My Career is Stagnating

Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.
~Albert Einstein

Round and round, day after day, trudging around in the same old circle, ending up right back where you started. Does this sound like you? Cheer up, there are ways out of that career rut. You just need a little guidance finding ways to shine again.

Here Are Some Ideas to Get You Started

1. Reach Out

This is a vital first step. You need to know that others have felt the same way you’re feeling right now. Talk with a career coach, a mentor, or a co-worker. Sometimes what you need is a fresh perspective, and you can get that from someone who’s been there.

2. Learn Something New

Take stock of your workplace and find something that interests you. As an example, if you work in a print shop manipulating photos, ask the boss if you could learn how to run the press. “A change is as good as a rest” is more than just a tired old axiom.

3. Consider Your Strengths

You’re a resourceful person. You probably have talents that you could put to work in your job. Is there something you can do better than anyone else? Think about ways to rediscover pleasure in your job by putting your abilities to work in a whole new way.

4. Ask Yourself Why You’re Doing This

Is your job just a means to a paycheck? If that’s the case, then perhaps it’s time to move on. If you’re at the point where you’re saying, “This is not what I want to do with my life,” then you can either look for a promotion within your current company, or leave in favor of greener (or at least different) pastures.

I Could Do with a Bit of a Promotion

If you’ve reached what’s commonly known as a career plateau, then getting a promotion could be just the ticket. You’ve been successful in your career up until now, but it’s time to take the next step. It can be difficult moving up, but if you’re a hard worker with a fair share of ambition, it’s not impossible. Here are some good strategies to follow:

1. Improve Yourself

If you’ve been putting off upgrading your skill set, don’t wait any longer. Upgrade your education, or ask for additional training. This shows that you believe in yourself and your profession.

2. Network

Obviously, you should have a LinkedIn profile and make contacts outside your immediate frame of reference. But don’t neglect contacts within your company. There’s always someone who knows someone who could help you achieve your goal.

3. Ask for a Performance Review

Schedule a meeting with your immediate superior with the goal of identifying your strengths and weaknesses. You can’t fix what you can’t identify, and if you want to advance, you need to know what areas you have to work on.

4. Use the Resources Available to You

Talk with people in positions similar to the one to which you aspire. Find out what you need to know. Also, make sure your Human Resources department knows who you are and what you want.

5. If You Want It, Ask For It

Think about how you’d feel if your dream job went to someone else, and the explanation offered was, “Gosh, Lou, we didn’t think you’d be interested.” It’s easy to become occupied with networking, training and such, but keep in mind that if you don’t let your boss in on the fact that you’d like to move up, you’re not likely to be high on the list of people who will be considered when a position does open up.

I’m Just All Used Up – Time to Move On

If you’ve come to this state of affairs, go. But don’t use the opportunity to tell the boss exactly what you think of her and your mind-numbingly dull job. Leave on a high note. You might feel like burning the bridge, but rest assured that if you do, everyone in your field of work will know why the fire brigade had to be summoned.