Why We Get Stuck in Our Careers

The last few months, Ces has been growing a fascination over plants. It served as a way for her to de-stress amidst COVID-19 lockdowns and increasing work loads. Today, our gargen is a borderline jungle in the making, so much so that DENR might be visiting us soon to call us a wildlife sanctuary.

Kidding aside, watching my wife tend to her plants has been a source of realization for me. One thing I realize is the importance of growth. It’s one of the most important tell-tale signs of life. Simply put, if you aren’t growing, you’re probably dead. The same can be said about your career. If you’re stuck, there’s a big chance that your work life is dead, and there are a few things that could be killing it. The good news is that we can pull a “Lazarus” on our careers and bring it back to life. But first, we must know what hinders our growth.

Often, the source of our stagnant careers isn’t other people or our jobs. It’s our attitude. Here are three attitudes that cause us to get stuck in our careers.

Self-discounting

I’ve come to realize how scary imposter syndrome is. If we allow negative self-talk in the guise of humility to stop us from speaking up, seeking raises, asking for promotions, getting on stages, or enriching our work value, we’ll be stuck for sure.

Tactless

No one likes to work with someone who lacks tact and respect. If you want to grow, you’re going to need a team— whether you lead it or you’re a part of it. Be nice. Be respectful. It will do you a lot of good.

Unrealistic

We’ve all heard the saying “reach for the stars and land on the moon.” That’s important, yes, and if it works for you that’s great! But for some, unrealistic goals can cause paralysis. Have reachable milestones so that you can experience small wins along the way and become more motivated.

Comfortable

Even more scary than the Twilight Zone is your comfort zone. Comfort is good for short periods of time, but if a desire for convenience is what drives your professional journey, you won’t be getting far, my friend. I wish you all the best, but I doubt anything will happen if you rest on your laurels. Get uncomfortable and do something that will challenge you.

Know-It-All

I used to work with colleagues who used to say things like “I already know that,” or “this is just a refresher for me.” A filled cup is never going to have room to receive new learnings, knowledge, and skills. So if you aren’t ready to listen and lear because “you know that already,” get ready to head to the museum, because you’ll be a dinosaur pretty soon.

If you want to keep growing in your career, check out my podcast entitled “How To Keep Up with Fast-Changing Times.”

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