Progress in a career does not happen overnight. However, when you get stuck, it is important to know what the cause is and how to adequately deal with the situation to help you move forward. In this article, we explore the reasons why you are having difficulty moving to the next level in your career.
1. Your skills are outdated
Assess the current requirements in your profession and see how you measure up by reading job adverts. In some fields, its almost impossible to advance if you are lacking a particular professional course. One such field that immediately comes to mind is accounting where to advance, a professional certification such as ACCA or CPA is absolutely necessary. For professions such as computer science which are characterized by constant innovation, your career will not advance as fast as you would have wanted it to if you do not invest in updating your skills continuously.
2. You are not proactive
A stagnant career could point to how proactive you are in seeking out opportunities for yourself. Perhaps you have neglected to invest time in a job search or you simply are not even aware of the opportunities that are available to you. Good opportunities come to those who are willing to put in the work. Sometimes, we unfortunately self sabotage. There are opportunities all around us to grow but we are just not ready for those new challenges.
3. You are too comfortable
Being too comfortable can sabotage your chances of having a successful career. What do you do when you are faced with challenges? Do you crouch down in fear or are you motivated to be innovative? All growth happens when we operate outside of our comfort zone. Do one thing that scares you today. Schedule that informational interview, volunteer for that work project and ask for your boss for a job rotation.
4. You are not building relationships
Opportunities that help you advance your career come from building relationships not just with your boss but also subordinates and colleagues. The way you relate with people might be the reason why things are not going your way in your career. Assess these relationships to see where there’s a need for improvement.
5. You have a negative attitude
A negative attitude can be smelt from afar and it will affect the quality of your work. There is a common saying that your attitude will determine your altitude. When you are less than enthusiastic about your employer and what he stands for, you will find yourself in a less than desirable stagnant career.
6. You don’t want to leave your current job
A career can stall because you are hesitant to leave your current employer. It is okay to want to stay with an employer. After all, research shows that people rise to the top faster if they stay for longer with the same organisation. So, want to be a CEO of your company one day? It’s better to stay put but understand how your career will progress so that you are always on track even when you feel like you are not making any progress.
7. Your performance is not top notch
If your performance is less than excellent, your upward career mobility will be limited. To have the career growth you crave for, be sure to have a performance record that speaks for itself through good performance reviews, awards for good performance and general excellent feedback.
8. You have a bad personal brand
Whether you acknowledge it or not, you have a personal brand which you are always shaping every day with every interaction with clients, colleagues, and other people you meet. What do they say about you? Are you difficult to work with? Refer to past performance appraisals or feedback received. Take some time to reflect about how others perceive you. You can sit with a trusted mentor or friend so that you can nail down the specifics. If there are things you want to change about your professional brand, start making conscious effort to change so that you can advance.
9. You are not playing office politics
We hardly want to admit it but office politics does play a role in who gets to advance at work. Ignore it at your own risk. Find out the movers and shakers, and build relationships with them. Manage expectations. Office politics is really about developing relationships. Stop viewing it in a negative manner and embrace it as part of your relationship building strategy. Use it to your advantage and you will soon get the progress you want for your career.
10. You have a poor relationship with your boss
Your boss will determine how fast you grow professionally. If your career has stalled because you do not get along with your boss, find ways to make your relationship better. If that sounds impossible, it is highly recommended that you move. A boss who is not crazy about you will not be invested in your growth. Your name will never come up when it comes to promotion time.
Have you ever experienced a stalled career? How did you deal with it?