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Career Growth Strategies: Overcoming Job Stagnation

Career Growth

July 24, 2023

We've all been there; the job was terrific and better than you ever imagined it would be. The pay, the opportunity and the people all seemed like it would last forever, but then, it all faded to gray. There's that lingering feeling that "something is missing."

That feeling of work stagnation isn't uncommon. Every professional, regardless of their career, will feel that and for some, it can be inspiring and a chance to seek new opportunities but for others, it might be terrifying.

Finding a new opportunity can be scary. Here are some tips to consider as you look to broaden your horizons and find career fulfillment.

Start with Self-Assessment + Goal Setting

Evaluate your skills, strengths and areas for improvement. Identify your long-term career goals and determine the skills or experiences you need to acquire to achieve them. Setting clear goals will provide direction and motivation for your career advancement.

Seek Feedback + Mentorship

Request input from your supervisor or colleagues to gain insights into areas where you can improve. If you don't have those connections, seek a mentor within your network who can guide you and provide valuable advice on navigating your career path. Mentors can offer support, share their experiences and provide insights into potential growth opportunities. Many cities have a chamber of commerce, which can be instrumental in getting you connected with the right people.

Expand Your Knowledge + Skills

Take advantage of your company's training and development programs. This could include attending workshops, conferences or webinars related to your field. Additionally, consider pursuing certifications or further education to enhance your expertise to make yourself a more valuable asset to your organization.

Volunteer for Challenging Projects

Show initiative by volunteering for projects or tasks that align with your career goals and allow you to showcase your skills. Taking on additional responsibilities demonstrates your commitment and willingness to contribute beyond your current role, which can lead to increased visibility and potential growth opportunities.

Network Within + Outside Your Company

Build relationships with colleagues from different departments or teams and individuals in your industry through networking events or online platforms. Engage in conversations, share knowledge and learn from others' experiences. Networking can provide valuable connections, insights into different roles or departments and potential referrals for new opportunities.

Update Your Resume + Online Presence

Keep your resume up to date, highlighting your accomplishments and any new skills or experiences acquired. Optimize your online presence, such as through DSM USA Career Center or LinkedIn, by showcasing your professional achievements and engaging with industry-related content. A strong resume and online presence can attract the attention of recruiters or hiring managers when you're ready to explore external opportunities.

Remember that climbing the career ladder involves more than hard work. It's about strategic planning, continuous learning, fostering relationships, building your network and taking initiatives that align with your long-term career aspirations.

Professional growth doesn't happen overnight. It's a journey, often a long one filled with lessons, challenges and triumphs. Be patient with yourself and know that every step, no matter how small, brings you closer to your goals. Use any feeling of stagnation not as a signal of failure but as a catalyst for change and growth.

Local organizations like the Greater Des Moines Partnership or Young Professional Connection (YPC) are great platforms that can facilitate your growth journey. Why not let that step be joining a community that supports and enhances your professional growth, like YPC?

We extend an enthusiastic invitation to you: Join with other motivated and ambitious professionals looking to grow themselves.

The doors of opportunity are wide open. The question isn't whether they exist; it's whether you're ready to step through them.

Young Professionals Connection (YPC) aims to attract and retain young professionals in Greater Des Moines (DSM) by connecting emerging leaders to each other and to the community through social, civic, charitable and professional development endeavors. Learn how you can get involved.

Samuel Malkasian

Samuel Malkasian is a Marketing Consultant with DSM.Studio and Marketing Chair for the Young Professionals Connection (YPC), an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.