Are you feeling stuck in your career, wondering why you haven’t seen the growth you expected? Despite your productive weekend email binges and commitment to churning out stellar work, sometimes progress can seem elusive. While there could be various factors at play, there are five common problems I often see with my clients that can hinder career growth.
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Here’s a look at the issues, and the tools you need to overcome them.
Are you the kind of woman who feels icky taking full credit anytime you overdeliver on a project, hit a deadline, or put out multiple “fires”? If you answered yes, then it’s time to take stock of the contributions you’ve made to your employer. Modesty is a virtue, but at work you should be your own biggest advocate.
Take Action: Practice self-promotion by regularly sharing your accomplishments with your supervisors and colleagues. Keep a record of your achievements, and don’t hesitate to communicate on weekly 1:1s as well as during performance reviews or when seeking a promotion. Remember that showcasing your value is an essential part of career advancement.
You’re Not Career Mapping
It’s a common misconception that it’s your boss’s job to plan and advocate for your next career growth. Rather, it’s your complete responsibility. You should be managing-up and regularly communicating clear, well-defined goals. If you don’t know what your goals are, you may find yourself simply going through the motions, never quite reaching your full potential.
Take Action: Start by identifying your long-term career aspirations and then break them down into smaller, actionable steps. Create a timeline for achieving these goals and regularly reassess and adjust them as needed.
Your network is a valuable asset when it comes to career growth. Failing to nurture and expand your professional relationships can hinder your progress. Opportunities often arise through connections and referrals, and missing out on them due to a lack of networking can be detrimental.
Take Action: Prioritize networking by attending industry events, joining professional organizations, and connecting with colleagues on platforms like LinkedIn. Remember that networking is a two-way street, so be willing to offer help and support to others as well. A great way to warm-up a connection is to leverage LinkedIn and write them a recommendation or endorse some of their skills. My rule is to never ask for a favor before first giving a favor.
Resistance to Change
Sometimes, career stagnation occurs because of resistance to change. If you’re clinging to your comfort zone or avoiding new challenges, you’re unlikely to experience meaningful career growth. Embracing change and stepping outside your comfort zone can lead to exciting opportunities.
Take Action: Be open to new experiences and challenges, even if they seem intimidating at first. Welcome change as a chance to learn and grow. For example, do you have a new cross-functional leader in your company? If so, seek out a professional relationship or even mentorship from someone who can guide you through transitions and provide valuable insights.
Insufficient Skill Development
In today’s rapidly evolving job market, staying relevant and competitive demands ongoing skill development. If you’ve hit a career plateau, it might be because you haven’t invested enough in acquiring new skills or improving existing ones. Failure to keep up with industry trends and technology can lead to stagnation.
Take Action: Commit to continuous learning. Seek out training programs, workshops, online courses, and industry certifications to enhance your skill set. This proactive approach not only keeps you relevant but also demonstrates your dedication to personal and professional growth.
The Bottom Line
If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen the career growth you desire, it’s likely time for you to take radical accountability. You can only truly trust and count on yourself in business, so take this as an opportunity to set clear goals, invest in skill development, nurture your network, embrace change, and promote yourself effectively. In doing so, you can overcome almost any obstacle and pave the way for a more successful and fulfilling career.
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