While some people choose to stay in the same job for too long for reasons such as stability and familiarity with the company’s business style and workmates, it comes with a high price tag and that is a career plateau. When you choose job security, a steady income, and your comfort zone, a plateau becomes a potential drawback that can negatively impact your career. While it is a common issue that many might face, some people think that dissatisfaction with work, boredom, or lack of motivation is as worst as things can get, but the implications are worse and can be detrimental to your career.
First things first, what is a career plateau?
As clear as the word indicates, a plateau is when you reach a level of no growth, no decline, just a steady level off and that’s what makes it hard to pinpoint. You may notice that things are smooth at work and not deteriorating, but at the same time you see no signs of advancement or progress and you get stuck in rut for a while.
What are the signs of a career plateau?
• You stopped learning anything new.
• Your contribution is lacking.
• You’ve outgrown your current role or surpassed growth at your company.
And how can you break out from a career plateau?
1. Identify what you want next for your career. We’re so caught up in the daily grind that we barely take a moment to evaluate where we are today and envision where we want to be next. Ask yourself where you want to be next in your career or if it is even the same career. Identify your goals and put an action plan accordingly.
2. Learn new things out of your scope of work. At this point of a career plateau, you’ve probably learned everything related to what you do and that you’ve got your hang of things. So now, start learning new things about the departments you work with and you might find yourself catching an info or two interesting enough to expand on.
3. Ask for a new task. When you hit a plateau, your mind is in need of stimulation or maybe new challenges. Get involved in new tasks that you are unfamiliar with so you create room for growth, learning, and breaking the cycle of boredom at the workplace.
4. Find new sources of inspiration. Inspiration comes in a lot of shapes, it can be stories, books, or a new network of mentors and colleagues. Get to meet new people where you share ideas and stories together and learn about the journeys and challenges of people with more experiences.
5. Look for new jobs internally and externally. Maybe your journey where you are has ended and it is a sign you need a new move. Keep an eye on the market to catch new opportunities where you can expand your horizons.