Essentially, an employee’s lack of productivity or engagement will affect the organization, however, the worst victim of career plateau, in the long run, is the employee whose career has stalled and his or her continuous engagement is seen as a mere marking of time and basically that of economic survival. In as much as the organization makes plans to manage career plateau the most important decision for self-management of a career-related problem rest with the employee.
Some of the prescribed self-managed solutions are:
SET A CAREER PATH RIGHT FROM DAY ONE
Progress and advancement on the job is a deliberate and intentional decision backed by action. It is like embarking on a journey with a destination in mind and for those who set their journey compass right they arrived at their desired destination knowing the route to following in spite of traffic or vehicular hiccups. Career plateau could be one of such hiccups and I think it should be part of the challenges that you should plan for in your career journey. Such plans should consider what you would do to advance your knowledge in term of education, skills enhancement, and seeking professional qualification. You should have plans to learn new skills on a regular basis. The rule is to plan ahead before the opportunity for advancement presents itself.
GET A REGULAR UPDATE
Be honest to seek feedback on the quality of your work performance with the sole objective of working out an improvement plan. Feedback will enable you to determine areas that require improvement or additional skills that will prepare you for future opportunity in or outside the organization. Career plateau just doesn’t happen often time it is because attention was not paid to what matters the most in the course of one’s employment journey.
BE ADAPTIVE AND INNOVATIVE
The world of work is changing quite rapidly, technology and customer’s demand are pacing much more than what needs organization need in term of resources and manpower to catch up with the changes. Today’s workforce must be adaptive, creative and innovative in order to meet these changes. One error with the employee is the assumption that what took them to a particular level in the organization hierarchy should be able to sustain them forgetting that could overtake such qualities. Be committed to learning and be adaptive in your work orientation.
SET CAREER GOALS
Career paths planning talks about the routes, direction and how to climb the corporate ladder while career goal, on the other hand, places emphasis on the setting of time-bound, realistic and achievable goal to help you attain career success in the short, medium and long-term. In the course of your career, you should set specific time to achieve some specific goals be it educational, professional or some other personal related goals. For example, it is not out of place to determine the numbers of years that you will spend in an organization.
UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE
Career-related issues are not like fantasy football or soccer, being realistic in your evaluation of why you have stalled career-wise should be job-specific, attitude and performance-based. If you are good in your own reckoning but lacked the right attitude for leadership or the next level you will not be promoted into such position. It is important to note that leadership or high responsibility is a combination of skills, knowledge, ability and having the right attitude to work and people.
Check and make the necessary correction before aiming for the top.
KNOW THAT SOMETIMES IT IS BETTER TO MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT MOVING UP
Taking more responsibilities that you enjoy doing in some cases brings that inner motivation for the job, yet you may not have gotten promoted but the recognition that you are adding value and being appreciated could the solution that you need to come out of the negative effects of career plateau.
KNOW WHEN IT TIME TO QUIT
Having said all and looking at the recommendation made thus far, for every employment relationship there must be a time to say goodbye. The parting of the employment relationship could be at the instance of the employer or the employee. When your job no longer gives joy an exit might be the honorable thing to do.
In the words of Sharon Hulce, President/CEO of Employment Resource Group, “An employee’s career is much like a great, passionate love affair, in the beginning, it is new, fresh and exhilarating, over time, the initial energy that is created by its “newness” turns into, a comfortable norm in the daily lives of the worker.”
Career plateau is an occurrence that has come to stay with us in the corporate cycle, there is no dispute that it will occur the question is when? It can be overcome by diligent planning both by the organization as well as the individuals’ employees. The effects of career plateau on the organization performance, productivity and efficiency can be managed both for the employees as well as the organization in general.
It has equally been pointed out that since the effects of career plateau will tell more on the moral, motivation and performance of the employee, the employee is therefore required to be proactive in the planning of their career paths and in setting goals to curb such negative effects.
This article has attempted to answer important questions that are related to career plateau; it is my belief that it would be a great resource for HR, organizations managers as well as the workforce in general.