A career plateau refers to a state in the business where everything is going without issues, with no trace of major crises to solve, fires to extinguish; and at the same time, there are the absence of fresh opportunities, or risks to be taken. A status quo is prevalent during a career plateau. According to Kathleen Brady, a renowned author, a career plateau feels like having a lack of energy with a feel of dragging. She further explained this state as one’s feeling like walking in mud with certain reasons for not getting to a list of things the person had listed as ‘to do’.
According to Brady, the affected person or business could be prevented by a list of self-limiting thought processes, from thriving past the career plateau to a promotion level. Rather than closing off the responsibilities one can take a closer look at the above-mentioned plateaus. This would allow the person to open up them by reorientation. This is one way of doing something about it.
A few steps to overcome career plateaus
1. Dealing with the inner critic
When a person comes across a task but his mind says he can’t do it, citing either its difficulty or a lack of skill or ability required for the task, this could be the inner critic of a person dominating. One way of handling this critic is by asking oneself a few different questions such as ‘How could I do it?’ instead of the regulation ‘How I won’t be able to do it?’. By reframing one’s belief that he cannot get where he wants to go into a question regarding how he needed to change his viewpoint, the person begins to see some credible way ahead.
2. Banking on previous experience could be a fallacy
An unsuccessful experience of the past or a misfired venture of the past could well drive the person to assume that something was hardly going to work. Such assumptions are generally based on personal experience. However, one cannot just think that something might not happen just because it had not happened previously.
Here as well, reframing the thought process is the key. Instead of ignoring past failures or getting mired in them, one can very well learn from those for making the next attempt a fruitful one. The question one needs to ask himself here is, “What difference could I work up this time for having a different and successful outcome?”
3. Determine what is really necessary?
Sometimes one may have on his list something he really needs to do, which he also wants to avoid for some reason. Here on taking a closer look, the person can realize what is really necessary. If the task ahead is necessary for the better running of a business or improving the career, the person is better advised not to shy off it. However, before putting in the effort to solve something the person is not naturally good at, he needs to stop to ask himself if it really was necessary or just something he thought so. It may also be wise to make use of time and talent on something else if this particular task is not a necessary one.
4. Assumptions could be dangerous
A phenomenon named ‘confirmation bias’ makes assumptions quite a dangerous proposition to be had. This refers to a situation where people tend to perceive more readily data that aligns with something they believed to be true already. For example, one might believe he can’t possibly promote himself to a next level in business owing to a chance of never getting adequate funding. This makes the person build up a cliché that youngsters never get such funding. Instead of it, if the person begins from the idea that youngsters do get funding, then he could see everywhere youngsters getting such funding all of a sudden. Here what one looks for is what one sees.
5. Dangerous assumptions should be substituted by inquiries
If one believes he knows what another person was thinking or feeling, or why had someone done or haven’t done something, it could be a dangerous assumption. Here the person needs to be careful when asking what people thought or got motivated by. Listening could be more appreciated than talking in such situations. It is crucial for business runners not to interpret while dealing with employees.
For example, an employer notices an employ arriving late and leaving early. He might have the urge to question or even reprimand the worker assuming him to be planning foul. But if the employer in the example decides to do a little further investigation he might discover that the worker’s mother could be getting chemo and he was attending to her.
6. Making ideal choices
Making one’s dreams come true is always not the big question, but if he is willing to go through the sacrifices required to achieve them. One needs to ask himself if he is willing to strive to make something happen. If he requires certain funding to raise his business to the next level and that might call for a drastic change in his daily budget, he might simply choose to maintain his business at the ongoing level. This is fine as long as the person is actually making a choice and not allowing circumstances dictate terms.