Tag: School

5 Reasons Your Career Is Stalled and How to Get Unstuck

There are moments in our professional lives that give us those delightful shocks of bliss: landing the job, proposing the winning idea, getting the promotion, being publicly recognized … the list goes on.

Those are the moments that deliver endorphins, that keep us going and growing.

But what happens when you look around one day and realize it’s been a hot minute since you’ve been graced with such a moment? Work has been fine; you’ve heard no complaints. But every day is starting to feel the same.

There are moments in our professional lives that give us delightful shocks of bliss. But what happens when you look around one day and realize it’s been a hot minute since you’ve been graced with such a moment?

What do you do if you realize your career may be stalled? And how can you put yourself back on the path to something more?

Before you assume your best days are behind you and it’s all downhill from here, let’s talk about what might be causing this stall. Then, we can figure out how you might break on through to the other side.

1. It’s time to move sideways, not up

When I first entered the workforce, I remember getting advice from people ahead of me on how to climb that corporate ladder. It was up or out.

But a few years into my career, I stumbled onto the idea of a career lattice. Imagine a shape more like a snowflake than a ladder. It represents the idea that careers could—and in many cases should—move in all directions.

When the time to climb arrives, you'll be carrying more tools in your professional toolbox.

At different seasons in our lives, we may need different things. Sometimes explosive upward growth is it. But sometimes it’s about taking a left or a right and learning new and valuable things, instead. It's about expanding our knowledge before we take the next step up. Then, when the time to climb arrives, we'll be carrying more tools in our professional toolbox.

When I worked full-time in human resources, there were essentially two brands of HR professionals. The specialists managed programs. Think talent management, leadership development, and even company-wide compensation. The generalists partnered with and advised individual business units.

My climb had always been up the specialist ladder. I knew that world was a better fit for me. But I came to a point in my career whee I realized that if I was going to keep climbing, I needed some generalist experience. Spending time advising business leaders would only help me design better programming in the future.

The last move I made in my full-time career was this lateral one. For me, it became the springboard into consulting. I felt rounded out and ready.

This business I run today would be considered a specialist one, but my generalist experience absolutely informs the practicality of the solutions I build for my clients.

So now ask yourself: What’s a move I could take laterally that would round out my portfolio of skills and experience and ready me for the next step up?

2. Your personal brand needs some love

Early in your career, you were known as the hard-working, creative superstar who would roll up their sleeves and solve any challenge. But is this still the narrative that follows you? When’s the last time you checked in on how people are experiencing you?

When I spoke with personal branding expert Dorie Clark, she talked of the importance of not just crafting but staying vigilant about the state of your personal brand, the way you’re thought of by those around you.

Make sure your colleagues and professional contacts experience you as the person deserving of that next great move. Optics matter.

Have you been doing great work, but finding that the accolades and opportunities for growth don’t seem to be following? Dorie would advise you to consider a personal branding refresh.

Here are some strategies she might suggest:

  • Be a recognized expert. Ask around to find out how people are thinking of you. Are you just a great worker all around, or are you the go-to on something critical? Strive for the latter.
     
  • Recapture your creativity. In the pursuit of doing great work, have you tried anything interesting, or are you just playing it safe? Push yourself out of the box.
     
  • Play more offense. Have you been waiting for the next great move to find you? It might be time for you to let the world know you’re on the hunt.

Make sure your colleagues and professional contacts experience you as the person deserving of that next great move. Optics matter.

3. Your network has stopped working for you

You know what they say: It’s all about who you know. The question here is, have you been paying attention to your network?

Think back to when you started this job. As an ambitious professional, chances are, you leaned into networking around the company like … well, like it was your job. We start new jobs with energy and enthusiasm. We want to learn, drink it in, meet everyone and learn about what they do.

We start new jobs with energy and enthusiasm. And then we start to settle in.

And then we start to settle in. People we reached out to in the early days have forgotten us, or in many cases have moved on themselves.

Having advocates and sponsors at work absolutely matters, people senior to you who will raise your name when they're discussing a big opportunity.

So ask yourself: When is the last time I was intentional about doing some internal outreach?

Start booking those virtual coffees today.

4. It’s time to bulk up your resume

When you finished school and landed the job, you had everything they were looking for.

But time has passed, and you’ve taken on more. Maybe you’ve had a promotion or two along the way.

It’s possible you’ve hit your ceiling. For the qualifications you have, you’re at the top of your game. So, it may be time to consider adding a qualification.

Amidst the pandemic, I’ve seen friends add coaching certifications, accounting credentials, and advisory licenses to their resumes. I’ve watched people learn coding, web design, and more.

If something about your resume has stopped compelling people, then spruce it up and make them listen!

5. It’s time to move on

Sometimes it’s not you, it’s them.

You’re impressive, you’re hard-working, and you know this company like the back of your hand. Sometimes that last bit about knowing your role and company inside and out is the problem. Companies are looking for fresh blood. They want new perspectives, fresh eyes on old ways of doing things.

Consider all you’ve learned, seen, and achieved at your organization. When you put it all in the blender, what’s the story that emerges?

This isn’t a criticism of you. It just may mean that for the outcome you want, you need to explore options outside of your company.

Maybe it’s your moment to be someone else’s fresh eyes.

Consider all you’ve learned, seen, and achieved at your organization. When you put it all in the blender, what’s the story that emerges?

How will you show up for another organization with exactly the wisdom and perspective they need in the moment?

And there you have it! Don’t let a career stall get you down. Diagnose the problem so you can get busy solving it.

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Comparative Market Analysis: What is a CMA Report for Real Estate Buyers?

In this article: What’s included in a real estate CMA? Comparative market analysis example How is a CMA different from running your own online comps? How to get a comparative market analysis Is a CMA the same as an appraisal? How can buyers create a home market analysis? A comparative market analysis, commonly abbreviated as […]

The post Comparative Market Analysis: What is a CMA Report for Real Estate Buyers? appeared first on Home Buyers Guide.

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Your Complete Deep Ellum, Dallas Neighborhood Guide

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The post Your Complete Deep Ellum, Dallas Neighborhood Guide appeared first on Rent Blog.

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How To Save Money On Textbooks + Campus Book Rentals Review

If you are looking for tips on how to save money as a college student, then one of the top things you need to learn is how to save money on textbooks such as through cheap textbook rentals. In this post, I will be including a Campus Book Rentals review because I used this textbook rental company throughout college and was […]

The post How To Save Money On Textbooks + Campus Book Rentals Review appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.

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The Average Salary of a Surgeon

Surgery is a prestigious field that requires a high degree of skill, dedication and hard work of its members. Not surprisingly, surgeons’ compensation reflects this fact, as the average salary of a surgeon was $255,110 in 2018. This figure can … Continue reading →

The post The Average Salary of a Surgeon appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.

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How to Measure Progress and Achieve Goals

Measurement! I just love measurement. That’s because it tells you how you’re doing and how much progress you’ve made. Progress checks can motivate you, help you catch yourself when you’re slacking, and tell you when to change course. 

Without giving thought to how you define progress, however, you can measure the wrong thing, or measure the wrong way. You might end up demoralized for no reason, or falling behind unknowingly on a project, or missing opportunities. So if you’re going to measure progress, do it right! Turn off auto-pilot “gut checks” and measure progress thoughtfully.

Measure process goals

If you’re Type A like me, you probably overwork yourself, under the assumption that more work gives more progress. But does it? Have you ever measured? Just being busy and stressed doesn’t mean we’re getting anything done. We need to track how far we are from our goal, and whether we’re closing that gap.

First determine the kind of goals you’re chasing. Episode 462, “Grow a Pair for Your Career,” outlines the difference between outcome goals and process goals. Outcome goals—like getting a promotion—are something you strive for, not something you just do. Process goals, on the other hand, are measurable actions that help you get closer to your outcome goal, like making ten more sales calls each day. 

If you’re going to measure progress, do it right! Turn off auto-pilot “gut checks” and measure progress thoughtfully.

On a daily basis, measure progress through movement toward your process goals. It doesn’t matter how much you work, only whether that work takes you closer to finishing that day’s process goals. Then check that your process goals are doing what they should, by tracking overall movement toward an outcome goal.

For example, if you work in sales, your process goal might be to make fifty cold calls a day. If that’s your goal, sending two hundred emails should not count as progress. What’s more, if your outcome goal is to close sales, and you haven’t closed one in months, you may need to rethink if you have the right process goals. Maybe “number of calls” doesn’t lead to sales. Maybe you need to make progress on the quality of your calls, instead. So make your new process goal tweaking your sales pitch, and direct some work toward that.

Measure how far you’ve come

Another way to track progress is to look at how far you are from your starting point. 

Sam is a twenty-something who’s just started up a fairly successful online delivery company. The vision of being the next Amazon.com seems impossible! Or at least, light years away. And it is. But knowing that it’s not Amazon yet isn’t a useful measure for evaluating progress. Furthermore, it’s so far away that it isn’t even clear which paths lead to that result.

Sam can instead concentrate on what’s been accomplished so far. They started sitting around a dining room table. Now they have office space, customers, a business model that works, money in the bank, and profit. By measuring progress based on how far they’ve come, not on how far they have left to go, Sam can realize they’ve made tons of progress, and can make sure it continues to unfold, as more and more milestones get added to the list.

Measure distance to your goals

At some point your goal is within reach. Then, you can start measuring how far you are from your goal, and concentrate on closing the gap.

Don’t do this too soon! You can hurt morale. At my last Harvard Business School reunion, for example, doing an “Am I there yet?” progress check gave me a soul-crushing burst of inadequacy as I was moderating a panel of my classmates, whose combined net worth was enough to purchase a third world country and pave it over. In gold. 

When you’re out on a long run, you get a surge of fresh energy when you see you’re only ten feet from the finish line, and there’s an entire 55-gallon drum of gummy bears waiting at the end. And an Oreo ice cream cake. The next thing you know, you’re barreling over the finish line.

When you’ve passed the halfway point, start measuring your progress by how quickly you’re closing on your goal. Keep that Oreo ice cream cake in mind, and set new goals to push you those last few feet.

Even if you get some steps wrong, just making the plan will energize you and be motivating.

A good way to do this is to make a checklist of things you’ll need to do to reach the end point. These can be high-level things like, “Run A/B testing with focus groups,” or low-level things like, “Write an email to call for A/B testing participants.” Once your plan is on paper, finishing your project will seem much more doable, since all the steps left to take are right there in front of you. And as I talked about in episode 466, "Make a Plan for Motivation," even if you get some steps wrong, just making the plan will energize you and be motivating.

Re-measure often

Once you figure out the best way to track your progress, and the types of progress you need to track, choose how often you’ll track. Sometimes, tracking progress once a week is plenty. But from my experience, it’s best to track progress every two to three days.

That way, if you suddenly notice you’re not where you should be, you only have to make up two or three days’ worth of work. If you were only checking once a week, you could get an entire week behind before you’d notice it.

From my experience, it’s best to track progress every two to three days.

What gets measured gets managed. And we love to manage progress. On a daily basis, concentrate your measurements on your progress goals, rather than your outcome goals. Then choose a less-frequent measurement that is based on where you are in your project: distance to your goal, or distance from your starting point. With a little experimentation, you can find the magic balance that keeps you on top of your game.

This is Stever Robbins. I give great keynote speeches on productivity, Living an Extraordinary Life, and entrepreneurship. If you want to know more, visit http://SteverRobbins.com.

Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!

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