It’s perfectly normal to fall into a professional rut on occasion, even if you actively work to avoid it. When we’re just starting out, and we gain some education and experience and start to see some real progress, our motivation is in full supply. But after some time, this steady progress may start to plateau (or even decline), leaving us in a slump. For loan officers, this could look like your sales pipeline slowing down — maybe the marketing methods you’ve counted on in the past have lost their luster, or perhaps you’re really not sure why your progress has slowed. Fortunately, there are many ways to dig yourself out of a professional rut and renew your motivation. Here are some ideas that can help:
Get to Work Earlier
If you find yourself in a rut, sometimes just putting in a little additional effort will pull you out of it. It starts with getting a head start on the day (I wrote an article recently on how routines can impact success, here). Try getting to work even just slightly earlier than usual. An extra 15 to 30 minutes can be used to develop and implement new strategies. It’s proven that most people do their most productive work in the morning, so try waking up a bit earlier to take advantage of those valuable morning hours.
Change Your Environment
One of the simplest (yet effective) ways to get out of a rut is to change up your environment. The easiest way to do this may be to clean up your current workspace. Start by organizing and decluttering your desk, getting rid of any unnecessary items along the way. If your work environment is chaotic, it can contribute to you feeling more overwhelmed and less inspired to make positive changes. You may not immediately think of it, but your cluttered space may be contributing to your rut. Another way to change up your environment is by spending a day away from the office. If you can work remotely, find an alternative place to work, like a cafe, to vary your work environment. If not, sometimes a day off is all we need to get re-energized.
The rut you’re in could be the result of a lack of inspiration. While changing your environment may be enough to help, sometimes we need more concrete inspiration. Start looking into motivating and educational material both within the mortgage industry and outside of it. Podcasts are a terrific resource. More free resources out there include online articles blogs, and TedTalks that can help motivate you to make some changes. You can even look to mortgage experts or anyone else you admire. The key is to find new ideas to accelerate your own creativity and productivity.
Redefine Your Goals
Finally, sometimes the only thing you need to pull yourself out of a rut is to remind yourself of your values and mission. Remembering why you chose to work in the mortgage industry, and what you’d hoped to achieve, can often be enough to prod you into focusing on making new progress. Look back at the goals you’ve created. Think about your existing goals and why you set them. Then, come up with strategies to start cracking away at them to help you get out of your slump. You may even find that your goals contributed to your rut — if you need to create a new plan of action or different goals entirely, take this opportunity for some reinvention.
We can all rely on autopilot from time to time, going through the usual motions until we finally realize our progress has stalled. Take some steps to alter your regular patterns, remind yourself of the things that you want — and by taking even small steps in the right direction, you can create a path for reinvention and innovation.
If you’re considering a move, we have some terrific opportunities for loan officers, sales managers, and branch managers that I’d love to discuss with you.
VP – Retail Market Leader