And so, 

You are not happy where you are but you are not unhappy either?

The job market in your industry is getting more challenging each week?

You are making a big life commitment, you can only afford more than one change at a time?

These are some of the many reasons why taking a leap of faith, or even a calculated risk, of leaving your current position, is sometimes not an option, leaving you with no other choice but to be stuck in a “quiet staying” situation.

This is not an easy space to be, with little to no place to move forward. But as frustrating as the circumstances may be, there is still plenty you can do to make this (or any) situation work for you.

Starting with making a choice.

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Make it all about you

First and foremost, make it about yourself and how the current situation can work for you.

Remember: when it comes to your career, you are in the driver’s seat more often than you think.  And so while quiet staying can feel miserable at times, getting into action rather than lamenting can make a big difference in how you will get out of this stage.  

Use that time of no move to make an inventory of where you are.  Identify the challenges you are currently facing, and what kinds of obstacles need removing.  Now make a plan!

Revisit your goals

Reviewing your goals should also be part of the “where am I at” inventory.  Your goals were likely made with expectations in mind: flow in the job market, a promotion coming up, bonus etc.  But changes of circumstances outside your control will require a revisiting of said goals.  Pen and paper, keep, tweak, and change your goals as needed. 

List your current resources (include your network).  Are there gaps between where you are and where you want to be that need bridging?  Are there any new obstacles that need to be taken care of?

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Maximize your time where you are

A good habit to have? – when there is no other place to go, make the most of where you are.

In practical form, this can mean: signing up for new online courses or other executive certifications, honing your leadership skills, learning new ones, volunteering to mentor others and finding a new mentor/sponsor for yourself, or really anything new that aligns with your goals and can be a value add down the road.

Take advantage of what your company has to offer, and in turn, start exploring outside your immediate box: start a new hobby, volunteer, …

Stagnation times are far from ideal, but they can also be a stable platform to start exploring other ways to move forward and get the results and sense of achievement you are seeking.

Increase your visibility

Do you know what your personal branding looks like?  Perhaps now is also a good time to start exploring this topic.  

Your personal branding is how you will position yourself to the outside world.  And so understanding what you stand for, and what you are an expert in will be helpful in your career at any stage.  

Personal branding = your own PR trademark, a conversation starter for networking, formal and informal interviews, internal meetings, and more.

Use this quiet staying time to connect with peers and outside – it is easier to do so when you are still employed – less pressure on you and others.  Exchange with peers and build a network that is not only transactional.  

Have you maximized your network potential? Are you part of an industry group? (even if it is only on Linkedin, it still counts). Are you tapping into Linkedin’s potential, sharing and publishing posts, and commenting on others?

Ongoing networking is one of the best investments you can make for your current and future career.  Make it a habit and part of your job!

Quiet staying or not, waiting out for outside circumstances to change favorably can work for a bit, but inactivity can quickly become impatience and frustration.

Use that mental “spare” time to get ready for when the opportunity shows up unexpectedly.

Bonus point: you will experience growth at your current job and expansion outside!