How to Tell If Your Career is Stalled
There may be times throughout your career when you feel that ample amounts of time have passed without you having had earned a promotion, learned new skills, or been asked by other co-workers for your opinion or assistance regarding certain work-related matters. Signs such as these can indicate that your career has stalled, and you may either need to seek work in a related field, or improve your current skills to reinstate your value as an employee. Continue reading this article to learn how you can tell if your career is stalled, and what you can do to get your career back on track.
Recognizing Signs of a Stalled Career
Determine how long you have been performing your current tasks.If your role, responsibilities, and daily tasks have been exactly the same for 2 or more years, your career may be stalled.
Determine when you last learned a new task or skill.If you have not learned new skills that add value to your current role, you may not have the ability to take on new roles or responsibilities. For example, if you are a computer programmer, but have not learned any new programming languages within the last 2 or 3 years, your employer may be utilizing the skills of other programmers who have taken the time to learn new programming languages.
Determine if the level of your work load has decreased.If you participate in fewer projects or have a smaller work load than you did previously, your work load may be being distributed to other employees who are considered to be more valuable than you.
Evaluate whether communication from your bosses and co-workers has decreased.In most cases, if your career is stalled, employees will no longer seek you for help or assistance, and your boss may not need to involve you in meetings and discussions as often.
- Determine if you receive a significantly lower amount of emails and phone calls from your bosses and co-workers than you did several months or a few years ago.
Review your quarterly or annual performance reviews.If your boss provides feedback that indicates your performance is average as opposed to above average, your career is most likely stalled.
Overcoming a Stalled Career
Verify that the work or projects you complete are satisfactory.This practice will demonstrate to your employer that you are genuinely interested in ensuring that the work you provide consistently exceeds expectations.
- Follow up with your boss or client to determine if they are satisfied with your work and ask for feedback on ways you can improve your work.
Strengthen relationships with your boss and co-workers.When you establish strong personal and professional relationships with your co-workers, you are more likely to be presented with a larger amount of work opportunities, promotions, and projects.
- Discuss work-related matters in person instead of through email, and take the time to eat lunch with your co-workers and participate in team-building events.
Respond to emails and other forms of correspondence in a timely manner.When you fail to reply to the inquiries and needs of your bosses and co-workers, they may approach somebody else with their request or assign the project to another co-worker.
- Respond to correspondence immediately regardless of when you can handle the project or inquiry. For example, if an employee sends you a question, but you are in the middle of a major project, reply stating that their concern is valuable to you, but that you will address their question after your project deadline is met.
Speak with your boss regarding acquiring new assignments and responsibilities.This will demonstrate to your boss that you are genuinely ready to acquire new skills or take on a larger work load to exceed expectations in your current position.
- Volunteer for additional work projects. Volunteering for extra work will demonstrate to your boss and co-workers that you are passionate to learn new skills and may provide you with recognition or awards.
- Ask your boss or a representative in human resources specifically what you need to accomplish in order to receive a promotion within your department or company.
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