We are about halfway through 2013, and for many, it is a time of assessing and evaluating how things have gone for you so far. Careerwise, you may have set goals at the beginning of year that may or may not have come to pass. Last November, I wrote a post about the importance of a Career Assessment to determine what is next in terms of your professional life. Doing that assessment can let you know the important pieces to the puzzle you are trying to solve; achieving professional greatness while making sure you are making use of your talents. But what happens when you have experienced upward mobility only to be caught in a rut of stagnation? Have you hit a career plateau?
With exercise and losing weight, a plateau may occur when you’ve lost a good amount of weight, and your body begins to hold onto what it currently has which makes it harder for you to lose weight. The same can be true with your career. Perhaps for years, you have been upwardly mobile professionally, getting a raise every year as well as a bump in job title or responsibility. Now that you have moved well up the corporate ladder, you are stuck.
This happened to me when I was working as a Hiring Manager several years ago. As Hiring Manager and HR, I was the only person in the small company responsible for hiring and firing. I moved from customer service to my position in less than six months, and other than being the CEO, there was nowhere else for me to go. It was assumed that I would be happy being in my job position. And I was for a couple of years—but then I needed more.
So if you are experiencing a career plateau, here are a few things you can do:
Weigh Your Options
Is there another role you can play at your current place of employment? If so, weigh your options. Are you a good fit for this position? Is it currently available? Have you made it known that you would like to be considered for the job?
Create Your Role
If you have proven yourself to be a wonderkind in the office, then you may have the ability to create your role. Show the higher-ups in your company why this new position needs to be created for you. Do your research and make sure they understand what their ROI is. Give them realistic reasons why they should create this role for you.
Go Out On Your Own
Starting your own business may be the next step, especially if you have exhausted all of the possibilites within your current employment. Naturally going out on your own is a way to get out of your rut, but it is quite challenging and can be difficult. If you don’t have the proper savings, this may not be a option. But you could also start your business as a side hustle, increasing your profits slowly while still working, so you can build your business before walking away from your job.
Just because you’ve hit a career plateau at your current workplace doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities for you elsewhere. Check other companies and see if there are openings for you within their organization that will give you a jump start moving in the right direction. Don’t be afraid to take a chance.
Career plateaus are inevitable, especially when you’ve been working for a long time in your chosen profession. But it doesn’t mean you have to be settle in your current role. Utilize the tips above to make sure you get unstuck and moving toward a role that will bring you fulfillment.
Are you currently experiencing a career plateau?