Episode 208. The 3 Reasons You’re Stuck in Your Career

February 28, 2024

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Are you feeling stuck in your career? Do you find yourself going through the motions, lacking direction and passion? You’re not alone. Many military and veteran women experience this feeling at some point in their professional journey. 

In this episode, we discuss tangible strategies for addressing stagnation in your career, military transition, or in life itself. We emphasize three main reasons for feeling stuck: lack of information, indecisiveness leading to anxiety over choices, and issues of disagreement about the career choice with others.

Woman in military uniform. Three Reasons You're Stuck in Your Military Career

[00:00:00] Wendi: Hey sis, welcome to Beyond the Military Podcast, where faith led military women overcome burnout and create more balance. Just imagine having enough time to focus on your faith, family, and have more fun while still serving as a woman leader. In this podcast, you will walk away with the tools to help you navigate the busy life of a military woman, organize your mind, overcome overwhelm, and create a prioritization playbook and a balanced blueprint for integrating faith, family, and career.

[00:00:28] Wendi: Yeses in that order. Hi, I’m Wendi Wray woman of God, wife, mama of two, army veteran, and certified life coach. And I’m here to help you create a life of meaning outside of the military, a life of laughter, joy, and intentional free time. If you are ready to overcome burnout and create balance as a faith led military woman, sis, this podcast is for you.

[00:00:50] Wendi: So loosen up your laces and grab your coffee because it’s time to step into freedom and peace.

[00:00:55] Wendi: Hello ladies. And welcome to episode 208. [00:01:00] Today, we are talking about your career and listen, if you’re like I’m already set. I know exactly where I need to be, and I’m happy with where I’m at. That is amazing, but also I want to encourage you to pay attention to these three reasons. A lot of times we are stuck in her career and also in our life.

[00:01:19] Wendi: So if you are good to go into a career, that is amazing kudos to you, but I also want to encourage you to focus on where or other areas that you might be stuck in. Because when I tell you. These three reasons really ultimately break it, break down where you may be living on autopilot or the reasons why you’re living in autopilot.

[00:01:41] Wendi: So I highly encourage that. You take a moment and consider if maybe any of these three reasons are preventing you or keeping you stuck. Keeping you in a place where you’re not taking any action and you’re not seeing any results. Because you’re not possibly understanding what the main reason may be. And therefore [00:02:00] you’re like, I’m just going to stay here where I’m at, because I’m comfortable.

[00:02:03] Wendi: I’m good. And I don’t need to change anything. And here’s what I also want to say. There will be seasons in our life where we are okay. Where we are at, because we’re making progress in different ways. We are. Um, experiencing a season of, um, just being in a place where we are ready. Envisioned with we’re going to be or where we plan on being.

[00:02:27] Wendi: And so it’s okay if you’re like, listen, one day I. I’m good with where I’m at now. I love my new position. I am happy to be in the military and that’s great. But I also want to encourage you to just focus for a moment on these three reasons. Not only to help you in the future, because here’s the thing our mind. We’ll do this to us constantly because of growth and progress. That, um, it requires for us to really [00:03:00] consider, um, really what’s going on.

[00:03:01] Wendi: Right? And so for you, you may not be going through this now. You may not be stuck, but what I also want to offer is that maybe you have soldiers around you or other leaders around you that may be going through this season. And so, again, as the leader, we want to be informed. We want to stay in the know on how we can also benefit. Others in a way where we are sharing the knowledge where, where we are sharing what we have learned and also even experienced.

[00:03:32] Wendi: And so I want to encourage you to take a moment and just write these down or keep them your notes or text them to a friend. That may be going through this season in their life and they’re feeling stuck and they’re like, I don’t know where to go from here with my career, or I have no idea what the next thing will be for me. And so it even better. I don’t want you to share this episode with another military military lady and another woman that’s [00:04:00] possibly. You know, active duty or thinking of getting out or thinking of the transition. Because I went through one of these reasons specifically when I was transitioning out of the military. When I had no idea. What. In the world I was going to do. And even have the mental capacity to consider what that would look like.

[00:04:24] Wendi: And so I encourage you to take a moment, just listen to men. And like I said, if there’s someone that, you know, that might benefit from this episode, please share it with her. Because again, this is something that I wish I knew. I knew five, seven years ago, eight years ago when I was transitioning out.

[00:04:43] Wendi: And as I said that, I’m like, oh my gosh, this is, it’s been a while. It’s been a minute. And so again, this is why I want to. Go over these three reasons, because again, you don’t know when you will need these. Um, tools when you’ll need to share this with someone in, on your team, in your organization, [00:05:00] or maybe just simply someone that you run into. Um, or that person could also be you.

[00:05:05] Wendi: So with that today, we are going to go over the three reasons. Y we are stuck in a career decision making process because it’s important for us to focus on growth. It’s important for us to focus on. Um, where we want to be in the next couple of years, being that most of the time, our military career. Is less than 10 years, especially as a woman, not a lot of woman retired.

[00:05:32] Wendi: The percentage is very low that do the 20 years or even the 30 years. And so again, this is why it’s so. One, um, Um, I’m so compelled to talk about this because it’s something that I struggled with. And I know a lot of you, a lot of you are struggling with this as well as you are in your career active duty, or as you’re getting out, or even as a veteran.

[00:05:54] Wendi: I know this is something that I struggled with too. Even when I was out two years later, I’m like, okay, what [00:06:00] exactly do I want for my career? How do I want to use this? Um, you know, skills, the talent they do have, how do I want to share this and value? With possibly another company with a business.

[00:06:12] Wendi: How do I want to do this? And so today I want to encourage you to pay attention to where you are right now, because everyone is different. Everyone’s going to get stuck in different phases and everyone’s going to possibly, um, have a reason. Or more than one reason on why they are stuck. And so the first reason. Is lack of direction. And that typically follows with the lack of information that we have.

[00:06:42] Wendi: And most of the time, we, especially if you’re active duty, the reason we don’t have enough information is because one, we haven’t focused, not even, you know, a third of our time or our free time. To dedicate to the possibilities. Of [00:07:00] what our career can’t. Could it be. Um, and that includes in the military or even outside of the military, because here’s the thing the military will offer you so many opportunities.

[00:07:12] Wendi: I mean, so many opportunities. I remember. Um, especially as an HR professional, I used to receive so many opportunities at anyone could apply for this was, um, a different, you could. You know, pick a whole nother job. You could go to a school that, you know, you didn’t have any background in so many things that you, you could do.

[00:07:32] Wendi: You could go from being enlisted to being an officer. Um, you could go from. Changing your entire military occupation, you could go from just changing duty stations or changing something about your career that you maybe never considered. It was out there. But here’s the thing, not a lot of people or, um, other soldiers paid attention to it because they were so busy. They were just focused on the, now they were [00:08:00] just focused on what they were doing, that 50 meter target.

[00:08:03] Wendi: That’s what they were focused on. And nothing wrong with that, but again, they didn’t consider the possibilities of what was out there during the time, because everything was going well. And so when we have lack of information or sometimes like, you know why we’re just, we’re good, where, where we are now, and I’m not even going to consider anything else. And like I said earlier, it’s completely okay for you to make that decision ahead of time.

[00:08:28] Wendi: If you’re like, okay. I love my job right now. I have two years in this position. I’m going to just settle with my career for these next two years. That’s completely great. But if you’re someone that you’re like, no, like I want something different in the next six months, but I don’t know where to begin or even how to start that. It may be because of the lack of information. The lack of information that you have even compiled or even have really available to you because you haven’t made any time. If you [00:09:00] haven’t made any time to focus on what could the possibility we speak.

[00:09:05] Wendi: Right. So now you’re stuck. You’re like, okay. I don’t have any information. I have so much going on. I don’t have a routine in place. I just, I am. Um, completely swamped with everything that I’m doing. So therefore I’m going to use this excuse or this reason of not having enough information. I’ll just come back to it next year. But then deep inside, you’re still feeling stuck because you’re like, no, I have. No other opportunity. Or no other avenue for my career.

[00:09:35] Wendi: This is it. And so we believe this lie of not having anything available or not being able to pivot in your career regardless of where you are, because we believe that we don’t have the time or there isn’t enough information when it’s just, it’s just a reason that you’re creating, because the information is there.

[00:09:56] Wendi: If you really take a moment and you’re like, I’m going to. You know, use these 30 minutes. [00:10:00] To, um, go look at what is out there. Then you would have that available. You would be able to go out there and identify what opportunities are available for you or the information that you might need. In order to continue to search for more information. And listen, it can get tedious, especially if you’re going from one military occupation to the next, or if you’re in the military and you’re like, okay, I know and have so much experience about this occupation.

[00:10:32] Wendi: Let’s just say you’re on 92 golf. That’s how I started. Something to golf, a cook. And you did that for the, for your entire career, but now you’re like, I really want to pivot. And I want to be a dental hygienist. I’m just going to a completely other field here. I want to be a dental hygienist. Oh, that’s what I want to pursue, you know, in the dentistry field. And you’re like, well, I don’t have information now.

[00:10:57] Wendi: And right now I’m not getting out because I still have three years left on my [00:11:00] contract. So I will do that then. Or I’m just not going to focus on that. And I’m just going to focus on or what I’m doing now. But then six months fast-forward even six weeks. You’re like, okay. So now I’m feeling stuck because I don’t have a plan.

[00:11:13] Wendi: I have no idea what I’m going to do when I’m going to get out. And by the way, I’m frustrated right now because everything that I’ve, you know, all the hard work that I’ve put in, it’s not going well right now. And I’m feeling stuck. Like if I had the ability to get out and transition right now, would. And I would figure it out, which you would, but most of the times we want to change our, you know, I want to pivot our career because we don’t like where we’re at in that moment.

[00:11:40] Wendi: But then. Because we know, like we go into cognitive dissonance where we know this is our job for the next couple of months or couple of years, but then our brain wants to offer us that, wait a minute. You could also be a dental hygienist. What if you do that next week? And so again, our brain doesn’t really understand [00:12:00] when we’re in it and also the, um, opportunities that we have outside of our field. And so then what happens?

[00:12:10] Wendi: We then feel stuck because we’re like, okay, now we’re like in this job, in this career that we don’t like because of this one thing, and now you’re like, okay, I don’t have enough information. I don’t know what I’m going to do. And then you get overwhelmed, you get frustrated. And next thing you know, you’re not. Um, also doing things the way that you typically would, because now you’re discouraged.

[00:12:31] Wendi: You’re like, okay, great. Now, what am I going to do? I’m here, I’m stuck. And you’re showing your leaders in so many different ways that you’re not really putting in your 100%. Because you’re so focused on being stuck or not doing it correctly or not being able to pivot right away. I didn’t have able to do something else with your career.

[00:12:53] Wendi: So you’re feeling stuck. In that position in that organization, or even in that field. [00:13:00] And so that’s reason number one. Reason number two. And this was my favorite. This is really the one where I got stuck. I mean, for the longest. And it was an indecision. And by that, I mean, I’m going to break in decisions to parks because here’s the thing. They don’t want my ladies. Or people in general. That are indecisive just to begin with.

[00:13:23] Wendi: Right. And the reason. For that. And I can raise my hand of you. I’m a recovering in decisive individual. Because when we are used to only keeping everything simple and only having, um, a very small amount of options. We are able to then make a decision. And so for me, I remember growing up, it was very easy for me to decide because I was, I was raised as an only child. So it was just a yes or no, or I never had to look, um, for someone else to make a decision for me, or to just simply, [00:14:00] um, have to like collaborate with others to make a decision.

[00:14:02] Wendi: Cause it was just me. And so as I grew older, and then there were more people involved, I was in a Gerald DC. I was with teens. I’m like, oh my gosh, this is something. Now there’s so many options. What am I going to decide? And so it became harder for me. And so I was this person that really couldn’t make decisions easily because I was just in decisive. Because there were so many options and so many things available that I’m like, okay, somebody just pick and I will go with whatever.

[00:14:30] Wendi: Um, someone else has picked someone else will pick. And so there’s that individual. Right. But. Indecisive to begin with. And then there’s the other individual that will make decisions quickly. But here’s this. But they will decide quickly with yes or no, or I’m going to go left or I’m going to go. Right.

[00:14:50] Wendi: But then when it comes to actually take an action, They have what I call choice anxiety. That means that they are now [00:15:00] anxious about the decision or the choice that they have chosen. And so they won’t take any action or they will take action in anxious manner, which is sometimes. No action at all. And so for me, it was more so of like, okay, About grown without being indecisive.

[00:15:18] Wendi: Right. Like I checked the block. I was like, you know what? I’m going to decide. I am going to get out. So the answer was, yes, I’m getting out. But then I couldn’t figure out a date. Okay. I’m getting out. What am I getting up? And then even if it even got better to the point where I’m like, okay, I’m getting out this year, 2017, I’m getting out this year for sure. 2017. But then I know what month, what day to put on my packet and time was ticking. And so if this is you, you’re not alone. If you’re like, okay, I am not an indecisive individual. I just get choices, anxiety.

[00:15:56] Wendi: When I do choose. Then listen, this is [00:16:00] exactly normal. This is completely normal. Because you’re not alone. There are so many women that are like up, I’m going to make decisions and they’re going to act on it. Then there’s the other women that are like, I’m going to make a decision. But I get so much anxiety just thinking about the plan that I’ve made.

[00:16:17] Wendi: And so I don’t want to action on Amy of it. And then there’s the other women that are like, I’m just, I’m not going to decide. Because it’s scary, but at the end of the day, we’re still deciding not to make decision. So again, which one, where are you in, in the reason I want you to identify is because here’s the second part of that. If we have choice anxiety and we’re completely frozen because here’s what the happens.

[00:16:43] Wendi: And I was talking to my best friend about this. Um, like last weekend, not this weekend, but last weekend. And we were talking about what happens when we get anxious, like how our brain. Functions when we get anxious. And one of the things [00:17:00] that, you know, for her, it was more like, um, it was more of a flight mode. And I was like, yeah, it’s other year, you’re going to fight. No, I think she was in fight mode.

[00:17:09] Wendi: Sorry. Fight mode. It driller fight mode flight mode, or you’re literally just going to freeze. So those are the three apps you’re going to fight. You’re going to flight or you’re going to freeze. And so for most of us, when we’re praying, we’re like, okay, we’re so anxious. We don’t know what’s happening.

[00:17:27] Wendi: And we want to blame blame the external thing. What really is happening is that, that one thing. Is not creating the anxiety. It’s our thoughts about that? One thing that’s creating the anxiety. So for you, what are your thoughts about the career pivot? The career transition? Um, the career, the next career journey that you’re taking either in the military. Or as you’re transitioning out of the military, What is it that your mind is thinking, is it that maybe it’s going to go wrong [00:18:00] or it’s not the way to do it, or maybe even like, this is not the time.

[00:18:05] Wendi: Right. And so you get, you get anxious. Or maybe you’re like a perfectionist and you’re like, I’m not going to get it right. I’m going to fail along the way. And that creates this anxiety because that’s what happens when we have choice anxiety, a lot of things that your mind is going through. It’s like, everything’s going to go wrong. All the negative thoughts are coming in. Because you don’t want it to go wrong.

[00:18:26] Wendi: You. You want it to be perfect. You want it to go as smooth as possible because you’re comfortable where you’re at now. So you’re like, why even take that step? Into that plan that I’ve made. And so if you are where I was. Because what happened to me? I put in my packet, I was like, okay, I made a decision.

[00:18:45] Wendi: Great, got a date, great to a couple months. I submitted it amazing. But then my brain decided to get stuck. My brain was like, we’re going to freeze. We’re not getting out. [00:19:00] We’re not saying we’re just going to continue with our day to day that we typically do. We go to work, we show up, we repeat, we do this every day.

[00:19:07] Wendi: We’re not going to prepare. We’re just going to pretend that I’m not getting out. And we’re just going to pretend that everything as well. And then when that time comes. We will then focus on transitioning out. We will then focus on all the things of the plan that I’ve made. In getting out. And so I kid you not, I want to say my terminal leave started in November. In July is when it really hit me. I was like, oh my gosh, I’m going to start my terminal.

[00:19:30] Wendi: Leave in November. It’s July. And the reason he hit me was because my kids. We’re about to get, um, into the vehicle to get everything moved because they were going to start school in August. And so that’s when it really hit me really August timeframe and I was like panicking and I’m like, okay, I’m frozen. I am now in a phase where I’m stuck, what’s happening. What am I doing with my career?

[00:19:57] Wendi: Is this really happening? So then I immediately [00:20:00] started. Flight mode. I was going, I was gone making everything that I had planned. I was taking action. And I was getting it done. For most of you, that’s also procrastinator, right? I want. Procrastination mode. Um, and I was like, I’m waiting till the last minute. And then I’ll get it done and that’s seriously what happened.

[00:20:19] Wendi: But again, the reason I was stuck was because of my indecision to begin with. So are you in the same phase? Are you in this same reason? Of maybe you’re like, no, I already made a decision. Okay. But if you made a decision. Are you in choice anxiety. If you’re not taking any action. If you’re not, or if you’re with a plan and not taking any action and not seeing any results. That may be it.

[00:20:45] Wendi: It could be that. And the third reason, which is also very common when we’re getting out as military members or we’re transitioning out. Into this Valeo sector. And that is. [00:21:00] The disagreement with others. And what that may look like, especially if you’re married and you have kids. Amy look like you don’t want to relocate to another location. Or better yet?

[00:21:14] Wendi: You don’t want to take a demanding opportunity because you are the mom. You are now going to focus more on your kids. And you’re like, I don’t want to apply for something. That’s going to have me working all day and need of my attention. Constantly. So I am just going to focus on not even thinking about a career. And again, because you possibly had that disagreement with your spouse, with your husband. And here’s the thing. And here’s what I want you to take out of everything that I’ve said today. For, at least for this reason alone, because the other two reasons are also very important. But this reason right here is that most of the time, when [00:22:00] we allow disagreement with others, To take place or for it to, um, really take place in this. In, in the reason of why you are not making any progress in your career and why you’re feeling stuck is because you are not completely sold on your future career. I’ll say it again. The reason. You are in. Um, frozen, you’re stuck. When it comes to. Your career, your new career or pivot your career. Is because you are, you yourself are not. A hundred percent sold. On your new career. And so when someone gives you an objection and they’re like, okay, well, What if this business doesn’t work out. Or what if this real estate doesn’t work out. Or this new role that you’re going to be in this leadership role in the civilian sector.

[00:22:57] Wendi: What if that’s not the one for you? When [00:23:00] you’re not a hundred percent sold. You’re going to agree with them. You’re gonna be like you’re right. How am I going to make this business work? How am I going to make this new role work? If I have new experience in the corporate sector. How am I going to make this real estate investing in real estate? Um, business and career a successful career because. It’s new.

[00:23:21] Wendi: I’ve never been in that location. And you’re right. This is completely true. And so your mind believes that it’s true. And instead of providing your spouse, your husband, your loved one. The real reason on why you need this career. You are just going to get sucked in, into this disagreement. And not be able to show. Your loved one and your husband. What that would look like for you? And so when, when this is your reason when you’re like, listen, Wendy, [00:24:00] My husband is not on board. Or my loved one. What I want you to understand is that one?

[00:24:07] Wendi: Yes. It’s very important that you both are on the same page. Trust me. Trust me, trust me, trust me. I get it. It’s very important, especially when you’re married and you have kids and it’s going to affect everyone. But I also want you to hear me. It’s important for you to express with certainty. On how or what this career means to you. And when you do that, I promise you. Your loved one will hear you. And will understand you. And we’ll even come into a place where they’re like, you know what. You have sold me on this, or you are so certain. Certain that this is going to work and not in a way where like you’re starting is going to be successful, but you’re certain that this is what you want. [00:25:00] For your future career. Because a lot of the times when we are in the military, right, our spouse or husbands have to sacrifice their careers to. And I get it. My husband and I were both dual military.

[00:25:15] Wendi: So he was only, um, I think it was about almost a year where he. Went into the medical retirement phase and he was still kind of identifying what his career would look like. So for him, for, for us, it worked out. But for those of you that it’s only been, you that’s been in the military or you’re dual military, and now you have to follow your spouse. There are opportunities. That can help you. Pivot into your new career, right?

[00:25:45] Wendi: So like, let’s just say you want to work in the corporate sector. There are so many more opportunities, or let’s just say you want to do real estate. You can do real estate in any state that your spouse is in that your husband isn’t. You could do almost [00:26:00] anything. Almost anything start any business right now in this time. Anywhere in the world. But you have to be completely sold on that career, on that business, on that pivot.

[00:26:13] Wendi: Because if you’re not, your spouse is definitely not going to be on board and yes, there will be disagreement. And so again, I want you to hear me. Yes. Be on the same page as your spouse, but I also want you to feel encouraged. To talk about this with your spouse, with your husband. With your loved one. Because if they don’t listen with certainty and with passionate about your career, It’s going to be a disagreement. And here’s the thing.

[00:26:47] Wendi: A lot of the times, it’s more so of like your presence with the family. And so that’s another thing, like how can you work around this disagreement? Do you need to show them right? Do you need to do [00:27:00] this while you’re still in the military? Do you need to do this part time? In order for you both to be on the, you know, um, be on board. And maybe you don’t have to convince them right away, or you don’t have to show him right away. But that doesn’t give you a reason to miss out on an opportunity for you on your career. So, what I’m saying here is don’t let this be a reason for you to feel stuck. Don’t let the lack of information in decision or even the disagreement. With others theories. Your reason. Because 99% of the time. They just don’t know what, you know. Trust me. I have not only, this was me, this was with my husband.

[00:27:45] Wendi: Like he had no idea what this whole podcasting thing was and this whole life coaching. But I brought it up just sprinkled a little bit more. And now he knows that I have a podcast and now he knows that I’m a life coach. And now he knows that I’m also working in corporate. [00:28:00] And oh, by the way, there are so many other opportunities. That I am considering.

[00:28:05] Wendi: And now he’s on work cause he’s like, you know what? Now, whatever career she chooses. We both know, and she knows and values what his feedback will be. Where his perspective is. And so that’s what I want to offer you today. Where are you? If in any of these reasons, where are you stuck? Is it because you don’t have enough information and maybe because you haven’t even looked for the information you haven’t even considered it. The indecision or is it because of the disagreement with others? I would love to know specifically from you come join me in my Facebook group life coaching for military and veteran woman over on Facebook.

[00:28:49] Wendi: The link is also in the show notes. Come join me and let me know. When you listen to this episode where you are stuck or what’s your reason you are stuck. And I would love to not only share with [00:29:00] you more in the Facebook group, but also be able to help you and listen, if you’re like, I don’t have a social media. Um, or I don’t have Facebook, I don’t have social media.

[00:29:08] Wendi: You can also send me an email to And I would love to hear from you.

[00:29:14] Wendi: And listen, if you’re someone that’s feeling stuck right now in your career or in your life, I invite you to schedule a free consultation session with me.

[00:29:22] Wendi: All you have to do is go to and you and I are going to spend 45 minutes together. Where, we will dissect why you are stuck in your career or in your life, and we’ll get a plan together and you will implement that plan for the next 30 days. Alright, well, I hope that this episode blessed you and that you took so much out of it.

[00:29:46] Wendi: And I would love for you to share this episode with someone that you might think that is possibly stuck in their career or even in their life. And they’re just living on autopilot alright, I hope that you have a beautiful rest of your day. Talk to you soon. [00:30:00] Bye.

[00:30:00] Wendi: Hey lady, if this podcast helped you, challenged you, or inspired you in some way, please leave me a written review for the show on Apple Podcasts and share it with another military sister. Helping you integrate balance, prioritization, and growth in your relationship with God is my ultimate calling. I’m so blessed that you are here, and please join us in the faith led military women community on Facebook at Again, it is. all right. Talk to you soon. Bye