Has Your Career Plateaued? This Could Be Why …
Many people reach a point in their career where the enthusiasm they once had for their job seems to have disappeared and is replaced with a feeling of simply ‘getting by’. No matter how hard we try to make it work, or turn it around, nothing changes. At this point, we are entering a risk zone in our career and need to recognise the signs and take control.
So what’s causing this and what do we do?
The first place I start with clients when they come to me, or when their organisation sends them to me because of a decline in performance, is to look at their values and see if their career is aligned. Quite often the order of our values changes throughout our life, and when you signed up for your job, it may have ticked all the boxes, but life, and your values, have changed in the meantime. This can be an eye opening moment for people with many ‘aha’ moments when we full debrief their values.
This values ladder will show you the role values play in your performance (and therefore success), fulfilment and wellbeing when it comes to your career:
As you will see from the bottom part of the ladder, when our career isn’t aligned with our values we have poor attention and retention of information. We tend to procrastinate doing those tasks we really don’t enjoy, and subconsciously we disown the results, and therefore we become unreliable. That’s often when some extrinsic motivation shows up in the form of a boss or manager breathing down our neck! We’re not doing all of this deliberately, but when we don’t pay attention to the signs and take action, our subconscious mind takes over and says “we’re not happy in this job, let’s get us out of here“, and starts to sabotage your performance. This pattern can then spiral into declining performance, mistakes happening, you feeling disengaged and also not liking who you are becoming. You can see where this is heading can’t you!!
So the first step is to identify your values and ideally work with a Career Coach to see how to align your career with them. This may involve finding an interim solution to make your current job more enjoyable, and therefore boost your performance, while you seek your next career move that more strongly aligns with your values, either within your existing organisation or externally. Sometimes doing this exercise alone might remind you why you took your job in the first place and re-ignite your passion. If not, here are some ways knowing your values an help you decide what to do next:
- You might just need to tweak something within your current role to allow you to have more autonomy or engage your creativity, if these are your top values.
- There might be projects you can get involved in that tap into your skills and strengths that are in line with your values.
- It could be the realisation that the organisation’s values or purpose have changed since you joined, and it’s no longer a match and it’s time to move on.
- Learning and growth might be top values of yours, and if you’ve been doing your role for a while, you might be hungry to get that grey matter working again by taking up some study.
- Perhaps personal circumstances or plans have lead to financial security moving up the values ladder and it’s time to ask for a pay rise. If that’s the case, invest the next few months really going all out to deliver at work – this will give you new found motivation to lift performance!
- If family presents as a top value and increasing demands at work are leading to longer hours away from your family, it might be time to negotiate some flexibility around working from home a day a week, or more flexible work hours. If work continues to get in the way of your top values and you don’t do anything, you will ultimately grow to resent your job, and once again this won’t end well.
This will give you some insights, but if you’d like to explore further, please reach out at , or you can jump into my It Starts With Clarity Program.
(Remember to get your copy of Careers Awakening: How To Align Your Career With Your Soul Purpose here.)