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How to Move Forward at a Career Crossroads

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
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Across the course of your career, you might have found yourself at a crossroads: Faced with a situation that’s driving you to make a change, you had to make a choice—and you were torn about what to do.

Maybe you were employed at a company with a fairly flat organization structure. Or you worked in a specialized technical area with limited advancement opportunities. In either scenario, you had nowhere to move in your career.

You might have been passed over again for a promotion while you watched your peers advance, so you had to decide whether to stay and wait for the next opportunity or leave the company. You could have been in a dead-end job. Your day-to-day work was well below what you felt capable of. You weren’t being challenged and your skills weren’t being used.

You might remember several crossroads you’ve faced . . . and you might still feel some of the emotions from that time. You are living the outcomes that resulted from the decisions you made. That’s what makes these crossroads so emotional and stressful—they can be pivotal turning points and have a profound impact on your life.

It’s not always easy to know the best decision or right path to take because you can’t predict what will happen in the future. The stress from facing a crossroads can impact your physical health, mental health, relationships at work and at home, and the quality of your work.

Getting on the Right Path to Move FORWARD

What if you could change your situation? What if you could avoid taking the wrong path, making the wrong decision, and burning bridges in the process? What if you could use this crossroads to bring positive outcomes for yourself?

If you feel like you’re on the wrong path, you can recover and get back on track.

The key is getting the emotion out of the way and taking intentional, proven steps to move FORWARD. Get yourself on the best path for your situation at this point in time. Here’s how to do that:

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Follow Your Gut
Decide it’s time to make a change. Indecision will cause you to fall further behind.

Objectively Evaluate Your Situation
Look at all sides of the situation to see a clear path forward.

Reframe Your Stress
Recognize how the stress you’re going through is impacting your well-being. Reframe your stress to use it to generate energy rather than deplete it.

Weigh Your Career Goals and Outcomes
Reconsider the vision of the career you want to have and how that fits into the life you want to live. Set short-term and long-term goals for your career.

Assess Your Options
Given your current situation and what you’d like to accomplish, what are the potential options available to you?

Road Map Your Path
Create a road map that will provide guidance for the options being considered and the decisions to be made.

Decisively Act—and Then Celebrate!
With a plan in place, you can begin to take decisive action as you execute your road map. Make sure you celebrate your accomplishments along the way.

Take Steps to Face Your Crossroads Now

What crossroads are you facing right now? What stress are you experiencing from a career decision you’re trying to make? Take these steps to move from feeling stuck to opening a path forward.

Want to learn more? Join me at the ATD 2019 International Conference & Exposition for Career Crossroads: Moving Forward With Confidence.

About the Author

Vivian Blade is a recognized talent management expert, guiding companies in designing a leadership talent management framework that builds solid and sustainable bench strength in their leadership pipeline. Additionally, as an author, keynote speaker, trainer, and executive coach, her passion in building leaders and developing excellence empowers organizations and individuals to reach their full potential. In 2009, Vivian founded Experts in Growth Leadership Consulting. She works with many global organizations, such as Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, and GE, as well as individual professionals. Vivian is the author of the book  FuelForward: Discover Proven Practices to Fuel Your Career Forward.

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