Work: 7 Signs That Your Career Has Stalled And What To Do About It


Do you remember the feeling when you landed your first entry-level job? The happiness, confusion, panic, and disbelief? Your internship ended, then came the probation period then came the full absorption by the corporate. Do you remember the feeling? How excited and hopeful you were? Do you still have that?

There is a season and reason for everything and phases in our lives are marked by milestones. Sometimes you land your first promotion and that remains that for very long and you end up feeling under-utilized and insignificant. We derive some meaning to our lives through our jobs since they take up a good chunk of it and they also contribute to the wellness of our overall lives. These are the signs that your career is stalling:

  1. You dread going to work. Every morning there is no anticipation whatsoever about your job. You will do anything to get away from it every other day because it doesn’t excite you
  2. You are too comfortable. While we should all be comfortable in our workplaces, our jobs are supposed to push us to be better to finally fully utilize our potential. Are you getting comfortable?
  3. You are not learning anything new. You have worked for a company for some time and you are still doing the same thing without extra responsibility. Yes, your career is stalling!
  4. Stagnant compensation. Are you still earning the same amount you earned right after your first promotion which was ages ago?
  5. Others are getting promoted and you are not. So you joined this company with a few others and they got their promotions to a point they are now your seniors? Also, those that got hired after you have been promoted while you still remain in the same place? Yes, your career is not growing.
  6. Lack of communication. Your bosses no longer consult you and you are not invited to the networking opportunities Additionally, the colleagues that were constantly asking for your help are now not asking you for advice.
  7. New jobs, same responsibilities. Your movements to different companies have not earned you newer responsibilities or a significant salary hike is another indicator that we should all look out for in our employment.


Stalled career. Image from

Sometimes you have outgrown the industry you are working for or its shrinking or you are not being given an opportunity to take up new responsibilities. Maybe its time to move on. A stalled career is not always your fault and the meaning of a stalled career varies from one individual to another. Mostly, there’s hope to salvage the situation and this is how you can go about it.

  1. Learn a new relevant skill. It is important to keep improving your worth. More skills mean more responsibilities which ultimately mean a promotion that will come with better pay. Microsoft skills are now redundant, learn how to code and be versatile. This could mean also acquiring new knowledge by getting that Masters degree or professional course you have been planning on taking since forever.
  2. Talk to your seniors. Sometimes, even your bosses will not realize that you feel underutilized because they are used to seeing you in that capacity. Ask for more responsibilities or a promotion if you think you deserve one. You might realize this was all you needed to do.
  3. Change your attitude. It is true that the negative vibes we give off at work might come back to haunt us. This means being more friendly, refraining from doing the bare minimum by taking initiatives and having a generally positive outlook.
  4. Go back to the drawing board. We are so caught up in the rat race that we forget to re-evaluate our lives and goals and this might be just what you need. You might realize the source of your slacking career could be that you are not motivated anymore or even you just need to take all leave days that you have accumulated over time and have some time off. Your energy could be drained because you have not had a vacation.
  5. Grow your networks – Networks are always good for business and if you are well connected you become an asset to your employer. Relationships make business and if you have them, your career can only move forward.

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Caroline Mumbe is passionate about anything money related. She is an entrepreneur and writer who enjoys simplifying financial concepts and making sure people lead their best financial lives. She reads a lot and knows the best coffee joints in Nairobi.