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How to Get Out of Your Career Rut

how to deal with a career rut

It doesn’t matter if you landed your dream job right out of school or worked ten years to get the promotion you’ve always wanted; everyone eventually suffers career burnout, and even the most exciting job in the world can turn into monotony over time. If your job feels more stressful than it used to or you’re starting to second-guess your career choice, you may be stuck in a career rut. Instead of uprooting your entire life, you are a few steps to get out of it more easily.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Doing the same things the same way day after day will eventually bore anyone in virtually any job. Instead of sticking to your usual day-to-day routine, start looking for things to improve things in your working environment to streamline your processes and increase your comfort level at work, within reason. A few suggestions for shaking things up include:

  • Clean and reorganize your workspace. This isn’t just hygienic, it’s also good for your mental health. It can be interesting to change things up and rearrange your daily surroundings occasionally.
  • Get the right tools. How many days have you made do with the tools at hand because it was more convenient but ultimately less efficient? Take an inventory of what you have and what could be better, then make those changes.
  • Change your routine. If you do certain tasks in the morning, try working on them in the afternoon for a different perspective.
  • Ask for help from colleagues. Sometimes, we become too self-contained in our workplace. Asking for some help from others builds bridges in the workplace and can transform your workplace experience.
  • Keep up with technological changes. The digital workplace is changing all the time. If you use specific systems for specific tasks, consider whether better technology has replaced older systems.

Set New Goals and Create a Strategy to Achieve Them

Once you’ve considered these ways to shake things up, start thinking of new goals to set for yourself. These goals could pertain to specific work processes, personal goals, continuing education, or advancing your career in a new direction. In many cases, a career rut is just a career track waiting to happen; all it takes to start the process is motivation and dedication to making change happen. Outline action items, milestones, and a timeline for the goals you want to accomplish in your career, from single projects to yearly goals and career track advancement.

Look for Opportunities and Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks

Stretching yourself is the best way to break out of a box if you’re starting to feel trapped by your career. Look for opportunities to show your skills and experience and don’t shy away from risks. Perhaps your company recently posted a job listing that was more of what you hoped to land when you accepted your current job. Even if you have doubts about your qualifications, apply anyway. It never hurts to try, and taking a leap like this could be incredibly rewarding in the long run.

Ask for Advice

There is no one answer for how to get out of a career rut. Almost everyone will eventually feel some type of burnout from work, and the key to overcoming it may be as simple as changing your perspective. Input from others can be incredibly helpful, too. Don’t be afraid to ask colleagues and supervisors for their advice. Friends and colleagues with similar jobs at other employers may offer useful tips, too. You may know someone with a position similar to yours who has experienced the same burnout, and a sympathetic ear can be just what you need to change your perspective and escape your career rut.

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Follow-Up Etiquette for Job Interviews

Determining when and how you should follow up with a prospective employer in the aftermath of an interview can be confusing, but if you neglect to get in touch at all, you may miss an excellent opportunity. Look at the following post-interview etiquette tips to gain a better understanding of the right way to follow up after your job interview.

Ask About Timelines

To follow up with an employer properly, you should have a basic understanding of the recruitment time-frame. A credible employer will give you an idea of when you should expect to hear back and what the next steps in the process are. Don’t leave the interview without asking how you should reach the potential employer once he or she has decided. If your interviewer does not provide this information, it is completely appropriate to ask for it. If you are truly interested in the position, the interviewer will take that question as sincere interest in the position.

Be Gracious

After an interview, always thank your interviewer for making time to see you. You don’t have to wait weeks to send a message after an interview. In fact, sending a brief thank-you email either the day of the interview or a day after an interview is the optimal way to show your gratitude, illustrate your sincere interest in the position, and ensure your interviewer keeps your name in mind.

If you want to add a personal touch to the message, briefly mention a project you discussed during the interview or a moment where you felt a connection with the hiring manager. Be sure to keep your message short and place the primary focus on thanking the hiring manager for his or her time.

When You Don’t Hear Back

In average situations, you should wait two weeks after an interview before reaching out for a status update. If you ask about recruitment timeframes before leaving your interview, you’ll have a better understanding of when you can plan on hearing back.

If the hiring manager told you to plan on hearing back in one week, but two have gone by without any contact, give them a couple of extra days from that time. Call or send your interviewer a short email to inquire about the status of the position. You may want to ask the hiring manager what the preferred method of communication is during the interview, so you can reach them through the appropriate channels and at the right time.

Whether you opt to email or call your interviewer, your message should briefly discuss your interest in the job and welcome him or her to contact you. Avoid using an urgent tone or becoming a pest. Asking someone to get back with you ASAP suggests your time is more important than theirs – a danger when looking for a job.

What Not to Do

When it comes to following up with an interviewer, never approach him or her in person without a direct invitation. You should also refrain from contacting an employer directly if you were originally working with a recruitment firm, as this contact tends to be inappropriate. It can cause both the employer and recruitment agency challenges.

As in the interview, be yourself, but professional. Whatever way you and the employer decide to communicate after an interview, approach it with appreciation that the organization considered you.

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5 Essential Tips to Advance Your Career

nj career coach

In years past, an employee could start off on the bottom rung of a company, and through hard work and persistence, move up the ladder and eventually retire with a pension and a gold watch. Those sorts of jobs are now few and far between.

Companies employ head hunters to find great employees outside the company, and promotions are rarely based solely on seniority. To advance your career, you’re going to need to do more than just hang around with one company. Use these five tips to start taking action now to advance your career.

Set Career Goals

Deciding you want to advance your career is a start, but unless you move beyond vague ideas, it’s unlikely you will make much progress. Start off by setting concrete goals for what you want to accomplish in your career. Lay out a timeline that details not only the responsibilities you hope to take on, but also your salary expectations at that level. Be as specific as possible, but keep in mind the pace of change in today’s office. Try to spot where the best opportunities will be in the future.

Assess Strengths and Weaknesses

Once you know the path you need to take to advance your career, you need to take an objective look at what it will take to get you there. Friends can be a great source of encouragement, but you will need people who can give you unbiased feedback. Managers and supervisors can often help you assess your strengths and weaknesses, as well as provide valuable information on what it takes to move to the next level.

Don’t Neglect Soft Skills

career coaching in new jerseyObviously to advance your career, you will need the technical expertise to perform in the position. However, it pays to focus just as much on developing the soft skills needed in the profession. Soft skills include things like leadership skills, training in effective communication, time management skills, and team-working. Often it is not the most technically skilled that advances in a career, but the one who is best able to work with the team around them. Soft skills give you that advantage and will prove invaluable as you move to greater positions of responsibility.

Major in Networking

You’ve heard the cliché that it’s not what you know but who you know. As with most clichés, this is built on some truth. For most people, advancement will require moving from one company to another over time. The key to finding those opportunities is to have a solid network of people you stay in touch with regularly. Many people make the mistake of only developing their networks when they’re looking for new employment. Make networking a priority at all times so when it comes time to find new employment, you’ll already know where to look.

Find the Right Balance

Obsessively focusing on your career leads to tunnel vision and missed opportunities. Many of the most successful people are in very different positions today from their first, second, or even third career. Balancing work and life keeps you open to possibilities you might otherwise miss. Don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk to move in a different direction than what you envisioned when you created your goals.

Always remember that advancing in your career is not a matter of slavishly devoting yourself to a course set in stone, but a constant re-evaluation of where you are and where you want to be.

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Handling Your Midlife Career Change

career coaching

It’s common for mid-life professionals to crave a change. Maybe you feel you’ve been stuck in a rut for the past few years or maybe your company does not have any more room for advancement. No matter your reasoning, a mid-life career change is a cause for introspection and careful consideration. Here’s how to approach the decision:

What Do You Want to Do Next?

When making a career change, there are a few different paths you can take:

  • A new job in the same field. If your beef is with your job and not the industry, consider sidestepping into a new career. A new set of coworkers or a new boss may be all you need for job satisfaction.
  • A new career in a different field. If there are certain skill sets that transfer fields, you might want to consider a different industry. This might be the right choice if your industry is becoming obsolete or you simply want a new twist on your old job.
  • A one-eighty. Sometimes, you feel like you need a complete change. Many mid-career professionals want to reinvent their work life completely. This is difficult but achievable.

Get Advice from a Career Coach

midlife career changeIf you’re not sure where to begin, consider asking for advice. A career coach can provide valuable introspection and help you make proper decisions regarding your career change. Remember, change is always scary, even when it’s a welcome change. When undergoing a career transition, a career coach can help you maintain a positive mindset, rather than dwelling on the potential downsides of the change.

By keeping the focus on the positives that lie ahead, you can make a smoother transition to your new career. Career coaching can help you maintain your focus while guiding you through the important decisions that lie ahead.

Consider Taking It Up A Notch

If you’re feeling stagnant in your current position, perhaps it’s time for a leadership role. Leadership coaching can help you develop your natural leader’s talent and groom you for a new role in management or even entrepreneurship. With the right help, any career change is possible. A leadership role can prove valuable to mid-level professionals who want to remain in their company or industry but feel they’ve become stuck on the corporate ladder.

Making a successful career transition requires preparation, introspection, and the right attitude. By applying these tips, you can make a smooth transition into a rewarding new career.

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Networking Outside Your Comfort Zone

The networking landscape has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Once a rarity, business professionals are now bombarded by numerous networking events making it difficult to discern which opportunities are the right opportunities.

Watch below for Susan Ascher’s latest tips on networking for business professionals and catch a sneak peek into Susan’s highly acclaimed networking series, Culinary Connections, recently held at The Manor in West Orange.

About Culinary Connections

Culinary Connections is an exclusive networking event for professionals from all walks of business who are passionate about making the right connections over great wine and food. Our intimate settings and five-star venues provide the perfect backdrop for making lasting connections – unlike any other networking event you may have attended.

Be sure to check our EVENTS page for the next Culinary Connections or join one of our Mastermind for Mastermind Groups to take your business or career to the next level.

4 Ways to Fix Your Next Communication Breakdown

communication breakdowns

Have you ever been the victim of a communication breakdown? There’s nothing more frustrating than failing to complete a task on time or to the best of your ability because of a miscommunication between a coworker, client, or boss. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve communication and customer satisfaction. Try one of these strategies to avoid communication breakdown:

Be Upfront About Expectations and Goals

Workplace communication becomes a lot easier when you’re all coming from the same place. Don’t kick off a brainstorming session or meeting by assuming everyone knows their roles, goals, and other action items. This leads to missed deadlines, unclear objectives, and confusion about roles.

Start every meeting with a review of your action items and when to expect deadlines and other assignments. Once assigning who is responsible for what, send a follow-up email or call to confirm.

Avoid Over-Communication

avoid communication breakdownsAt the same time, be wary about communicating too much with your employees and teammates. If you’re sending someone 20 emails a day, they’re more likely to tune you out. Communication breakdowns can result from the best intentions. Instead of haranguing your workmates virtually, consider following this golden rule: a dozen exchanges an hour between all team members can maximize productivity – any more will actually detract from your efforts.

Communicate Wisely

At the same time, not all communication is created equally. According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, email can be an ineffective way to complete work tasks. If you want to know how to avoid a communication breakdown, consider this tried-and-true method: a good old-fashioned face-to-face conversation. According to a recent study, over 35% of a team’s performance is attributable to their face-to-face exchanges.

However, this doesn’t mean that you need to call a board meeting every day. Simple, informal exchanges like coffee breaks can be just as effectual. If you’re spread out over multiple companies, consider adding video collaboration to your routine.

Leverage Collaborative Technology

Finally, technology makes it easy for us to collaborate effectively. Consider using Slack for quick team exchanges and Trello to keep track of items on your to-do list. With a little prioritization and organizing, you and your team can eliminate communication breakdowns and complete your tasks on time and to the best of your ability. Apply one of these tips to your next project and see your productivity skyrocket. A job well done is worth celebrating!

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What to Expect from a Mastermind Group

Attending a mastermind group is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. The atmosphere is buzzing with intellectual minds thinking, brainstorming, and supporting one another. If you talk to someone who has been to a mastermind group, he or she will tell you it’s an experience that will change the way you do business. You’ll gain access to incredible resources, networking opportunities, and a team that understands your objectives and wants you to succeed.

When you walk through the doors at The Mastermind for Masterminds, here’s what to expect:

A Friendly, Welcoming Community

All members of the group share the same goal – to improve their businesses. Whether you want new perspectives on a business venture you’re considering or advice from successful entrepreneurs about how to take the first step, you’ll find it at a mastermind meeting. You will meet people with similar goals, those who have been in your shoes, and those eager to impart wisdom that could take your professional life to the next level. Group members are endlessly supportive, and welcome newcomers with open arms.

An All-Inclusive Group Discussion

The beginning of the mastermind group meeting will involve personal introductions, and statements from each member of the group regarding what steps they took to achieve goals expressed at the end of the last meeting. You’ll hear success stories, as well as setbacks other professionals have experienced. Remember – hits and misses are all part of the process. Everyone will get a chance to speak at The Mastermind for Masterminds!

A Focus on Someone in the “Hot Seat”

Most meetings will feature at least one person in the “hot seat.” This person will have the opportunity to dig deeper into the details of his or her challenges, and ask for advice or feedback from the group. At every meeting, someone new will sit in the hot seat. This gives everyone the chance to ask for personalized help for a specific problem.

Those who are not in the hot seat will benefit from listening to the discussion and chiming in.

New Goals Formed for the Next Meeting

The meeting will conclude with group members discussing their next goals, and what they hope to accomplish before the next meeting. Members will then have the opportunity to speak to others, exchange contact information, and make plans to attend the next meet up. The Mastermind of Masterminds is an excellent place for both mastermind group newcomers and veterans. It is a celebration of the mind, and an event you won’t want to miss. Sign up today and join something incredible!

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The Value and Benefits of a Mastermind Group

Mastermind groups have improved the way people do business for centuries. They enable individuals with lofty goals to take real, actionable steps toward achieving them. Brainstorming with like-minded people in a group setting is beneficial for all involved. There’s a reason mastermind groups are still alive and well today – they actually work. The list of potential benefits one can get from a mastermind group is virtually endless.

Here’s an idea of some of the takeaways of these meetings of the minds:

Accountability for Your Actions

It’s well known that many entrepreneurs are procrastinators. Part of the problem is that solopreneurs do not have anyone to hold them accountable for their acts or failures to act. In a mastermind group, you have dozens of people holding you to your promises.

In each meeting you’ll state a goal you plan to accomplish before the next meeting. At the next meeting, you’ll reveal to the group your progress in achieving that goal. This structure encourages accountability and action toward what you set out to do.

Tools You Need to Succeed

At each meeting, you’ll encounter new tools, processes, and ideas that could drive your success. You’ll hear many people discuss their situations, battles, and accomplishments, and take away things that are important for your own business. Plus, you might say something that fuels someone else’s victory – you never know who your story will benefit at a meeting. If you’re looking for something to make the difference between success and failure, it might be waiting for you in a mastermind group.

Collaboration with Other Masterminds

“Two heads are better than one” is certainly true in business. A group of masterminds will constantly come up with fresh ideas, inspirations, and innovations. There will never be a time when dozens of brilliant thinkers all run out of things to say at the same time. It isn’t possible. Members will bounce ideas off one another, glean new insights, and discover solutions to problems they may never have thought through on their own.

Fuel for Future Success

Joining a group like The Mastermind for Masterminds can revolutionize the way you do business. These meetings don’t just offer solutions to immediate problems – they give you kindling for your next hundred problems. Mastermind groups lend you a brand new way to analyze situations and build the foundation for long-term business success. They are invaluable to the modern businessperson, offering a treasure trove of tips, tricks, and tools for success. Join today and unlock your future.

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August Edition of The Mastermind for Masterminds


Now is the Time to Elevate Your Passion for Life and Work to Overcome the Fears that are Holding You Back!

♦ Do You Feel Stuck and Need Inspiration for Your Career or Business?
♦ Are You In Search of a Strong Peer Network of Trusted Colleagues?
♦ Do You Want to Increase Your Confidence and Boost Your Positivity?

If you answered YES, then we have the perfect solution: THE MASTERMIND FOR MASTERMINDS.


The Mastermind for Masterminds is a private meeting among dedicated business professionals looking to exchange honest feedback, help refine new ideas and concepts, and share insights and potential leads. In The Mastermind for Masterminds you will help others succeed and achieve your own goals in the process.

You will leave with important takeaways, such as ideas for the future and solutions to problems you’ve been stuck on. There is no limit to the things you might learn during your time in our Mastermind Group. Join us on Tuesday, August 8th and broaden your professional horizons.

Event Details:

WHEN: Tuesday, August 8th, 8:30-11:00 a.m.
WHERE: The Park Avenue Club, 184 Park Avenue, Florham Park, NJ 07932 | (973) 301-8233
COST: $197.00 p/person; includes Breakfast

Reserve Your Spot Today!

Choose Your Ticket

Why Should You Attend?

  • You want to tap into the experience and skills of others!
  • You are “stuck” and need a new perspective which can come from brainstorming with the group!
  • You need to increase confidence in your decisions!
  • You need to validate that you are taking the right actions to achieve your goals!
  • You need or want to find an instant and valuable support network!
  • You want to find a sense of shared endeavor with others in the same position you find yourself in!
  • You need to find new ways to jump-start your business!
  • You want to boost to your everyday positive mental attitude!

Who Should Attend?

  • Realtors
  • Accountants
  • Lawyers
  • Small business owners
  • Consultants
  • Fund Raisers
  • YOU
  • And anyone responsible for driving their business!

And MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHAT will you take away from The Mastermind for Masterminds?

  • NEW CONNECTIONS with a supportive team of Mastermind partners
  • LASTING RELATIONSHIPS with like-minded professionals who want to MEET or EXCEED their goals
  • NEW IDEAS for REAL CHANGE to get you where you need to be

5 Reasons You Need to Join a Mastermind Group

To enter a mastermind group is to push the boundaries of your potential. Mastermind groups are hotbeds of productive activity, intellectual conversation, and creative brainstorming. They are dynamic meetings of the minds, where everyone has important contributions to make. There is no end to the things you can learn from attending just one meeting.

If you need more reasons to join a mastermind group, here are five:

1. Forge Deep and Lasting Bonds with Other Masterminds

People you mastermind with can become your business partners, customers, confidants, and esteemed advisors. You’ll meet professionals in and outside of your niche with priceless contributions to offer you. Professional counseling, ingenious ideas, new tested business and marketing solutions – you’ll find all of this and more at a single mastermind group meeting. It’s networking on a whole new level.

2. Solve Your Trickiest Business Problems

All hardworking businesspeople encounter problems occasionally. If you’re stuck on something that’s giving you a headache, join a mastermind group. Other successful individuals will listen to your situation and come up with innovative solutions for your most pressing business issues. Joining a mastermind allows you to leverage the experiences, talents and skills of your fellow masterminds to improve and enhance your own business. Whether you need help reaching your customers, optimizing your sales funnel, or coming up with new marketing techniques, your mastermind group has you covered.

3. Come up with Your Best Ideas Yet

Mastermind groups have been responsible for some of the greatest accomplishments in history, from creating the New Deal of 1933 to animating Disney’s Cinderella. Aren’t you curious what doors you could open in a stellar group such as The Mastermind for Masterminds? You may crack the code on that new product you’ve been trying to develop, or gain a new perspective on an old problem. Discover your true desires, establish your purpose, and reach your full potential at a mastermind meeting.

4. Overcome Fears That Are Holding You Back

Being an entrepreneur or business owner isn’t supposed to be comfortable – it’s supposed to be exciting and perhaps a bit nerve-wracking. If you let your fears hold you back you’re diminishing your chances for success. A mastermind group can give you a safe space to express your concerns and receive help making your most crucial decisions. You can break away from fear and elevate your passion for life. As a member of a mastermind, you learn rather quickly that you are not alone. Many of your fellow masterminds can relate to your frustrations and provide support knowing that it does get better.

5. Develop a True Master Mind

In a mastermind group, you can’t help but think bigger and bolder. You’ll start to embrace ideas that you were too afraid to consider before, and stretch your boundaries beyond your imagination. When amazing people accomplishing their dreams surround you, you’re sure to become one of them.

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