Getting Unstuck from a Career Plateau

It starts with doing the thing you most resist

lisa Schmidt
Management Matters
Published in
4 min readDec 6, 2022

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Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

Ample advice exists on how to grow your career as a leader: ask for and accept more responsibility; devote time and resources to updating, polishing or expanding your skills; and build relationships across your organization and your profession.

These tips are all valid and, to varying degrees, effective. Yet they don’t necessarily help you with one of the most common issues we all face at some point as we transition from employee to supervisor and beyond in our working lives: the slackening off of ambition, interest or motivation that comes with a career plateau.

When you’re stuck between rungs on the career ladder, it matters little how much you network, take courses or launch into a new project. Why? Because ultimately, these things don’t help much when your work leaves you feeling emptier than a champagne bottle after a wedding.

Hitting a career plateau

Interestingly, plateaus have a way of coming on in the way Hemingway described going bankrupt: gradually, then suddenly. It is not uncommon to hit a plateau just as you are coming off a particularly busy or productive time. It’s the working person’s version of writer’s block or a dry spell, which is to say it’s scary, uncomfortable and likely…

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lisa Schmidt
Management Matters

Writer, professional coach and catalyst of creativity, change & learning. Find me at www.worksphere.ca