A career is always about moving forward and keeping pace with the rest of the world. Technology has taken over our lives, both in an outside of work; and if we don’t keep up with the latest trends and continue to generate ideas, we are likely to be left behind.
A career that has stalled is not always easy to spot, and those around you will happily accept your efforts for many years if are happy to settle for second best. A plodder is someone who is content to do exactly what they are told and is reliable to the end. But there isn’t a great deal of difference between a plodder and a staller – both will end with the same results.
If you feel like your career has become stationary or you want to read on to see the signs, here are 5 reasons your career has stalled.
1. You’re in the wrong job
Stuck in a job you receive little or no satisfaction from is very common. It’s not easy to find the right job and more often than not we have to settle for something close or even completely the opposite of what we want to do just to pay the bills.
Settling for a consistent pay check is easy and understandable, but finding a role which pays well and offers great rewards with guaranteed job satisfaction is more desirable. This is what you need to find, and as quickly as possible before you become the plodder and your career stalls.
Consider a career change or at the very least moving to another company which could offer greater rewards. If you are not excited by what you do on a daily basis or you’re constantly feeling frustrated and down, then now’s the time to make a plan of action.
Make the effort to solve your problems both in and outside of work. Your career has potentially stalled and it will only move forward again if you want it to. Nobody else will do this for you, and it may take a lot of hard work and determination, but with the vision of a brighter and happier future it will be worth it in the end.
2. Life gets in the way
A career can stall for many different reasons, but one of the most popular is through neglect. When it comes to paying the rent, juggling the bills, getting the kids to school and arranging a family trip – life usually gets in the way. But you have to think of your career as well, and although all of the above are extremely important, your own work-life balance is equal to that.
Don’t fall behind with upholding your reputation and knowledge in the industry. Keep on top of current affairs and maintain a steady and consistent contribution through platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter. Be careful not to let technology overtake you, and take a few courses in IT to ensure you have the basics. Your years of experience can start to lag behind when up and coming young recruits begin to outpace you.
3. There’s no scope for promotion
When there’s no scope for promotion your career is instantly forced into stalled mode. There isn’t anything you can do within the company other than continue to earn the same amount, do the same tasks, and speak to the same people day in and day out. So what can you do to kick-start your career?
If the company is quite small and there is no room for another manager or supervisor, then consider moving to something bigger. Take years of experience elsewhere and move your career forward with a company that has more to offer. That itch won’t scratch itself, and the only way you can achieve your career goals is to make things happen.
Don’t wait for a manager to leave so you can have the opportunity to slip into their shoes, because that might not happen for many years. Instead, look for a company that offers a route to management through internal training courses. You need to make it clear to an employer that you want to work towards a higher position and strive for a company that moves forward quickly.
4. You’re going with the flow
It’s very easy to get caught up in the flow of a business and bend to their every wish. There is of course nothing wrong with being adaptable and helping co-workers and the company to succeed, but your career could stall if you go with the flow.
Try not to let those around you dictate what you should achieve in life, and although you should always remain flexible to the company’s wishes you should also consider what you want. If the company is taking a direction which doesn’t benefit your career and possibly even stalls it, then take action.
Never settle for second best, and if you know you’re worth more and can achieve more, then let your boss know. Offer to take on more responsibility and make it clear you are looking to go places. But don’t presume you will be given opportunities and ensure your hard work, passion and determination stands up to the challenge.
5. You started a family
Starting a family could mean a lengthy spell away from work – but that doesn’t mean to say your career has stalled. We’d like to think that your career has been put on hold rather than stalled, and it’s ready to resume when you are.
The hardest part about jumping back into a career is the doubt that creeps in. Many years could have passed and you feel rusty and out of touch, which is why doubt and a lack of confidence in your abilities can hinder progress. But a few years away from your career doesn’t mean you have to start again, it just means you may need to play a little catch up.
Try to keep up to date with your industry and continue to contribute online when you can. Attending seminars and reading articles can be a struggle when raising a family, but even small interactions can make that transition back into your career easier when the time comes.
Always put your family first but don’t forget about your career. You’ve invested a lot of time and money into developing and honing your skills, so don’t let that go to waste. Your career may feel like it has stalled but it’s actually just waiting for you to pick up from where you left off!