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Career Plateau

What is Career plateau?


A career plateau is describes a situation in which an employee has reached a point in their career where they feel they are unable to progress. The symptoms of a career plateau include feeling stuck at a job or position, feeling constantly bored and unable to find fulfilment. In a career plateau, the employee feels stagnant with the repetitive work and responsibilities. 


What causes a career plateau?


The causes behind a career plateau are unique to an individual’s experience. These causes have been broadly classified into two categories: internal reasons and external reasons. 


Internal reasons

Examples of internal reasons for career plateaus may include the lack of confidence dues to a life event or over-confidence in one’s skills or abilities. An employee in a career plateau may no longer feel excited or challenged by their work which can be taken as a sign by the bosses of a lack of motivation


External reasons

Examples of external reasons  for reaching a career plateau  may include reaching a level of seniority at a company. The further up on climbs the career ladder, the fewer position become available for them. In smaller companies, senior management may have been in place for a long time with little chance of turnover


How do you manage a career plateau?


How one manages a career plateau depends on the root cause, such at the ones listed in the previous section. For instance, if an employee has reached a level of seniority at a company but has nowhere else to grow or has outgrown their position, then they simply have to look for a new role in a broader market or a new company with greater career opportunities

Employees that feel dissatisfied and stuck in a career plateau should consult with the company’s HR which is responsible to provide opportunities for lateral mobility or to make the employee’s current job more meaningful and engaging. 

Development training or a rewards programs are alternate means of overcoming plateau situations.