Feeling stuck at work? You’re not alone. According to a recent Gallup poll, 60 percent of people report being detached at work, 50 percent are stressed, and 19 percent go so far as to say they’re actually miserable. If you ask life and career coach Bailey Frumen ’06, ’07M, LCSW, feeling discontent at work is hardly unusual, even among successful go-getters.
“So many people are burnt crispy at work, feeling stuck, and need the tools to get off the merry-go-round and reconnect with who they are,” says Frumen, who is the author of Own Your Power: Your Guide to Feeling Powerful, Fearless, and Free, the host of two podcasts, a sought-after speaker, and one of Leadership Psychology’s Top 20 Life Coaches. “People shouldn’t have to decide between either having a successful career or having a good quality of life.”
Frumen speaks from experience. Trained as a psychotherapist, she realized that her favorite kind of clients were the high-achieving, ambitious, and driven ones, who also had a tendency to get in their own way when it comes to realizing their goals. That’s why 10 years ago she transformed her practice from general counseling to career and life coaching, and took her services remote. She now runs a successful business and has clients all over the world.
“What these clients needed was a clear roadmap, rather than getting stuck on all the things they had to do on a daily basis,” Frumen says.
As the CEO and founder of Mindrise, Frumen offers one-on-one coaching, annual retreats (destinations have included Greece, Puerto Rico, Portugal, and more), a six-month coaching certificate program, and monthly support groups called Masterminds. Curated by Frumen, these groups are designed to offer a six-month, peer-driven deep dive into goal setting, motivation, accountability, and vulnerability, though members tend to make meaningful long-term connections.
In the midst of all this, Frumen says the education she received at Monmouth University’s School of Social Work remains her north star.
“They taught me everything I live by and, most especially, the Social Work Code of Ethics, which first and foremost emphasizes the right to self determination,” she says. “My whole business was founded on that concept, and lives and breathes it on a daily basis—the idea that people have the right to make the choices they do in life, and that it’s not my responsibility to tell them what to do but rather show up and support them.”
How to Get Unstuck
According to Frumen, feeling “stuck” is one of the main reasons her clients seek out career and life coaching. Here are her top tips for getting started on the road to positive change—at work, at home, or anywhere else.
Figure out what’s getting in your way
Start by taking an inventory of life’s six key areas: career, mental and emotional well-being, physical health, finances, relationships, and spirituality. Think about each area objectively and without judgment, and rate how you’re doing with each on a scale of one to 10. “To achieve anything, you have to zoom out and take an inventory of where things are right now,” says Frumen. “If you don’t get clear on what’s holding you back, it’s going to show up over and over.”
Manage your expectations
Once you determine which areas need the most work, figure out what steps you can take to improve. “The size of the gap between where you are and where you want to be will reveal how much work you have to do,” says Frumen. If the gap is big—say, for example, you get winded walking to the mailbox but your goal is to run a 5K—a realistic timeline and bite-sized goals are critical for long-term success. “This is where a coach can help you define the results you want and figure out the steps you need to take to get there.”
Be cognizant of your narrative
“Our words dictate our feelings, which dictate our actions,” says Frumen, adding that this self-talk cycle is the same for everyone regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. “You’re never going to feel great and take positive action if you’re speaking negatively to yourself all the time,” she says. “If your narrative is negative, your feelings will be negative, and you’ll choose actions based on those negative feelings. We’re always telling a story. What is the story you’re telling yourself?”