No matter how “together” people may seem, we all feel overwhelmed at times. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just launched a new career, or have been in the same industry for a dozen years, sometimes we will encounter a situation where we find ourselves “stuck.”
Being “stuck,” isn’t a problem, but staying “stuck” is. Research indicates that people are more reluctant to ask for help or advice in a professional setting for fear of losing their credibility. The reality is we all get stuck! So, reaching out for help is a necessity if you want to continue to grow in your career.
When you’re at a professional (or personal) crossroads, and you’re not sure about what to do, here are a few other strategies to try:
1. Talk to someone who is one chapter ahead of you.
Chances are you have at least one friend or colleague who has also been overwhelmed and yet figured out a solution. Daniel Gilbert, Ph.D., of Harvard University, advises in his book Stumbling on Happiness that if we don’t know how to make a decision, we should talk to someone who has just made that decision.
2. Take baby steps.
Look for the smallest step that could have the biggest positive impact or difference. The power is that it focuses us on what we can change—now.
3. Step away.
Take a break. Just when you think you can’t get up from your desk, that’s exactly what you need to do. Remove yourself from the work; it’ll still be there when you return. Go for a walk; being out in nature has been found to have a calming effect. Go to the gym. Meditate for five minutes. The point is to do something you enjoy. You will return to your work feeling refreshed and with a renewed perspective.