5 reasons you feel stuck in your career

From early childhood, we start idolising people – our parents, grandparents, teachers, aunts and uncles, pop stars, a pilot, cops or firefighters. As soon as we are old enough to understand what each person around us does for a living, we start either liking or disliking it. Subconsciously, our minds begin making choices about which ‘profession’ we would like to venture into and which we dislike. We are also groomed (or maybe forced in some cases) to choose a career path that is traditionally high paying and secure.

But eventually, I guess we all choose something that we like doing or that we are good at.

I know I could just end the blog here and say ‘happily ever after’ went our careers. But sometimes, no matter how wisely we choose a career or job for ourselves, there may arise a standpoint when you start feeling stuck in that job. In simple words, feeling stuck in a situation where you seem not to be able to leave your present job but feel highly dissatisfied with work. The same mundane tasks you have mastered over the years do not offer any more learning or excitement, and you do not look forward to going to work.

While there can be numerous reasons why you may be feeling stuck at work, in my opinion, here are the top 5 reasons that might resonate with you:

1. Accepting a job role without understanding it entirely

At the time, you may have felt this job role was appropriate for you, something you always dreamt of doing. But eventually, you realise the position is much more or much less than you expected. The role does not fit like a glove but, in actuality, feels like a noose.

2.  $$$$ ruled

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When you signed on for the job, it offered a lucrative signing bonus with stock options and an unbelievable year-end bonus! It was too good to be true, and it was irresistible. It’s only when you started the job and over time that you realised the downside of all the ‘extra’ money you received. You might not feel that the money is not worth the time and effort you must put in. The work-life balance has only become a topic for discussion as you have not experienced a day without stress and pressure at work.

3. Outdated skillset

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Many people will agree that they achieve job satisfaction from not just the salaries and bonuses they receive, but greater satisfaction is realised when they see their meaningful contributions resulting in higher profits, efficiency, or global expansions. A continuous learning curve is a high point for many people to feel happy in their careers. If this is lacking and you think your skills are becoming redundant, dissatisfaction starts sinking in. You may feel worthless and lose confidence eventually in your skillset.

4. Not enough recognition at work

This is another factor that makes you feel stuck at work. Your work is not recognised, and your boss has been fending the next promotion and increment questions you have been asking for. Even after mastering the work and putting in time and effort, your job does not seem rewarding anymore.

5. Fear factor

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Change is not everyone’s cup of tea. Everyone is afraid of the unknown. Stagnation happens when you are fearful of making a move. You may be applying for a new job, but inside, you know you are stuck in the current job and unable to move. Not receiving any favourable response from job search also reinstates the lingering fear.

Our career is one of the most important aspects of our lives. Most of us spend the majority of our time, say 8-10 hours, at our jobs out of the 24 hours. You can follow a few simple steps to overcome this situation of feeling stuck at work. Stay tuned and check out this space for my next blog, five easy steps to break free and get unstuck in your career!

Top 5 Master’s programmes trending in 2022 

The purpose of pursuing a master’s programme could be many, advancement in career, aiming for a higher salary, growth opportunities, thirst for knowledge, switching careers, etc. A Master’s degree can be pursued to add knowledge on the subject already studied in an undergraduate degree or a new subject regardless of what was learned earlier. It could be your second degree, one of the several you pursued through the career or the very first degree you wanted to earn and get that formal qualification.  

There are numerous options and specialities that you can choose as your major for your master’s degree. However, a few majors have become hugely popular amongst students as these are in great demand by employers, offering better career prospects and employment opportunities.  

So, which master’s programme has made it to the top of the list in 2022? Let’s have a look: 

Top 5 Master’s programme in 2022

1. Project Management 

Just as the name suggests, a project manager takes the lead role in planning, organising and completing a project. Since the project manager skills are easily transferable, they can work in any industry such as banking, tech, retail, pharma, or telecom industry, to name a few.   

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There has been an ever-increasing demand for project managers, and the economic hit suffered due to Covid-19 across the globe has only strengthened the need for project managers. The disruptions caused by the pandemic have resulted in governments earmarking and spending trillions of dollars on recovery projects.  

With millions of new projects across several industries being put into production, project management is here to stay.  

2. Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management  

Another hugely sought-after specialisation in 2022 is supply chain management. The entire world faces supply crunches for several goods and essentials, with most being back ordered for months. The role of a good supply chain manager is to analyse business processes, identify efficient procurement sources, establish a stable, reliable, and cost-efficient logistics network, and always ensure sufficient inventory levels while minimising costs.  

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A master’s degree in the field will ensure global career opportunities in purchasing, logistics and consulting.  

3. Leading Innovation and change 

In any business or organisation, change is inevitable. If you are a professional leading and supporting innovation and change in the organisation or community, this specialisation is right for you. A good innovation manager must be good at managing projects and managing change. They help shape the organisation’s culture and processes and provide necessary training to ensure innovative success. Modern organisations provide ample opportunity and rewarding careers for innovators in different roles such as Chief innovation officer, Business development lead, Innovation consultant, Change agent, Innovation strategist and Transformation manager.  

4. Healthcare Management 

If you are looking for a rewarding career focused on healthcare, a master’s degree in healthcare management can jumpstart your career in the field. As a healthcare administrator in roles such as healthcare consultant, Clinical Director, Administrator, and Healthcare manager, you can serve people and the community in improving their health while being on the administrative side of healthcare. There is an increasing demand for managers to look after the day-to-day operations and efficient management of resources in healthcare. 

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5. Data Analytics 

In this changing and dynamic business environment, traditional methods of doing business and catering to consumer needs is a thing of the past. Nowadays, all businesses and services are being provided online. There is a need to understand consumer behaviour and cater to their specific and, where possible customised demand. The Internet has shrunk the world, and there is a sudden influx of information and big data. Big corporations want to defeat the competition and gain valuable insights into consumer behaviour by analysing data.  

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The good news is that Robert Kennedy College offers all the above top trending specialisations of 2022. Talk to one of our advisors today about enrolling in one of these programmes! 

#DILO – A day in the life of an RKC student – Antonio  

We continue with our blog series bringing you answers to some of the questions we at Robert Kennedy College (RKC) frequently get from students looking to join one of our online programmes. We asked some of our past and current students to share their thoughts and opinions, to give their feedback on how they handled online learning challenges. Hopefully, this will, in turn, help you make an informed decision.  

I believe learning is a life-long process. You never know when an opportunity to learn is thrown your way. Would you grab the opportunity, or would you think it’s too late to learn and study when you reach a certain age? But is age just a number?  

Antonio, an RKC student from Mozambique, is a shining example of how age is just a number when it comes to studying for your Masters. Let’s hear his story!  

Who you are, really?   

Antonio M, from Mozambique. A senior citizen still willing to learn and upgrade my skills in new areas associated with my country development.  

Which Uni are you studying at?   

University of Salford  

Which programme did you choose and why?  

Online MSc in Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management  

How did you plan to study each module, and what was the reality? How many hours did/do you have to put in each day/or in a week?  

Initially, I thought 2h a day would suffice, but I learned that I needed to spend at least an additional hour every day. Let me say, for someone with my slow thinking speed, you need an average 3h a day to be comfortable and do all the homework (forum discussions, contributions). Do this for 6 days a week, 1 day to rest if you can afford it.  

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What part of the day did/do you find most suitable to study? (e.g., early mornings, lunch break, evenings, weekends?)   

In my case, evenings due to silence and more available bandwidth for Internet data.  

How did travelling impact your ability to study?    

Being an online course, travelling did not impact too much. When travelling, the main issue was Wi-Fi availability.  

How were you able to interact with peers and/or professors given the time differences?   

Most of my peers were around the same or close time. Having a platform and forums eased the interaction. It was not immediate, but I would get the reaction soon enough. With those closer peer friends or people with closer affinity, we shared our mobile numbers, and if required, we would use the mobile phone and interact.  

How much time did you devote to each assignment?    

A lot of time. As soon as you get the assignment brief, start immediately and dedicate at least 3h a day for the assignment. Make sure you state an initial outline as soon as you understand the problem to be solved. Having the outline, Google Scholar all the required stuff, minimum of 15 peer-reviewed references per assignment (my opinion).  
  

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What does a typical day as an Online Masters’ student look like for you?  

6-7h sleeping, 6-8h working and 3-4h studying, 3h solving family issues, 2h socialising with other people. My community, Rotary, and family would require more of my time and reschedule this time outline.  

Any advice you have for students to better plan their studies?    

Please make sure you do participate in the weekly activities since usually they prepare you for your assignments. If you do it right, you may have a considerable part of your assignment done, at least in terms of the referencing. Going straight to the assignments is the wrong strategy. I did learn with some pain later that if I had done the week activities it would have made my life easier and would have saved time for my assignments. Otherwise, while busy with the assignment, you understand that you still need to do the work you avoided.  

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If you have been dreaming of joining a master’s programme or have had this personal goal to gain a higher degree, now is the time! Take valuable advice from our current students, gain from their experience, add your unique study strategies, and make your own success stories! I would love to feature you one day on our college blog.    

Chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the programmes we offer, the application process, and for information on discounts we might be offering at this time. 

Can you travel and study at the same time? Here are 6 ways to help you do it!

The popularity of online studies has been on the rise in recent years, and we have seen so much right here at Robert Kennedy College. With practically our whole student population being in full-time employment, we know the flexibility afforded by online delivery is amongst one of the highest-ranking reasons why people study online. 

I understand how critical it is to have the possibility of being able to access, learn and review course content anytime, from anywhere in the world. Working professionals like yourself have a demanding job and may be required to travel frequently for work.  

Now while it might look pretty simple and easy to study online on the surface, it is actually not quite so. I like to compare this to a duck’s swimming – when you see a duck advancing through water, you probably think calm and grace. Our eyes behold a view of effortless and smooth progression on water. However, under the surface, the duck is paddling frantically to propel itself forward.  

A duck seemingly advancing with no effort through the water 

I do not intend to scare you with this analogy. I want to focus on the duck’s efforts and skills that keep it advancing (keeping afloat is apparently the easy part, for biological reasons, ducks weighing less than the water they displace due to their uropygial gland and air-trapping feathers). Similarly, you can advance smoothly through your studies with the help of planning, foresight, prioritization skills and grit – especially when you are travelling.  

So, here are some tips that will help you stay afloat while planning your studies on the go: 

Plan ahead  

I personally can’t get enough of planning. I sometimes re-plan my plans (ha-ha) just to be sure of how my schedule and week/month looks like. Yes, planning is the key to be able to travel stress-free and balance the commitment of a university course module with the disruption caused by travelling. While you may not always be able to choose your travel times when travelling for work, do take your study calendar into account and redesign your plans accordingly. 

Plan travel around assignments 

Give yourself enough time at each step of your travel plan. To begin with, make sure you do not plan your 15-hour flight across continents a day before your assignment submission. Be wary and give yourself ample time to recover from jetlag. Reversely, if you have little control over your travel plans, advance your deadlines and submit earlier, or look into the administrative processes that may help you get an extension if done in time. 

Arrange your meetings in a way that you have some relaxing peaceful time segments during that day. This will allow you enough time to catch up with your course material and focus on the assignments due. There might be some occasions when you will have to prioritize studies and must skip that social evening with work associates and miss a drink. Reward yourself later when your work is done.  

You can download course material on RKC’s iOS and Android apps

Organize Internet access 

Most of your study materials normally require the internet to access them. You want to avoid situations where you have time to spare but no internet access nor offline materials. Know when you would be in limited connectivity zones and download the necessary course materials ahead of travel. RKC’s iOS and Android apps can help with that. 

As a student, you can also get internet access through the Eduroam network, something most Universities in the world are a part of. You use your home institution’s credentials to login to any “eduroam” WiFi you find (typically in and around University campuses, University and sometimes public libraries). Have a look at the eduroam map before travelling to know if you have this option.

Have reliable technology and back-ups 

While you are travelling you are completely reliant on your laptop, tablet, or phone. Always have your chargers, spare power banks and hard drives to backup data so that you do not lose your work. With the pervasiveness and ease of use of cloud back-ups today, “I lost my laptop/my disk died/etc.” is the equivalent of the “dog ate my homework” of yesteryear. 

Mind the zone 

While our online course materials can be accessed at all times, you may have to be careful of the different time-zones you are travelling to and how it will affect your deadlines (they don’t – your deadlines are always Zürich time!). What a different time zone will affect is when you must submit – so work that out in advance and anticipate the deadline rather than miss it. Another impact of travelling to a different time zone is that last minute questions may receive delayed responses with respect to when you were back home. 

Keep track of your progress 

It is easy to lose track of time when you are travelling and have so many things to manage. In order to make sure you do not fall back on coursework, keep close checks on your schedules and deadlines. While travelling breaks away from the 9 to 5 schedule (or 7 to 7 for the unlucky few) and could offer more flexibility in terms of the time of day you can study, it is helpful to chalk it out. 

Do not fret if you face any technical issues while travelling. Simply reach out to our student care team and they will be happy to help.  

It may feel overwhelming at times to balance work, study and travel. But with adequate preparation ahead of time you can enjoy smooth sailing; gracefully swimming like a duck towards your goals (with more or less frantic paddling). With these simple yet vital study tips, you can certainly ace study and travel together. Please share with us any tips or tricks that you might have up your sleeve from your personal experience.  

P.S: An easy way to connect with us on the go is to download our OnlineCampus Mobile App, which helps you prepare your “offline study packs”.

6 Reasons to Do a Master’s Degree Programme

I am going to tell you a story about a friend of mine and yes, I know “a friend” sounds made up, but this friend is real and what happened to him could happen to anyone of us in the corporate world.  

To make matters simple, let’s call this friend of mine Jojo (yes, this time a made-up name). A while back Jojo found himself out of a job due to no fault of his. The reasons given: downsizing, centralising, the usual corporate jibber jabber, and this from a company in which he had spent the last two years of his life setting up and developing an entire function for the organisation. 

He was reporting directly to the Managing Director and Country-Head, a position he achieved by hard work and determination and with professional experience going back two decades – working for some of the biggest multi-national companies in the world. He was not worried: with his experience, getting a job would be EASY. 

Safely crossing the gap from one job to the next is not always straightforward…

But as the days turned into weeks and then into months and he was still unable to find a job, the gloom around him was palpable.  

Jojo’s story 

Jojo started his career immediately after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from a top local university and as his career progressed at a faster-than-average pace, he never found the need and time to go back to school and enhance his academic profile too.  

Over time as life evolved, so grew his professional and personal commitments, demanding a greater share of his time and effort. He concluded that putting in time, effort and money into his education did not merit the return on investment.  

Fast forward to Jojo’s job search – he found that the lack of a master’s degree was having a profound impact on his ability to get hired. 

To be clear, I am not saying that you need a master’s degree to succeed in life. In fact, most people don’t have a master’s degree and are very successful in their profession. What I am saying is that a master’s degree can have a positive impact in your professional career (because, learning is good :D).

Added benefit of a Master’s – graduation is fun! Notice how these RKC graduates from 2018 have big smiles on their faces, despite the freezing cold of November in York.

Here are 6 reasons you should consider doing a master’s degree. 

  1. It shows you are hard working and committed: A Master’s degree implies that you have taken the extra step of getting a higher qualification, gaining extra skills and specialisations. Having worked on projects and submitted assignments and dissertations in a timely manner, it shows you to be more disciplined, structured and task oriented. 
  2. It levels the playing field: In today’s competitive job market, most of the candidates applying for any above entry level position will already have at least one master’s degree, if not more specialised qualifications and just a bachelor’s degree or lower educational qualification would just not cut it. Depending on the nature of the job and the position you are aspiring to, a master’s degree might be the minimum requirement to even apply. 
  3. It can help with switching careers: There may come a time in your career when you pull your hair and cry out – “I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”. I understand, I have been there a couple of times. For whatever reason, if you feel it is time for a change in career to a field that requires specific knowledge that you do not have or to a career in a regulated industry that requires you to have certain education qualifications, a master’s degree might give you a leg up in your new career. 
  4. It can help you standout: Unfortunately, this is the world that we live in. There may be several of your co-workers eyeing the same promotion that you have been after. Whether it is a management position or that specialised role within your company, a master’s degree could make the difference in your getting that position. In some cases, a company might also be willing to sponsor the master’s degree if they feel you are a potential leader and it could be mutually beneficial, so it is always worth asking the question to either your manager or the HR department.  
  5. It may help with relocation: We are no longer limited by geography. A master’s degree might help you in getting a work visa to a particular country; after all, you might be required to show why you are more deserving of a particular job than a citizen of the country and a master’s degree might go some ways in your company hiring you over a local.  
  6. It can fill the gap: Going back to the example of my friend, the longer you go without employment the harder it will get to explain the gap in your resume and to get employed. Doing a master’s degree is a good way to fill this gap, improve your knowledge, gain new skills and to generally show you are not one to wait around for things to happen.  

There’s more?

I am sure that there are many other reasons why people choose to do a master’s degree with benefits we wouldn’t have even thought off. If you have experienced or can think of any, let us know in the comments below! 

Finally, getting back to Jojo. It took him a while, but he is finally back to work. It is not what he wanted to do, and he had to take a hefty pay cut, but he is working again. He has still not joined a master’s programme (despite my constant reminders) but he is on the lookout for one that meets his requirements. Let’s hope he doesn’t leave it for too late.  Can it really ever be too late?

Explore the number of specialised master’s degree programmes offered by Robert Kennedy College through exclusive partnerships with top British universities. Or, if you have already made up your mind, click here to apply.

Robert Kennedy College and York St John graduates being silly with their hats in the Quad before graduation.