Your career doesnít have to be a life sentence. Gone are the days when people stayed in the same job their entire careers, in fact recent studies indicate that the average worker will switch careers and not just jobs, several times over the course of their life. So how do you know when youíre stuck in the mud? Alan Patterson, Senior Commercial Consultant of Carlton Resource Solutions gives advice on how to get motivated, get out of the rut and find a new position.

Don't forget to register to attend the Biggest Online Recruitment Event of the Year - click here and complete the form and a member of the Onrec.com team will be in touch

Alan says, ìOne of the most difficult challenges people can encounter in their professional careers is admitting that theyíve reached a plateau. Most people feel like this at some point throughout the course of their working life and let career opportunities pass by for fear of change.

ìYou should realise that when you drag your feet to the office, feel unchallenged at work or lack a clear picture of where your career is headed, this lack of motivation will affect your personal life also. If you feel that you are stuck in a job rut then this could be the perfect opportunity to take stock and pursue a new career direction, change jobs or build on your existing skills.î

Alan identifies tell tale signs that you are stuck in the mud:

You drag yourself out of bed every morning, dreading another day at work and count the days until the weekend.

You feel underappreciated, underpaid and overworked.

You feel that the next rung on the corporate ladder is out of your reach and question if it is in fact the right ladder to be climbing.

Your outlook has become extremely negative and cynical against anything work related.

You look at your watch every 10 minutes, awaiting the 5 oíclock whistle.

You find excuses to spend more time dealing with non-business related matters in work time.

You find it difficult be enthusiastic or concentrate on tasks and are bored most of the time.

You feel that your talents are not being put to their best use and youíre not being given the opportunity to demonstrate your skills.

ìIndividually, these points do not indicate complete job burnout, but if you can relate to a few, then you could be in danger of slipping into a job rut. When it comes to getting ëunstuckí, the onus is on you to make the change.î

Alan gives some pointers on how to get out of the job rut:

Advance your skill set
Pursue avenues which will assist you in developing your professional skills and keep you challenged intellectually. Universities and colleges offer a range of business education courses - with many of them allowing you to study online. By expanding your qualifications and developing new skills, you will open up a wealth of new career opportunities and possibly increase your chances of a promotion.

Change will do you good
Despite your best efforts, sometimes the only way to get out of the rut is to take on an objective look at your situation. Do you feel you are in the right profession, do you want a new challenge and do you feel that you would be presented with better opportunities for growth at another company? If so, then fire yourself up and drive the hunt for a new job.

If you are still unsure which waters to tread, then go over your career goals with a consultant at a recruitment agency. They will assist you in looking at your various job options and help you build your CV to highlight your strengths and experience.

Look sideways
A career move doesnít have to be about leaving to go to another company and job advancement is no longer just based on moving up the ranks. Sometimes it is about moving across the ranks and taking a sideways move. This sort of change can provide you with the opportunity to develop your expertise and understanding of the challenges in other departments. Also, reaching the next rung on the career ladder isnít always what it is cracked up to be as in reality it can take you away from what it is that you enjoy doing.

Alan concludes, ìThe notion of a job for life has in many respects gone. Over twenty years ago, many people would have expected to leave school or university and stayed in the same job until retirement. The trend today however, sees more short term contracts, career changes, part time work and freelancing. For those that are stuck in that rut but are nervous about stepping out into the unknown should not give into frustration. Instead, take a few steps in a new direction and you may find your rut becomes a route to a more rewarding and satisfying career.î

Recruiting for a wide range of technical and non-technical opportunities, Carlton, established in 1981, matches candidates to employers across the full spectrum of occupations in the accountancy and finance, commercial, HR and training, industrial, information technology, technical and engineering disciplines, in both public sector and other corporate environments.