You have been working in the same company for several years. You have a good job and earnings. Everything looks fine at first glance, but you don’t feel the energy you had in the beginning anymore.
You feel that your professional development has slowed down considerably. You start to feel uncomfortable, but you still lack the courage to change jobs. Wondering what to do next.
There will be slowdowns and obstacles in your career path from time to time. In this article, you will find 6 reasons that inhibit your professional development. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with them – let me give you how to overcome these difficulties in your career.
COMFORTABLE ROUTINE HAMPERS YOUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
It is said that “work never ends”. If you don’t know how much she has done, you’ll never run out of work. You tick one task on the list and another 3 are already popping up in your mailbox. Before you know it, you’re racing like a hamster in a task wheel.
Over time, you develop your own routines and systems that help you deal with a flood of tasks faster. Suddenly you realize that you have passed a few years in such a spinning wheel. You’ve been so busy you haven’t noticed that others have made much more progress in their careers than you have.
You start to summarize your achievements and it turns out that apart from sending a million e-mails, filling out a billion forms, clicking through windows in systems for kilometers, you cannot boast of anything special. You are stuck in the routine of your work. You have the impression that in all these years you have learned nothing to show off to your new employer.
If this description is relevant to your work, don’t despair. It’s not as bad as it might look. If you have several years of professional experience, I can assure you that thanks to your routine, your skills are already at an advanced level. Think about what kinds of tasks you have the most to do and what skills you use in them. Choose the ones you like the most and think about how you can develop them, even more, to stand out from others. Ask for new projects in the company, sign up for a certified training course that will develop and confirm the professional level of these skills.
While it can be depressing to get stuck in a routine, it’s reassuring to know that you’re only one step away from taking it to the next level. All you need to do is focus on what you are already good at and your professional development will start to accelerate.
The job turned out to be different from what you expected
I bet you’ve accepted a job at least once, where the scope of responsibilities was very different from what was promised during the interview. Unfortunately, employers tend to paint pictures of the perfect job in interviews. The consequences of this can be seen after a few months, when the frustration of the new employee grows.
If you are stuck in a job that is more and more different from your initial expectations, it’s time to have a serious conversation with your supervisor. Here it is definitely useful to re-discuss the scope of responsibilities that you got with the contract.
Worse, if such a document has not been created. Then you can search for and reference the job advertisement. Use these terms of reference to discuss your work priorities and your manager’s expectations. If this conversation turns out that the manager expects more from you than you agreed at the beginning, think about what to do next.
If these responsibilities suit you, then you need to talk about either changing your salary or getting a promotion. Unless your duties exceed your skills and you need additional training. However, if you don’t want to be a human orchestra in your work (for the same money as at the beginning) it’s time to change it.
For your next interview, make good use of the time to ask questions. Be specific about your manager’s expectations for this role and inquire about additional responsibilities that were not included in the job post. This way you will avoid falling back into the trap of missing expectations and reality.
WORKING IN A NICHE AREA
If you are a specialist in a specific field, you certainly have no problem distinguishing yourself on the market. You have specific, maybe even unique, skills that employers may find attractive.
Unfortunately, too narrow a specialization also has its drawbacks. If your unique skills or knowledge can only be used in your current organization, your career options are very limited. The more unique the skills, the fewer jobs and choices available. It may be limiting your professional development.
Fortunately, each job has skills that you can easily transfer to another industry. Additionally, you can think which of your unique competencies can be extended to make them attractive to a larger group of employers.
Tell your friends about your unique skills and ask if they see any new uses for them. Taking a new perspective on your strengths can inspire you in new career directions.
YOUR HIGH EARNINGS ARE HARDENING A PROFESSIONAL TRANSITION
This is one of the most common reasons clients come to consult me. You earn good money and it’s hard to quit your job because you don’t want to lower your standard of living. This situation can last for years!
Good money can act like a multi-tonne anchor, tethering you to a hated job. The longer this situation continues, the worse it is for your health, relationships and quality of life. After a while, even the things you buy in compensation for your hard work no longer affect you. When burnout occurs, another pair of expensive shoes or an exotic journey will not help.
So what if you have a well-paid job but are unhappy at it? Make a departure plan in 12-24 months. Such a period will give you the opportunity to postpone the financial cushion. The money set aside will keep you safe. This is especially important if you are thinking of changing your profession or starting your own business.
High earnings will be useful for investing in your education. You may have to do additional studies, courses or training when you change jobs.
When you set a date and make a quit plan, it will be much easier for you to get through difficult times at work. You will take a greater distance to work and direct your attention to new possibilities.
FEARS DESTROY YOUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The longer you work in a given position, the more difficult it is to change it. You get used to your daily routine and stability. It’s a bit like where you live – you have your favorite paths, shops and proven cafés.
After a few years in the same company, the thought of changing jobs makes you feel uncomfortable. You are afraid of a collision with the labor market, your CV is out of date and you haven’t been to the interview for a long time. You are worried that your new job may turn out to be a failure or that you will not be able to cope with your new responsibilities.
This is where small steps work best. This will allow you to get used to the new situation. Do a market research – review employers’ announcements and expectations. Check the level of salaries in your position. Refresh your CV and create a profile on LinkedIn. Step by step, get used to the thought of change – a change that will bring you more money and professional development.
THE JOURNEY BETWEEN WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU
When you feel stuck, it means that something important is missing in your life. Perhaps it is a lack of challenge and development. It can also be the other way around – too much pressure and a load of work mean that there is not enough room for other important things in your life. It is very possible that the hierarchy of your values has changed and now the family is taking the first place, not work. You don’t want to make sacrifices anymore – overtime work, additional responsibility or too frequent trips.
When you are busy with work and ticking off tasks constantly, you may not realize how distant you are from what is important to you. Only important events in your life will wake you up and make you re-arrange your priority list.
If you are in this situation, identify what is most important to you now, what you are missing and what you no longer want. This should help you identify what is holding back your professional development.
As you learn about the causes of stagnation in your career, you will realize what needs to be changed. The next step is a solid plan that will make it easier to make changes in your life. This will help unlock your professional development.