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Recognize & Avoid the Pitfalls of a Career Plateau

Career Move_Career Plateau

Do you ever feel like you're just going through the motions at work, barely noticing the days slipping by?

If that rings a bell, it's possible you've reached a career plateau in your current job.

This is common among managers and executives who value both success and fulfillment in their careers.

Let’s explore the signs that you might be ready for something bigger and better.

Recognizing the Signs of a Career Plateau

Early in my career working in the Executive Search firm, I reached a point where I was hungry for more responsibility and scope in my role. Growth was defined as leading more assignments and bringing in more business. I tried to conform until I realized I needed to develop in other directions.

Let's talk about some telltale signs that it’s time for a change:

  • Challenge no more: If your biggest challenge lately is fighting off yawns during meetings, it's a red flag.
  • Learning curve flatlined: Continuous learning isn't just a buzzword; it's a necessity. If you're no longer learning, you are being left behind.
  • Carrying baggage: If negativity, frustration, or complacency are now the norm, you need to change things up.
  • Interest elsewhere: If your professional interests exist outside your job, that’s a sign.

Recognize any of these?

Common Pitfalls of a Career Plateau

Here’s what to avoid if you suspect you've outgrown your position:

  • Stagnation: Comfort zones are warm and cozy, but nothing ever grows there. If you're not growing, you're not just standing still; you're retreating as your peers move forward.
  • Ignoring the signs: Brushing off feelings of discontent can lead to disengagement, energy drain, personal life impact, and diminished performance.
  • Falling behind: Not updating your skills or network can leave you unprepared for better opportunities. The right opportunities aren't just about timing but about being in the right mindset.
  • Poorly thought-out moves: Without a strategy, you are susceptible to taking a job just to “fix” the problem. More clients than I can count have gone off-track in this situation.

Checklist for Crafting Your Exit Strategy

What do you do when you've outgrown your job and a promotion isn't on the horizon? You need an exit strategy.

Here’s how to strategically pivot out of your current role:

  1. Self-reflection: Take stock of what you truly want and need in your next role. What does success look like to you now? What’s the optimum career-building role for you at this point in your career? What experience do you need to hit your longer-term goals?
  2. Market evaluation: What opportunities exist that align with your aspirations? Do you know where to look and how to identify and land those roles?
  3. Planning: What will it take to make an intentional, career-building move (one that you won’t regret)?

Ready to Plan Your Next Job Move?

Ready to Leap? If any of this resonates with you, it's time to plan your next move. Don't let uncertainty hold you back from pursuing a role that challenges, excites, and fulfills you.

An executive career coach can help you get a better result, faster: If you need a proven process to make your next career move, we are here to help.

Schedule a Discovery Call, and let’s discuss how you can build a career that meets and exceeds your expectations.

To your career success!

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