where you are now is invaluable.
9. Network! You never know when you’ll need that connection in the future, so make the most of all opportunities for meeting people who may become critical contacts.
10. Stay positive. Moving forward in any career can be demoralizing at times, but if you can maintain a positive attitude despite the challenges, you will move more surely toward your destination.