Many people are driven. They are ambitious. They plan. They make goals. And they try their best to achieve them by enhancing their skills, learning new skills, attending workshops and training, and even pursuing higher education to add to their resume. In the past, having all these will certainly get you somewhere high in the corporate world. But times are changing. Most Generation-X people will find it quite hard to progress in their careers due to the many factors and obstacles they have to face. One is the influx of new, young breed of millennial who will stop at nothing to raise the ranks. They are full of energy, one that may be a costly commodity for the mid-40’s workers.
What can you do if you find your career taking a halt when you feel there is still so much for you to attain?
Speak to your manager
Maybe it’s time for a one on one if the last one conducted was just a formality to close a performance review? Request for a meeting with the boss and run down the things you are capable of doing in case an opportunity arise (whether there is an opportunity or none, just lay it all there). Be sure you also take with you printouts of merits, recommendations, accolades for projects done well, kudos from clients and fellow colleagues, certifications from training you have attended that the management may have no idea of, etc. It is like selling yourself all over again in a more updated manner, ensuring the management that age will never be a factor between you and the job that you can do.
If your company is a little tight for manpower, or some colleagues are on leave and there is no one to replace them, volunteer for a job-shadow work to pick up more knowledge and skills in the process. Make sure you have been given the approval to do so and it is within the confines of your department’s policies. Have all of these documented so that you have something to show when the time comes that a sudden job vacancy becomes available. Then you are fit as a candidate.
Never get tired of improving yourself as learning is a never ending process. Take free online courses or attend workshop on your own if the management will not provide incentives. Do it for yourself.
While you are doing your best and still not being promoted or there is really nowhere to go now in your stale career, it is time to keep looking outside. Test the market by submitting your resume to several companies you feel will be a good fit for you. You will never know when another door opens, and it might not be in your own company but somewhere else.
It is not easy to progress especially when competition is really high. But it doesn’t mean there is no more growth for you because of that.
Do you quit or you reinvent yourself and show them what you’ve got?