Is your career stagnating?

There comes a time in your career when you’ve been working in the same role for quite a while. You aren’t learning anything new, there are no challenges and no ways to progress.

If this sounds familiar, you may be stuck in a rut, or in other words – stagnating.

And you’re not alone! A 2017 survey from CV-Library reveals more than half of British workers are unhappy in their current jobs. For many people that dissatisfaction is closely tied to a sense that they’ve stopped growing in their professional lives.

So, how do you know for sure if your career is stagnating? Here are the four telltale signs you should be wary of:




Do you no longer feel challenged at work? Are you always counting down the minutes until the end of the day? Perhaps you’re bored in your current role – this is the first alarm bell ringing moment to indicate your career is stagnating.

The best way to deal with boredom at work is to give yourself the opportunity to branch out and take on new responsibilities.

For instance, if your boss asks for volunteers for a project that’s outside of your comfort zone, you should speak up and take on the challenge.

Not only will this give you the chance to show your boss what you’re capable of, but it might also give you a new lease of excitement in the workplace.


No promotion in years


If you have not been promoted in more than three years, it could be a sign your career is stagnating. Sometimes you don’t get a promotion because there is nowhere to grow within your company. However, in other cases, it’s because you’ve failed to demonstrate your capabilities.

So, take a look at other professionals with the same skill set as you. Have they been promoted recently within your company?

If so, consider the possibility that you’ve been resting on your laurels and not actively pursuing a promotion.


Your performance reviews are average


If you’re consistently getting an average score in your performance appraisals, you should be alarmed. It indicates that your work only meets the minimum standard required. In other words, you are a mediocre employee.

Chances are you’re never going to get ahead. Think about it: if your performance has only ever been average at best, why would you be promoted?

To break the curse of just be ‘adequate’, you should schedule a one-to-one meeting with your boss to discuss how you can improve your performance. This way, you’ll receive some constructive feedback, which could help you to set goals for your professional development.


No scope for learning


If you find yourself doing routine work from January to December, your career is in trouble. Not learning anything new for an entire year might be your idea of a stress-free job.

However, in reality, it’s setting you up for stagnation because, in order to move to the next level, you must be constantly updating your skills and knowledge.

If your company does not offer an outlet for learning, you must think outside the box and be proactive. For example, you could consider signing up for an online course to sharpen your skills – you can find plenty of them on websites such as Coursera, Udemy and Google Garage (which is completely free!) , and perhaps even start reading articles and journals that are focused on your industry.

You never know, the information you absorb might lead you on a new path that provides more room for growth – or better still, inspire you to make some changes within your current role.

Remember, if you feel like you’re stagnating in your job, just setting out to find a new one is not the answer. You must first try to salvage your career by identifying the causes of the stagnation and finding ways to overcome it.

Continuously developing your skills and embracing new opportunities for growth will keep you engaged at work, and will get you that promotion you deserve.