Has your career hit a roadblock? Do you feel like you've achieved everything you can and there's nothing else left to strive for in your current job? You might be experiencing a career plateau.
A global study by Oracle found that 75% of people feel stuck professionally. Of these, 25% stated that this is due to a lack of growth opportunities to progress their careers, and 22% are too overwhelmed to make any changes.
Several factors could contribute to a career plateau, including lack of recognition, market conditions, or resistance to change. However, the two most common reasons for feeling stuck in your current position are because you aren't qualified for any available promotions or because you're qualified for a higher position, but there are none available.
Here are six suggestions on how you can overcome a career plateau:
Expand Your Skill Set
If you're already working in a field you love but want to keep moving higher up the professional ladder, expanding your skill set is one of the most effective ways to break out of a career plateau. By following workshops, taking courses, earning a higher degree in your field, or exploring opportunities to work on internal projects at your company, you'll acquire the knowledge and skills to show your employer that you're interested in furthering your career.
Re-Evaluate Your Professional Goals
Are your professional goals the same as when you started working in your current position? People are constantly growing and changing, and so are our ambitions and goals. If you feel stagnant in your current job, take a moment to re-evaluate your professional goals to determine if the job you have is still where your interests and passions lie. If not, perhaps it's time to make a change.
Build a Stronger Network
Networking is an essential part of building a successful career. As much as we'd like to believe that upward mobility in a career is only based on your work ethic and qualifications, the truth is that a strong professional network is an advantage. If you've hit a career plateau, it might be time to expand your professional network. Strong connections will help open you up to opportunities and new relationships that will further advance your career.
Look Outside Your Current Organization
If you've exhausted all options within your current organization, it might be time to look for opportunities elsewhere. Start by updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, and then begin networking with professionals from other organizations. Don't be afraid to search for new job openings that align with your professional goals.
Every professional should have a mentor they can turn to when they need professional advice. It's essential to seek advice from someone who has shared a similar situation to what you're experiencing. They can advise you from a place of both knowledge and experience.
Have a Conversation with your Manager
This might be an unpopular suggestion, but each person experiences their relationship with their managers differently. Many people are reluctant to consider, and for good reasons, as it could cause your manager to view your career ambitions as a means of discontent rather than mere opportunity and awareness for career growth. If you have a manager that you have a good relationship with, then consider reaching out to them to see what opportunities and ways you can help develop your skills to either grow in your current position or organization.
Hitting a career roadblock doesn't mean your professional life is over as it should never be looked at as anything negative. You have the freedom to know what you want to do, where you want to go, how you envision your life/career and the reasons to why doing so is important. Think of your professional plateau as a stepping stone to greater career success. You can overcome your professional roadblock by following the tips outlined in this article as it specifically applies to you. At the end of the day, you have the power to own your career!