dead end job

How to Get Out of Your Dead End Job

Does it seem like you’ve outgrown your job? Maybe the role you’re currently in was originally intended to be a stepping stone or short-term opportunity, and you ended up sticking around longer than planned. Or, you’ve had a long tenure with a company, but you’ve now done all you can do in this dead-end job.

In short, you’re bored. Underutilized. Underpaid. Undervalued. And you’ve just realized this job is leading nowhere. It’s time to get out of your dead-end job. 

Before You Give Your Notice

Before you drop that resignation letter on your manager’s desk, there’s some thinking, planning, and strategizing to ensure you make a successful and sustainable transition from one job to another. Coming to terms with the fact that it’s time to get out of your dead-end job and having the confidence to know there are options out there for you is a huge first step. 

Finding clarity around where to go and how to get there is the vital next step and can often be complex and hard to navigate on your own. Career Coaching can help you to realize your value, create a solid search strategy, and provide accountability as you make a much-needed employment move.

Is My Job a Dead-End Job? 

So hold up a second. I know what you’re thinking: how do I know if I’m in a dead-end job? 

Some of the determination depends on you, what you want for the future, how you define career growth, and what fulfills you. If you’ve stopped advancing and don’t see a way to move up the ladder, you’re not gaining more knowledge, or you’re not taking on new responsibility, that’s a red flag. Or, if you’re not being properly valued monetarily or within the culture, it’s time to consider a change. 

If you’re still wondering, “is my job at a dead end or not,” then there’s a good chance the answer is yes. That said, if you need more concrete information to determine where you stand, try analyzing what happens when you go above and beyond your job expectations. 

If You Are Recognized at Work

If your efforts are recognized, there’s hope that more exists within your company. In these cases, perhaps you need to advocate for yourself to be promoted or acknowledged – remember, you’re your best, and sometimes your only, advocate. You just need to speak up to turn what seems like a dead-end job into something that feels fresh and full of possibilities.  

On the other hand, if you’re helping to improve the company, it only makes sense that they see and reward your value. Sadly, this isn’t always the case, so it may be time to find an employer who will notice and appreciate you for what you bring to the table without you having to smack them in the face with your accomplishments.

In short, if your gut tells you it’s time to move on or you’re in a dead-end job, listen!

How to Plan for Success

Make note of these two key factors that will help you succeed in your change.

  1. Keep your resume up to date. Period. Whether you’re actively searching, ramping up to actively search, or mulling it over in the back of your head, an updated resume helps you jump-start things quickly while also helping you explore passive opportunities that may come your way through recruiters or LinkedIn. 
  2. Second, set goals. I’m known for saying this one about 12 times a day:

"Lack of clarity in a job search is more detrimental than a bad resume. "

This is because if you don’t know where you’re going or where you want to go, it’s hard to articulate that clearly to a prospective employer on paper and in person. Just as in sales, if you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll be nothing to no one. A scattershot approach – getting trigger-happy on that apply button – is a fast track to frustration. Know your targets!

Clarity and Focus in Your Job Search

Back to the resume; now that you have the clarity and focus, you can figure out what to do with it to make it resonate. If you’re targeting a new type of role or industry, it could be time to take the ongoing updates you’ve been proactively adding to your resume and have them reworked into a form and narrative that will get you traction. 

Additionally, work on building relevance to the goals and job search targets you set (yep, another reason to have that clarity – you know what skills to gain!). Building skills is a great stepping stone to getting out of a dead-end job and a great way to close experience gaps and make yourself more marketable in the target industries and roles. 

Now that you have the clarity, you’ve got your resume updated and aligned with those goals, and you’re working on the skills that will position you for the role, it’s time to get out there. It’s time to say bye-bye to that dead-end job! 

Job Search Execution

Once you get to the execution point, there are a few more things to consider. Applying online is a solid way to get the ball rolling. Roles posted on job boards are largely legit opportunities with active recruitment processes, and the applications are typically straightforward, meaning it’s a fairly simple action. However, you can escalate the entire process by supplementing those applications with – you know what’s coming – networking. 

Get out there and meet humans. Whether it’s networking with alumni at target companies, following up on applications with a set of eyeballs that will actually look at your stuff, or meeting completely new people, networking can make a huge difference in helping you land somewhere better, faster, and for bigger pay. 

Need a little accountability or resources to get started? That’s where someone like us comes in.

Career Benders Will Help You Accelerate Your Job Search

Career coaching is a great way to ensure you’re on a growth path to success. Whether you’re working with Career Benders or another virtual career coach, a range of services and options are available at just about every price point. 

At Career Benders, we specialize in boutique, personalized career coaching offered primarily through 1:1 virtual career coaching; when you work with Career Benders, you’ll benefit from hands-on coaching with experienced career coaches who have proven results with getting client outcomes. 

Say goodbye to your dead-end job and hello to something new that brings you excitement. Life is too short to be miserable and live in mediocrity.

Someone once said, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” Book a free strategy session with us to learn how we can help you make a change for your future.

THe No-BS Blueprint for a successful job search

Award-winning career coach Angie Callen covers everything you need to know about job searching in the current market. 

No more trolling job boards and free advice for hours on end, just outcomes-based strategies to maximize your career. Click the link below to grab your copy today! 

Get the guidance you need to land your next great role. 

  • Strategies to make your search efficient and effective.
  • Resources to create a resume that resonates.
  • Ideas on how to remove the ick from networking
  • Proven framework to help you nail your next interview.

Angie’s resume guidance transformed my job search. I used her feedback to revamp my resume, responded to a rejection, and within a month, I landed the job of my dreams! – Will, Netflix Engineer

Angie Callen, Founder

I created Career Benders to inspire confident professionals. In just three years, we have helped nearly 500 professionals navigate job searches, nail interviews, and find satisfaction in their careers. We’re here for you!

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