5 Early Signs Of Career Stagnation And How To Avoid Them

Early Signs Of Career Stagnation

No matter how dedicated you are to your career, you can still experience stagnation at one point in time or another. Career stagnation creeps up on you when you least expect it, so you must always be on the lookout. The truth is that motivation and hard work alone aren’t the sole ingredients for a successful career. Other elements must be considered as they may contribute to stagnation. According to research, 35% of workers report feeling stagnant in their careers, but you can stop it from happening to you. Below are some noteworthy signs of career stagnation and how to avoid them.

1.Reduced challenges

Do you feel your work has become routine and adds no excitement or challenge to your active hours? That can be an early sign of career stagnation. It is not your intention to perform repetitive tasks every workday, but the nature of your job makes it so. It could be that your employer hasn’t properly planned or diversified your duties. If this is the case, it wouldn’t be your fault that you deal with reduced challenges. However, you can do something about it. Unfortunately, many people identify with this but fail to complain. Many only look forward to the next paycheck while performing mundane jobs that continue to depress them and fail to push them out of their comfort zones. You can inform your line manager or boss if you feel your tasks aren’t challenging enough. Secondly, you can also be proactive about contributing to new projects within your company. Sometimes, an employer is inundated with so much and may fail to tackle skillsets issues among current employees. Fortunately, you can take on more complex tasks and excel at them. Your employer will likely notice your immense contributions and respond in a way that helps you avoid career stagnation.

2.Loss of interest in all self-development opportunities

A highly competitive job market requires you to put your best foot forward. Anything less can potentially risk losing your job or the next paycheck. What can you do in a situation like this? It would help to identify self-development opportunities to better your skillset. If you have no interest in doing that, it might be an early sign of career stagnation. Self-development is an opportunity to upgrade your skillset and adapt to the changing job market. For example, digitization has taken up a lot of mundane tasks, meaning you must double your efforts to retain your place within the company or organization. In healthcare, for instance, technology is helping redefine patient care. However, there are a few specializations that still focus on person-focused care. You can leverage the gaps in patient care to improve your job. Learning modern treatment methods will go a long way to keep you actively engaged in your job as a medical professional. Fortunately, there are several opportunities to help professionals from different work sectors to upgrade themselves. The tip, however, is to land an accredited and licensed institution that provides self-development opportunities.

3.Absence of goals

Are you going through the daily motions of work without direction? The employer needs to set goals, but it’s equally necessary for you to do the same. Personal goals are motivating elements that keep you interested in your daily duties. Without them, you will likely feel stagnant and wish you had more to do in your productive hours. The goals you set for yourself must align with the job you’re employed to do. At the same time, however, it must also align with the employer’s expectations. Getting this balance can give a sense of purpose to excel at the job. First, set short-term goals for yourself. It’s best to do this daily, weekly, and monthly. Everything you wish to accomplish by the end of the week should align with your weekly and monthly goals. Quarterly and annual long-term goals often act as an evaluation that ensures your career progression or otherwise. Don’t wait for your line manager or employer to draw your attention to non-performance before doing the needful.

4.Lack of recognition and being constantly passed over for promotion

As painful as this sounds, it happens often and is unpleasant. You put in the best every time, but for some reason, your employer never sees you as ready for a promotion. Unrewarded contributions to work often lead to career stagnation, and many have lived this reality. If you don’t want this happening to you, it may be best to initiate conversations with your superiors. Career progression is a healthy discussion; you wouldn’t get into trouble for raising it. The only problem is if you start an unhealthy argument about it or disrespect your employer in your submissions. The best way to build your case is to keep records of your achievements within the company. 

Additionally, have evidence of valuable contributions you made that were only recognized by word of mouth but not in salary increments or promotions. A conscientious employer will rethink their decision and provide what you’re due for. If nothing happens, looking for other worthwhile opportunities may be best. 

5.Your salary hasn’t changed in years

Believe it or not, this is a major sign of stagnation in your career. Ideally, your salary at the same job must increase after a couple of years. However, this depends on certain factors ranging from the employer’s willingness and your performance. Some employers fail to review salaries even for their star employees, hindering your career growth. A Pew Research survey on employees revealed that many workers feel upward salary adjustments are unfair, especially for those at the bottom line. Others believe only top management and C-suite executives enjoy these perks. While this may be true, it is not always the case. First, find out your employer’s position regarding salary adjustments among its top performers. Secondly, how have long-standing employees been treated within the company? These questions are necessary to help you determine if you’re at risk of career stagnation. If your salary hasn’t seen a slight upward adjustment within four to five years of working for the same employer, it may be wise to look for better opportunities. However, if you haven’t done the work, you may want to start with that.