Do you ever hold a mirror up to yourself when you feel stuck in your career? Do you ever wonder what you could be doing wrong that is preventing you from getting to that next level? 

Career advancement means different things for different people; it could be a salary increase, a promotion, a new job with more responsibilities, a new career altogether, or, relocating to a different country and widening your intercultural skills. 

Obviously, there are external factors that often are not in our control such as the current socio-economic system, a narrow job market, industry trends and so forth. However, we are capable of being in charge of factors such as motivation, discipline, commitment and how we implement the things that will get us to where we want to be. 

We will, therefore, be talking about some of the things we can control in this post because if there’s ever been a good time to start being in charge of your career, it’s today. 

1. Not seeking out learning opportunities – It’s 2020 and we can’t stop reminding you about The Future of Work and how it impacts our jobs today, in a very accelerated manner whose impact will be even more visible in the next few years.  Self-driven upskilling is going to be your armor for staying in the front line of your career and smoothly transitioning through the different phases that may impact your job. 

2. Not acknowledging constructive feedback – One of the major ways to self-improve is by utilizing feedback given to us by our supervisors, peers, and even family and friends. It’s important to have a sense of self-responsibility in order for us to critically analyze the feedback we’re given, and take the necessary steps to self-improve. Often, it’s easier to place blame on other factors instead of on ourselves, and this can prevent us from advancing in our careers because we fail to identify areas of growth we can work on. Read more about how to take constructive criticism and why it’s’ important to be accountable at work in this article that we wrote last year. 

3. Not acting upon your career plans – It can feel good to talk about our career plans and fantasize about them actualizing. However, acting on them is more important. If you’re aware of where you want to be, don’t keep postponing the execution part of it. Go to that networking event, reach out to that hiring manager on LinkedIn, find a career coach to work with. Whatever it is, the time is now.  

4. Imposter syndrome – You know when people congratulate you for your achievements and you resort to attributing it to lady luck or other external factors? Yet you know too well, that you put in the hard work and are actually good at your job?  That’s imposter syndrome at work; “the fear of being revealed as a “fraud” or “imposter” who does not deserve the things he or she has obtained in life” (Wikipedia). Imposter syndrome feeds into our self-limitation and makes us feel as though we don’t deserve to thrive in the areas that we do in our lives, including our careers, thus preventing us from taking leaps that will advance it even further. If you’re going through this phase, here’s an article with a few tips on how you can combat it. You can also reach out to us to join our next Imposter Syndrome Master Class:)

5. Not communicating your career needs – If you keep quiet about your needs or fail to ask for help to get to the next level in your career, you’re really not helping yourself at all. If you’re in a job where your needs are not being met, where your expectations are perhaps unclear, you need to voice this. Don’t be afraid to follow up on that connection request you asked for two weeks ago, or ask to be assigned to a project you’re passionate about at work. People are not mind-readers, speak up 🙂

Have you experienced any of these? How have you dealt with them? We’d love to hear from you! 

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