Writers have written extensively on the likely causes of career plateau, however, from my HR and consulting experience I have observed that some of these causes are self-inflicted, organizational-designed and sometimes they are attributed to the erroneous design of job content.

We can, therefore, attribute career plateau to some of the factors below:

The organization inability to have an expanding job enrichment strategy in place that task the worker’s ability to be inventive, innovative and creative in carrying out job functions without stalling at a particular level, as well as the company’s deliberate attempt at ensuring that the company’s leadership positions are restricted to people of some particular qualities.

In another instance, career plateau could be caused by the individual workers themselves owing largely to their inability to engage in proper career planning that predicts possible stalling in their career and ability to move beyond a particular level in the organization. For example, if you know that the position ahead of you is for someone with a particular qualification and years of experience, effort should be made to get such qualification ahead of time so that promotion to such position will be done internally thereby creating such opportunity for you.

Merger, acquisition, downsizing, and restructuring can sometimes be responsible for career plateau since we are aware that when more than one organization comes together there will be the leveling out of some positions and a new structure put in place to ensure its effectiveness. In such an arrangement, the organization with the majority shareholding right would most likely take some leading positions and this will automatically eliminate such from the lesser or acquired organization.

The High Rate of Employment. It is important to note too, that because of the high rate of unemployment some applicants are sometimes compelled out of personal volition to take up the role that their qualifications and skills are much higher than; this could result in mild-life-career crisis in which they see the job as ill-chosen and a stalling in their career progress.


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