August 2, 2023

7 Reasons You Feel Stuck

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
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If you feel stuck in your career, this episode is for you.

This week I’m digging into why you want something different for your career, but you’re not sure what or you’re not taking the action you want to. I’m sharing the specific reasons why you feel stuck so you can understand what is stopping you from having the career you truly want (even if you don’t know what it is).



  • 7 real reasons why you feel stuck in your career
  • How to handle feeling stuck so you can take action toward what you want

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Welcome to Your Worthy Career, a podcast with me, Melissa Lawrence. I’m a career and life coach with all the corporate credit and talent development and organizational psychology. I help women like you get extraordinary results by being more you, not less. I won’t just help you have a career experience worthy of you, but I will help you build your self worth to shift what you think is possible and take the action that will create the career you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s more meaningful work you’re passionate about, making more money, getting to your next level, or being more effective as a leader, we are shattering the glass ceiling here, the one that exists for women at work and the one we put on ourselves with our doubt and inner critic. Each week you will get practical teachings grounded in neuroscience and effective career development strategies. You’ll experience deep mindset shifts and the perfect amount of woo so you can run your career with ease, rather than your career running you. You were born for more and I’m going to help you get there with maybe a few dance parties along the way. Your up level begins now.

Hello and welcome to the first episode of August. How are we here already? I am so excited for this episode. I’ve been talking a lot about leadership lately, and I wanted to bring back a fundamental to the work that I do, and that is helping women in pharma and biotech, really in the life sciences, get on stock. Now, what I’m talking about here is when you’re happy in your career but you’re hesitant to make a change. You don’t want to settle, but you also don’t know what you want. You may know more about what you don’t want than what is the best path for you. But here’s the thing. When you feel stuck or unhappy, this is a huge feeling to take notice of. It is the real, authentic you sounding an alarm that something needs to change. So in this episode, I’m going to share the reasons why you feel stuck so you can better understand yourself and how you’re feeling about your work right now. When you understand the why, things will start to make more sense, and it can be the thing that really gives you the courage to turn this into a problem you want to solve.

I’m also going to give you some insight into what you can do and motivation to take some action. So let’s go ahead and dig right into the reasons why you feel stuck in your career. The first reason you feel stuck is because you invested so much time in your career so far. You’ve probably gone to college, maybe even have an advanced degree or PhD. You have a lot of effort, sacrifice, late nights, and time on the struggle bus that got you to where you are right now. The idea that you could lose that time you invested is overwhelming. If you didn’t do what you do now, what would you even do? What are you qualified for? Now, I can tell you from my experience that everything you worked for is relevant to where you are going. Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from exploring your potential and getting into a role where you can make the impact you really want to. The longer you wait, the longer you’re staying unhappy, and the less time you’re doing what you really love. Now, the second reason you feel stuck is because of the pride that you have for what you’ve accomplished and where you are.

You’ve accomplished a lot. You might have accomplished more than you thought was possible by now, maybe even more than your family and people around you. Now, when I started my business, I had a hard time with this, too. I had a really successful career in the industry. I had written my own job description. It was really a dream. I was making big moves and having an impact. I had a good salary and benefits. So the idea of leaving that, even though I wanted to make a bigger impact and do more of what I loved, was scary. What I will offer is what your achievements are, those things that you’re so proud of. They don’t go away when you make a change in your career. They’re always with you and they’re always a part of your journey. They’re part of what makes you want this next step. You get to decide if this is a pivot point for you to continue your story into something greater. Number three is a big one. The next reason you feel stuck is because your identity is wrapped up into the career or role that you have right now.

You spend a lot of time at work. Many of us meet our friends at work. Our romantic relationships can start at work. So it’s almost like it’s your whole life in some ways. If you don’t have the title that you have now, then who really are you? But here’s the thing. Who you are is so much greater than a title. Your purpose and what you’re meant to do in your life lives in you. Your title right now is just the form that your purpose has taken in this moment. You continuing to follow your passion or figure out what you want that will fulfill you, that is your identity. Ideally, you are in a role that feels like you, where your personal and professional are seamless and you can fully express your talent and drive. And this is 100 % possible. Anything less and you’re making a sacrifice. So the next reason is money, money, money, money. If you’re making a good salary and you have good benefits, well, then by societal standards, you have the dream and should be happy. That’s something that a lot of my clients have struggled with. I did, too. If you have a good job and you like it, isn’t that enough?

The answer is not to fuel your soul, not to have the impact you want to, not to have the life you want where you wake up happy and energized to go to work. Or when you know you’re making a difference with your unique skills and perspective. You can have both. You don’t have to either have a good salary or a dream job. Deciding to figure out what you want doesn’t mean that you’re deciding to throw away money. Take it from me. Most of my clients that go through my process make more money. They know exactly what they want, and then I help them get that job, making 10, 20, 30, even 40 % more every year. Now, another reason you feel stuck is you might not want to stand alone. Deciding to rethink your career to be open to new possibilities, to figure out what you want isn’t something that everyone does. You might be surrounded by people that tell you that what you have is great and you don’t need to have anything different, or just apply to some new jobs. But those people aren’t you. You know you want more. Their life is their life.

Most people don’t have the courage to figure this out. But you’re not most people. Your listening to this tells me that you are not most people. It’s wired into our brains to go with the pack, to have a herd mentality. So of course, when you think of doing something different or trying something new, you will get alert noises sounding off. Standing on your own, doing your own thing, it can be really hard, but it’s also something that really helps boost your confidence. When you stop looking for other people to validate your decisions and go after what you want, you find people doing the same thing. You become the person you want to be, and nothing holds you back. Okay, number six is the fear of the unknown. You probably know the saying that the grass is greener on the other side. But what if you’re wrong? And that thought will make you feel stuck and unable to make a change. Because what if you make a change and it isn’t any better than what you have now? What if you don’t like it? What if you make a mistake?

I get it. This is why it’s so helpful to know exactly what it is that you do want. I’m going to combine this with number 7, which is, you don’t know what you really want, you only know what you don’t, and that’s why you feel stuck. When you know what you want, that whole fear is dismantled. The fear is strong because you don’t know, so the risk is higher that a change won’t be better. But if you know what you want, then you’re able to apply to the right jobs, ask the right questions, and build the right relationships to make it an easy transition and one that pays you back over and over. Another way to put this is if I was to ask you the question, if you knew exactly what you wanted in your career and the role presented itself to you, would you go after it? You would say yes, right? No brainer. Now, the only difference between where you are right now and this question I just asked is that you know what you want. So you know the solution. Know what you want to get unstuck. And if you’re thinking, Okay, but how? Here’s what you can do next.

You can scroll through and listen to more of my podcast where I talk about this topic. And if you’re wanting to expedite and guarantee your results, you can reach out and schedule a consultation call with me. I’m happy to hear how you’re feeling right now and what you want to be different and what’s going on in your world. I can share my process that I’ve used for years to help women in the industry get into roles they love, knowing exactly what they want, and you can decide if that is the best next step for you. So check out the link in the show notes to go ahead and get started. Before we end today, I want to thank you for listening to the podcast. It really means a lot to have this platform and to be able to help you in this way. One of my favorite things is when listeners drop into my inbox on LinkedIn or other social platforms to tell me how this podcast helped them get a promotion, go after a new job, feel more confident, and essentially stop feeling stuck. I just had someone reach out last week who said she made a big move to a different state for a great new job because she listened to this show.

So if you enjoy the podcast, I would be so delighted if you left a review on Apple or wherever you listen. I love hearing what you’re up to and what you love about the podcast. You’re of course welcome to join drop into my LinkedIn or social inbox too. All right, have an amazing week. Hey there. If you’re ready to be in a role you love, I want to invite you to join Beyond the Ceiling, where you’re going to stop feeling stuck, know your best career move, get in a role you love where you can have the impact you want to while feeling more confident and earning more with my proven process.

Head over to to get all of the details.

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No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

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