Many people aspire to climb the career ladder, but how do you know when you have stalled out? And what about those times when you are boosted a couple rungs higher than you are ready to go, setting you up for an inevitable fall?
Here are some clues to alert you when you are stuck with no place to go.
How to know when you’ve stalled
1) You look above you, and you realize that no one will be moving up or out any time soon. Especially as companies become leaner and improve productivity through machines instead of people, it has become common that organizations have flattened out, and there isn’t as much opportunity to move up. If you find yourself in this position, you realize that you are stalled and probably won’t find upward job mobility with your current organization.
2) You’re no longer growing. If you have been doing the same thing year and year out with no new challenges for some time, this is another clue that your career has stalled and that you have plateaued where you are.
3) You’re no longer motivated to give your best. Sometimes when you don’t see any growth potential, it makes it harder to do your best work every day. It’s hard to stay motivated, and it’s hard to be enthusiastic about what you do.
Perhaps even worse than stalling in your career is being promoted beyond your current capabilities. This type of situation can be detrimental to your career and should be avoided.
How to know when you’ve been set up to fail
1) You have responsibility without adequate resources. If you have an important job title that sounds very impressive but no staff (or insufficient staff) and an impossibly low budget, then you can conclude that you have been set up to fail. It is very tempting to be enticed by the title, but this could be a bad career move if this is a job where you cannot succeed.
2) You are given impossible tasks. One way that organizations can set employees up to fail is to give them sales targets that are impossible to reach or projects that cannot be completed within the given time frame and/or budget. You may want to think that you are superhuman, but you are likely to break your health trying to take on the impossible.
3) You do not have the proper training, nor do you have anyone to mentor you. You know you have been set up to fail when you are figuratively thrown out into the ocean to learn how to swim on your own. An organization that wants people to succeed will give you the necessary training to ensure that you are able to do the job and do it well.
If you find yourself in a situation where your career has stalled out, don’t despair. You can ask to be cross trained while you are still at your current job to make you more marketable both inside and outside of the organization. And if you are not interested in waiting around for years until a higher level position opens up where you are, you can start preparing to make a move outside of the organization where there is more opportunity.
And if you are offered a promotion, don’t take it until you thoroughly review the working conditions that will face you. If at all possible, it is to your benefit to avoid being set up to fail. On the other hand, if you have already taken such a promotion, try to build your resume through the skills that you learn and then find another position as soon as you can where you will have the resources and training that you need to succeed.
For assistance with your next career move, speak to an executive career coach at 877-743-9521 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.