Feel Stunted in Your Career? Here’s How to Take Your Next Steps

Posted September 1, 2023 by in Career

It’s not uncommon for some people to feel as though their career isn’t quite serving them. It may be that now they’re on the management side, they’ve started to lose the love they once had for the craft. Perhaps you’ve noticed that while you like the work, you feel as though you could be making more of a difference.

Of course, these are all valid reasons for desiring change and figuring out your next steps for achieving it. But what if you’re in the position you want to occupy, but you see no great steps beyond? Perhaps it’s unlikely you’ll get a promotion until the previous occupant of a role above you decides to move on, or maybe your position in the family business is hardly going to change unless an older relative is negotiated with.

If you feel stunted in your career, it can be tough to know what your next steps should be. In this post, we’ll discuss how to take those steps and hopefully curate a better outcome. Without further ado, please consider some of the following advice: 

Consider Extra-Curricular Learning

It can be good to add qualifications and capabilities to your overall professional skillset, and sometimes, your place of employment may not offer that. Luckily, a range of affordable, educational resources are out there to help you. For example, these CISA study materials can help you get to grips with information systems auditing, allowing you to pass the exam and gain a new qualification.

If you can do this in your own time or use the study stipend that may be available to you through your work, then you’re using your current job stability to prepare a potential job hob move. It’s hardly the easiest route to take, but it’s always a smarter idea than quitting a job that feels unfulfilling and then heading out with nothing to prepare you, even if there might be a sense of romance and adventure in that approach.

Consider A Lateral Move

You might not be able to move upwards, but could it be that moving sideways is more possible for you? If you can make a lateral move in the organization by switching departments, you may have a clearer route upwards.

Or, perhaps you can make a lateral move to another company with a better career structure and chance for advancement? You never know the opportunities that may be available. In some cases, it may even be worth taking an effective demotion at another company so you have a better chance of growing in your role.

A lateral move could also come as part of an intra-company opportunity. For example, if there’s a new office opening up in a different part of the country or even abroad, volunteering yourself as part of that vanguard could give you the chance to use more of your skillset and be responsible for the success of a new enterprise. With a little care and consideration, you’re sure to prosper.

Excel In Your Role

When you feel a little stunted in your career, it’s easy to look around and feel dissatisfied, for obvious reasons. But on a subconscious level, this may cause you to lapse in the hard work you put in each day, leading to a bad spiral where you become known as unreliable, hard to work with, sour, or unco-operative.

It’s important not to do this. When you excel in your role, you can use it as practice is you choose to head out and launch your own operation. You can network well with others, opening up new potential opportunities if you hope to make a move. You can also learn the most about the full specialization of your role, becoming aware of how managers plan your department’s goals.

In other words, it’s likely that you haven’t completely explored 100% of what your current role has to offer and the potential it has. Don’t waste this opportunity to learn and soak in that knowledge, because then if you find a better job elsewhere, not only will you gain a glowing testimonial from this place of employment, but you’ll have increased your skillset before you go.

Be Patient

Just because you might not have had the promotion this year doesn’t mean one won’t be available next time. Just because you feel stunted doesn’t mean opportunities or hiring possibilities won’t open up.

Just keep applying for new jobs if you want to make that move, keep training, and keep negotiating with management for other responsibilities. You’d be surprised how much a little tenacity not only keeps the workday eventful, but how sooner or later, an opportunity will present itself.

With this advice, you’re sure to take the best next steps even if you feel stunted in your chosen career.

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