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  1. Career Advice
  2. Career Path
  3. Did you hit a career plateau? Here's how you can advance in your career
Did you hit a career plateau? Here's how you can advance in your career

Did you hit a career plateau? Here's how you can advance in your career

  • 3 Signs you are in a career plateau
  • What are the most common causes of a career plateau?
  • 5 Tips for advancing your career
  • Key takeaways

A career plateau is never something a driven professional wants to face. Unfortunately, it’s easy to go through times when your career is simply not advancing as you hoped. If you’ve found yourself in this position, there are ways you can advance past that plateau and begin growing your career once more. This blog can help with that.

A career plateau occurs when your career advancement temporarily slows down or stops. You may find yourself feeling stuck in your current position or at your job level without a plan to move forward. If you are someone who has high hopes for your career, a career plateau can cause frustration and disappointment. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to move past a plateau and begin progressing in your career once more.

In this blog, we will discuss some things you can do to move past a career plateau so you can advance your career. Here’s what we will be covering:

  • 3 signs you are in a career plateau

  • What are the most common causes of a career plateau?

  • 5 tips for advancing your career

3 Signs you are in a career plateau

Before you can begin learning how to move past a career plateau and start advancing your career again, learn how to identify a plateau. While everyone is different, there are three common signs that you are currently or will soon be in a career plateau. Here are the signs to watch out for:

1. Very few opportunities

If you’ve begun seeing a limited number of opportunities that allow your career to advance, you may be approaching a career plateau. It’s likely been some time before you’ve added to your responsibilities or seen a promotion, and your income has probably stayed relatively flat for a long time.

2. Aren’t feeling challenged

It’s easy to get into a routine at work and coast through the day. However, if you have been feeling unchallenged or have realized that your current workload isn’t allowing you to build your skills for the future, you are likely in a career plateau.

3. Can’t reach career goals

Most people put a set of career goals in place when they begin a new career. If you have been struggling to reach your next milestone, especially if you don’t have the means to get there, you may be going through a career plateau.

What are the most common causes of a career plateau?

Career plateaus can occur due to several factors. Some of those factors may even be completely out of your control. One way to move past a plateau and avoid them in the future is to learn more about those causes and how you can identify them.

Most career plateaus are caused by certain types of situations. Here are some of the most common causes of career plateaus:

  • Decrease in opportunities. One reason you may find yourself in a career plateau is that there simply aren’t any positions in your organization you can currently move into. If no positions above your current level have opened up for you to move into in several years, you may need to think about changing companies if you want to continue progressing upward.

  • Market downturn. Similar to not having access to higher positions, you may find yourself in a career plateau when your market is going through a downturn. This is a great time to expand your skills and pivot into new positions within your industry that provide you with better growth opportunities.

  • Job performance. Another factor that may eventually cause a career plateau is your job performance. If you aren’t performing well in your current position or lack the skills needed to move to the next level, your career will most likely grow stagnant. In this situation, it’s best to improve your performance and learn new skills so you can begin advancing once more.

5 Tips for advancing your career

Moving past a career plateau can be both challenging and exciting because you have the opportunity to try new things and grow in new directions. Here’s how you can advance your career during and overcome a plateau:

1. Research career development opportunities

Look for career development and learning opportunities that can help spur your career and bring new challenges and opportunities your way.

2. Self-reflect on your career so far

Take some time to reflect. Complete a self-assessment that gives you more insight into your current job performance and skills to see where you need to spend time improving or what you might be lacking.

3. Make goal adjustments

Adjust your career goals to meet the current environment or to give yourself a new direction for the future.

4. Contemplate a career change

Consider making a bigger change, such as changing careers, seeking employment with a new company, or changing industries.

5. Acquire feedback from mentors and coworkers

Seek feedback from others who can provide you with insight into how they see you as an employee. You may discover skills or qualities you need to improve on.

If you are ready to take the next step in your career, stop by our pathway to promotion page to learn how we can assist you on your journey!

Key takeaways

  1. You may be going through a career plateau if you aren’t seeing any growth opportunities, aren’t feeling challenged, or are struggling to reach your career goals.

  2. Some common reasons for career plateaus include a decrease in opportunities at a particular business, a market downturn, and job performance issues.

  3. Building your skills, setting new goals, and considering bigger changes are all ways you can move past a career plateau.

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