A frustrated Edwin Poots considers a career outside politics
A senior DUP figure has admitted he is thinking about a new career because there is little sign of power sharing returning.
Edwin Poots told BBC News NI he is seriously looking at the prospect of leaving politics.
"I think it's something most wise politicians would be looking at now that the future is uncertain," the Lagan Valley MLA said.
"We need to be looking at other options." Although he added he would prefer to remain a politician in a working assembly.
Mr Poots, who was named culture minister in 2007 and health minister in 2011 said "limbo is not a good place to be".
"The last year has not been a year that has had much fulfilment for any politician," he said.
Mr Poots said he was having conversations about job options on "a regular basis".
Other politicians have voiced similar concerns about their careers.
The SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan told the BBC he would consider a return to law.