Is the highlight of your day a trip to the vending machine? Career expert Anne Kreamer, author of Risk/Reward, offers tips for climbing out of a rut.

By Nicole Sforza
Updated July 01, 2015
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Anne Kreamer
Credit: Lucy Andersen

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Anne Kreamer
Credit: Lucy Andersen

1 Be a morning person.

Numerous academic studies confirm the magic of morning. “The more decisions people make throughout the day, the more exhausted and resistant they can become,” says Kreamer. “If you want to pitch a new project or ask for more responsibility, do so in the morning. Sunshine helps, too.” A bright sky “might put your boss in a better mood,” she says, “increasing the odds that she’ll give you the go-ahead.”

2 See the forest, not just the trees.

Kreamer talks about using “soft eyes” to take in peripheral surroundings, so you’re relaxed but alert. In the workplace, this means leaning back from the grind once a day to notice excitement on the horizon. “The point is to see what might be coming at your company in a month or a year, so you don’t miss out,” she says. “Staying aware means you’re ready to act when you need to.”

3 Take the leap.

A recent study showed that 46 percent of Americans who wanted to change jobs hadn't taken any concrete steps to make a move. Cultivate a path: have coffee once a week with someone you don’t know too well; make one cold call a day; attend a lecture on something that falls outside the strict definition of your field and chat up the person next to you—it'll widen your network of contacts. Says Kreamer: “Life is about change. Learn to embrace the flow.”