Career Plateau: Feeling Boxed In?

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    career plateau“I’ve been in this position for four years. My boss drops hints about where I might go from here, but nothing comes of it. I feel stuck. ”

    When you have been in a position for a while you may feel like you have reached a plateau. But I think that plateaus are not necessarily bad. They don’t always signal a stalled career. It could also be a time to recharge and get ready for the next opportunity.

    Take stock and then take action.

    1. Don’t assume your boss will look out for you.
    Placing primary responsibility on your boss for advancing your career is not a smart move. She’s probably more concerned about her own, especially in these are difficult economic times. So use this time for your own career planning.

    2. Clarify if it’s you or the company that’s the problem.
    Are you burned out? Has your last performance appraisal been a downer? The worst thing is to pretend everything’s fine. The problem may be you. What can you do right now to get you back on a success track?

    However, if you’ve been getting good performance review and have advanced with regularity then ,most likely, it is not you that has stalled. It may be the company. How well have they dealt with the recent recession? Are they starting to show signs of growth?

    3. Tune up to be in the right place at the right time.
    Remember have skills, will travel. Periodically inspect your skills portfolio. Which skills are state-of-the-art and in great demand? Which skills are somewhat rusty that need to be improved? How many are transferable to other areas inside your organization or even outside to other companies or industries?

    The best way to find out about new opportunities is to stay connected with others. Who, in your company, are in a position to know where the potholes and potentials are? Also look outward. Be involved in your community and your professional organization. The more visibility you have, the more opportunities will appear.

    Career Success Tip

    If you career stalls, don’t wait for the career fairy to appear and make everything better. It’s up to you. What career options can you start exploring for challenge, variety, or greater personal satisfaction? What internal training or external seminars will enhance your marketability? Who can mentor you to get your career moving?

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?