Careers are a funny thing. They often begin in a great fanfare of excitement and possibility, shortly after you graduate from college and you score a fantastic job offer from a desirable company. Then, a few years down the line, when you are stuck in a minor management position with nowhere to go apart from out the door, you end up wondering what went wrong. So how can you tell if your career is in the doldrums?
Nothing Changes – Apart From Your Colleagues
Do you find that it isn’t worth getting to know Bob, Simon, Cheryl or Liam when they join the team, because you know they are only passing through on their way to bigger and brighter things?
It’s not a good sign if everyone around you changes from year to year, but you are the only consistent face on the Christmas office party Facebook photo.
You Hate Your Job
People whose career is going places generally like their job. They might find it a bit stressful at times, especially if they are trying to juggle studying for an online executive MBA as well as work full-time, but it’s a good stress, not an “I hate my job” stress.
If you break out in hives every Monday morning or you have been signed off work with depression, you need a new job.
Nobody Talks to You Anymore
Do feel like the office notice board? In other words, people glance at you when they walk past, but nobody bothers to spend more than five minutes in your company.
People who are part of the furniture tend to be ignored. They are no longer in the frame for a promotion, so they effectively become invisible to all and sundry. It’s not a good sign.
You Leave Early and Nobody Notices
We all have to leave the office early from time to time. However, if your job is critical or you are tasked with all manner of important things, your boss is likely to notice if you leave early, even if you have a great reason.
If, on the other hand, you leave early and nobody notices, or indeed cares, you know you are dispensable and that a promotion is not on the cards any time soon.
Your Got Moved to a Smaller Office – Without a Window
When people are in line for a promotion, they can expect a new desk, a bigger office, and a more generous paycheck. When you are asked to move office to make way for a new manager and your new office faces the air conditioning unit, the only way is down.
One way to avoid being stuck in career purgatory is to study for new qualifications and ask for more responsibility. Try enrolling on an online executive MBA program in your spare time. It might be enough to persuade your boss you have what it takes for bigger and brighter things – and if it doesn’t look for a boss who appreciates you more.