By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

[email protected]

As you continue to grow professionally and personally, you will begin to want different things from your career.

Your ambition level will change. You will seek out bigger challenges. You will want to try something different. You might feel that you have hit a plateau and see no options for advancement.

Loyalty is a great quality to have, and one you will require as a leader. But it can also hold you back from making a change. Turning your back on commitments you have made can make you feel like an imposter.

You cannot leave yourself out of the equation when you have hit a plateau. You must consider why you have plateaued, what your needs are and determine what next steps to take.

Here are several ways to gets past your career plateau.

Take a New Approach To Your Work

Perhaps you feel burned out in your current role. You work crazy hours and barely have any time left for yourself. You come into work frazzled and leave even more stressed out.

Challenge can be a good thing, but if you have too many demands placed on you it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The easiest way to get past a career plateau is to try a new approach. If you are overworked, you may consider delegating or reallocating more responsibilities. Conversely, if you feel you are being underutilized, you might consider adding to your workload to keep things fresh. No matter the situation, if you can find a way to shake things up, your enthusiasm for your work will pick up again.

Grow Yourself

Does it seem like there is a glass ceiling on your potential?

If this is what you feel, it may be time to acquire new skills. Find training programs or educational opportunities that are either outside of your expertise or will enhance your existing skill set. Learning something new can be inspiring and allow you to move into positions you might not otherwise be able to.

Even if you do not end up moving into an entirely new role after you have gone through your training, you will still benefit from growing yourself.

Seek Out the Help of An Experienced Career Coach

An experienced executive career coach can help you identify growth opportunities and options you might be missing. If you are not sure what your next steps are, then you should consider working with a career coach. Make your coach aware of your career goals and aspirations, and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Lead A Different Team

If you have hit a plateau, it probably means you are comfortable in your role. Chances are good you have not had anything new to do in a while, and if you have, it was not anything extraordinary.

It is important to engage in work that is challenging and holds your interest. If you have already demonstrated your strengths as a leader, you may be able to make a “sideways shift” in your company to lead a different team or take on different work. This may not always be an option, but one worth exploring with your superiors.

Change Companies

This is not always an option. But in some instances, changing companies may create new opportunities and challenges for you. It may also present you with the chance to utilize different skills and continue climbing your career ladder.

Final Thoughts

Career plateaus can occur for a variety of reasons. It is important to identify and understand your struggles before seeking next steps. Once you recognize why you are plateauing, you will be ready to look at your options. You may not need to resort to drastic measures to improve your situation. Communicating with your team or your superiors can lead to meaningful answers. But if you do need to move on, there is no shame in it. You may discover someone with your knowledge and experience can be better utilized elsewhere.

Let’s get to work!

If you have questions about your executive career search, please contact me at 203-323-9977 or [email protected].