5 Reasons Why Your Career Is (Still) Not Where You Want It To Be

What happens when you feel like your career has come to a virtual standstill? Maybe you’ve been in the same position for the past few years, and while it’s a stable job and you don’t hate it, you also feel like you’re not growing anymore. 

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Before you jump the gun and decide to look for a better position, though, you need to consider all your options properly. Job satisfaction, growth opportunities, and engagement might all tend to come under the jurisdiction of your superiors. 

That’s not to say that you can’t take charge of your situation. Job-crafting, in this way, is proven to increase your motivation, purpose, and dedication at work. Catalysing your growth at work necessitates an understanding of the roots of the problem. Hence, here are five reasons why your career may have stagnated. 

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1. You’ve stopped learning

Being in your comfort zone for too long is never a good thing. If you’ve gotten too used to your position, perhaps the reason why you aren’t growing is that you aren’t challenging yourself enough. 

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New hires, for one, are almost always very eager to learn as much as they can. It’s this beginner’s mindset that differentiates good employees from great ones. Because of their commitment to continuous learning, they’re more willing to take risks and be more innovative, while constantly working on improving their competencies. 

Conversely, if you’re too comfortable where you are, you’ll probably fail to even see that there’s room to grow in the first place. 

 

2. You aren’t proactive enough

Paulo Coelho once wrote: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” To his credit, it’s a beautiful saying. In this corporate world, though, it doesn’t quite work that way. 

If you want something, ask for it. 

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Aiming for a promotion? Find out who’s in charge and establish a relationship with them. You could even be straightforward and say that you’re aiming for a promotion. Then, ask for feedback and learn what exactly it takes to earn that promotion. 

Similarly, if you feel that you don’t get enough chances to shine at work, seek out and ask for stretch assignments that play to your strengths and allow you to prove your mettle.

 

3. You’re too focused on yourself and your work

Some might think that keeping your head down at work is a good way of getting ahead by focusing on your productivity and performance. 

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What they fail to see, though, is that promotions often hinge upon who shows excellent people skills at work. 

If you want to get promoted, you need to show that you’re capable of leading. It’s not just about giving out orders and seeing it through. Leadership is fundamentally about empathy, listening, and carefully cultivating others’ growth. You can’t achieve any of this if you’re only focusing on yourself.

 

4. You’ve outgrown your job

If all else fails, you might need to consider the possibility that you may have outgrown your job. There comes a point in your career where you may feel like you aren’t growing or learning any more despite your best efforts. 

It may be hard to arrive at this conclusion if you truly treasure the opportunities you’ve been given thus far, especially if you have wonderful co-workers who’ve been fantastic to work with the whole time. 

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At the end of the day, though, you need to make a decision. If you want to grow, and you believe that there’s no more room left for you to grow where you currently are, it might be time to move on.

 

5. You’re defining success based on someone else’s ideas

Ultimately, maybe the reasons for your career stagnating is far more fundamental. In your search for excellence, have you unwittingly wholly transplanted someone else’s ideas of what constitutes success in their situation into your own? 

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When it comes to achieving success at work and in life, there’s no set path for it. Just because someone else achieved success in a particular way doesn’t mean that’s the best path for you to take too. 

Look carefully at your goals: are they yours, or are they someone else’s? If it’s the latter, start thinking about why this is so, and how you can realistically make the changes you need to succeed on your terms. 

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