Are you stuck on a career plateau?
Many women have a wonderful career progression in their early years. This can be a mix of both linear and horizontal moves, with maybe an international assignment thrown in for good measure. But then something happens and they find themselves passed over for promotions and left off the roster for major projects. After career development moves at regular intervals, their progression stalls and they find themselves stuck on a career plateau. If this goes on for an extended period, dejection sets in. Many feel perhaps that they are being discriminated against because of their gender. They find themselves in the “marzipan layer” or what has now been called the “missing middle.” They get stuck on a career plateau working below their potential or they leave.
But there is something you can do about it.
5 tips to help to move on from a career plateau
Create a vision and set goals
Many women do not have a career vision or set goals. Now is the time to sit down and decide what you want from your life and career in the short and medium term.
Communicate your intentions
Have you been open about your ambitions and stated them clearly to your boss and your HR department?
Because women frequently don’t put themselves forward it’s very often assumed they are not interested in any potential promotions. Let your boss know you are disappointed and ask for specific feedback on anything your need to work on that will make you a stronger candidate. If you have been in a round of interviews ask for a review of your interview performance.
Be willing to disrupt yourself
Very often women are risk averse and are not willing to move out of their comfort zones and disrupt themselves. It could be about learning new skills or transferring to another department. A career plateau will not go away without some action.
Invest in yourself
Very often women expect their employer to take care of their careers. That stopped happening years ago. So no one is going to wave a magic wand and all of a sudden you will have a divine skill upgrade or doors will open. You are going to have to be pro-active and do something about this yourself. Invest in coaching, find a mentor or sign up for competence training.
Doing everything right?
If you are doing everything right and are still getting nowhere, you are right it is time for change indeed. Now is the time to launch a strategic job search and look for companies in line with your goals and vision. Check out social proofing sites such as FairyGodBoss and InHerSight to benchmark employment conditions for women. Check out the corporate culture by speaking to network contacts. Very often companies have gender inclusion policies, but there is an implementation gap. You don’t want to end up going from the frying pan into the fire.
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