By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes

It happens to the best of us. You start off in a job, inspired and eager to show what you’re made of. You stay steadily on course and work your way up the corporate ladder, perhaps even earning a promotion or two. Then one day, you wake up, and find yourself feeling stuck. Sitting at the same desk, doing the same job, and working with the same people every day has left you a bit uninspired.

You’ve just found yourself in a career rut.

Entering a new career can feel exciting at the onset, but then quickly lose its appeal if you allow it to become monotonous. When clients come to me feeling a bit lackluster about their career in general, I make sure we assess the total landscape. This includes working not only on career goals, but on mindset as well. Oftentimes it’s our way of thinking that is what’s truly stuck.

Consider this time an opportunity to do some serious work on improving your professional network, and deciding where you’d like to go from here.

Follow these five steps to break out of a career rut.

1. Connect with those who inspire you. Think about who you look up to professionally. What is it about them that inspires you? What qualities do they have, and what are they doing in their career that you find appealing? Spend time with them, and allow yourself to get inspired.

2. Make time for networking. Learning and growing from people in worlds outside your own is one of the best ways to positively impact your career. Broaden your scope and connect with people from outside your normal circle. Networking doesn’t have to mean you’re actively looking for a new job. In fact, it’s better to build a solid network when you’re not asking for anything other than a genuine connection.

3. Find a sponsor. While a mentor can be a great person to look up to, a sponsor will help you obtain tangible results. They’ll be invested in your success and inspire you to keep moving forward in your career. A sponsor will give you technical advice and the corporate pull you need to get ahead in your company.

4. Join a mastermind. Benefit from the collective intelligence of others by joining a mastermind group. A mastermind is generally peer-to-peer help, where you learn from each other and navigate through business challenges together. Want to start your own business? Find an entrepreneurial mastermind and connect a couple of times per month on video chat.

5. Hire a coach. If you still don’t feel inspired on the path you’re on, perhaps it’s time for a complete career change. A coach can help you successfully navigate the process. (Just make sure you do your research and hire the right one!) If change is what you really need, don’t let fear hold you back from making the switch.

Remember, you are in control of how your feel about your career. Feeling like you’re in a rut can negatively impact your mood and your life outside of the office. It’s important to adjust your mindset and take control. Building a professional support system is one of the best things you can do right now.

Follow these tips to get unstuck, and then go anywhere you please. Only you get to decide where that is.

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  • I'm a career coach, keynote speaker, podcast host (You Turn Podcast) and author, here to help you step into a career you're excited about and aligned with. This may look like coaching you 1:1, hosting you in one of my courses, or meeting you at one of workshops or keynote speaking engagements! I also own CAKE Media, a house of ghostwriters, copywriters, publicists and SEO whizzes that help companies and influencers expand their voice online. Before being an entrepreneur, I was an award-winning counterterrorism professional who helped the Pentagon in Washington, DC with preparing civilians to prepare for the frontlines of the war on terror.