How to pull yourself out of a rut at work Continued uncertainty in the job market means that many people are choosing to stay put in unsatisfying jobs rather than risk being out of work. While it certainly makes logical and financial sense to hang on to your current position at the present time, there is nothing to stop you taking steps to bring about positive change, without making any drastic moves.

Below are a few tips from our training partner Home Learning College which are designed to help you plan for a more fulfilling career.

1. Assess your skills and preferences

Only you can decide what your ideal job would be, although it may not seem immediately obvious. Take time to reflect and think about what you enjoy doing and where your skills and abilities lie. Do you like doing a job that is analytical and numerical, or do you prefer something more creative? Are you happy working as part of a team or better left to your own devices? At this stage it can be helpful to undertake some psychometric assessments and career tests which will provide useful insight and guidance.

2. Brush up your CV

It’s not everyone’s favourite task but it is important to tailor your CV carefully for the role you want. With hundreds of applicants vying for each job, recruiters sometimes take mere seconds to decide whether to progress or reject a candidate. It’s therefore essential to have a CV that stands out from the crowd.

You might want to produce several versions targeted towards different roles. Make sure to include demonstrable examples of your ability, to give employers an idea of how you would bring value to their company, such as sales figures you’ve achieved or the results of projects you’ve led. If you get stuck, it may be worth investing in a professional CV-writing service which can be found for as little as £35.

3. Earn the skills you need to succeed

In a competitive job market, it’s important to add as many relevant strings to your bow as possible when seeking change. Gaining new skills will boost your confidence and help you develop a better idea of the direction you want to take. One way of doing this is to engage in voluntary work that will allow you gain hands-on experience. Alternatively you could take part in cross-team projects within your workplace that will broaden your knowledge and capabilities. A third option is professional study, which will not only develop your practical skills, but will boost your CV with a recognised qualification.

4. Make the most of modern learning techniques

If you decide that gaining new qualification would be beneficial then you might want to consider a distance learning course. This is where study takes place at home or another location of your choice, with tutorial support delivered by phone, email or online. Distance learning allows you to fit your study around your existing work and family life. Courses are available in a wide variety of industries, such as accountancy, IT, social care, business and marketing and web design, and prepare you to succeed by developing practical skills and a comprehensive understanding of the sector. Choose a course which is accredited by a high profile awarding body so employers will recognise your achievements.

5. Seize the opportunity

Once you’re armed with new skills and focused on your ideal job, you’ll be ready to take the next step. There are many ways to get ahead when seeking employment, whether it’s taking a novel approach to marketing yourself - like wearing a sandwich board offering your services, as one determined job hunter did recently - or going to relevant networking events.

It’s also worth considering the value of the internet, which employers frequently use to spot new talent. Sites such as LinkedIn and online job boards help you broadcast your experience to a broad range of recruiters and organisations. The important thing is to get your name out there and let employers know you’re eager to advance your career. When opportunity knocks, be ready to seize it with both hands!

Find out more about re-energising your career through professional study at