"Help! I'm stuck in a career rut. What should I do?"

Firstly, don’t panic! Take time to think about your skills and what you really want, then plan your next move. Start by looking at yourself and what you’ve done in your career so far.

What are your natural talents? List the skills you use in your work and personal life. Maybe you’re a multi-tasking marvel, or a whizz with numbers. A personality test will help identify your strengths and weaknesses. 16personalities.com offers a free test with broad results, with more details for a modest fee. If you have strong planning and organisational skills, an operations or supply chain role could be spot-on for you.

How well do you know the beauty business? Research the many beauty industry job types out there and be aware that some are a lot less exciting or glamorous than they sound! Make sure you know all about the one you have in mind, then work out what you need to do to compete with other candidates.

What have you achieved? You’ve probably done more than you realise. If you arrange store events, you may also handle bookings, manage budgets, use a database and much more. Is there a role that uses the tasks you enjoy most?

How to get out of a career rut

Once you’ve taken stock and decided it’s time for a change, plan your next move.

If you want to get into a role close to your current one, work out if there is something you can do now to gain experience. So if you’re in sales and want to get into marketing ask for involvement in a marketing project as a chance to show your abilities.

If you get on with your line manager, tell them how you feel and ask about areas you could move into within the company. If they can’t help, can they introduce you to someone who can in HR or another department? If you’re doing a good job, chances are the company will want to keep you.

The biggest challenge is breaking into an area where you have no related experience. In this situation, it’s important to be realistic. You will be up against candidates with experience, qualifications or training and may need to take a step back on the career ladder while you catch up. To help compete, think about doing an online study course. Do you need to perfect your grammar or polish up your technology or IT skills? Or should you invest time in gaining a qualification?

If you’re unsure where to go, contact a recruiter that specialises in beauty industry jobs and has in-depth knowledge of all the functions and roles out there and what they require. With your prep work done, talk to them about your options and career aspirations. A good recruiter will be honest and unbiased, helping to guide you throughout your career, not just your next move.

First published in Pure Beauty Magazine, December 2019