Career Stagnation: A Basic Concise Guide For 2021


There are a lot of people out there who are employed with a company for more than a couple of decades, more so in the same role. These people are complacent with their jobs, happy with the money they are making, and are voluntarily stagnating. But if there’s involuntarily stagnation in your job, you have not moved upwards or laterally for more than 2 years, and then you need to figure out what’s happening and start creating some leverage for change. Before you reach a stage of professional burnout or complete lack of engagement in your work and there is no foreseeable opportunity for growth, take steps to make a difference in your career.

List of Signs of stagnation

Listed below are few telltale signs which will indicate that you are stagnating in your career. 

  • Lack of learning opportunities: If your current role or your organization does not provide opportunities to hone your skills, then you can assume that you are stagnating in your job. You need to evaluate whether you learned something new or discovered a new skill in your current role. If no, then it’s time to change before you become outdated or invaluable for the job market. With the ever-changing job market, it is imperative to continuously augment your skills through constant self-learning to boost your career. Professionals who learn and grow with the organization are always in demand. 
  • Lack of growth opportunities: Stagnation in the job can occur if professional growth is nowhere in sight for you. There are no possible vertical movements, and you are being disregarded or passed over for promotion. The other reason could be that you have progressed as high as possible within your organization. This warrants a discussion on career pathing with your employers to get a better understanding of where you stand depending on which acquire a new skill or contact the recruiters to look for better opportunities outside.   
  • Boredom at work: If you are getting Monday blues and feel no excitement to go to your work, it’s a clear sign of stagnation. Boredom sets in if you are not challenged enough in your current role and no longer enjoy your work. There is a complete lack of motivation. One way to overcome boredom is to look for additional responsibilities which can break the monotony. Try to make your current job interesting and at the same time update yourself with the latest job trends. 
  • No pay hike or change in title: You have been in the same position for more than a couple of years, or there is no change in your salary or both. This is going to demotivate you and give you a feeling of being stuck. It will also negatively impact your selling value in the job market. Try and identify the reason by having a performance evaluation with your superiors. Discuss a fair merit raise. Look for internal job postings for upward or lateral movements. Do some research on the benchmark salaries for your skillset, and if there is an opportunity to rise on the ladder or better pay, it’s time to take a leap.  
  • The future of the organization is unclear: You can reach a stagnation point if your current organization is going downhill and suffering losses. The company’s future looks grim, and employees are losing jobs. In such a case, it is advisable to look for opportunities elsewhere and move on.  
  • Lack of skills: The stagnation in the job is not always due to an external factor. You feel redundant if you are unable to contribute as much to your company goals. Maybe because the job requirements have changed and you are not skilled enough to do the job. Moreover, you are reluctant to upgrade yourself. Companies prefer employees who are self-driven and work towards continuous self-development. Invest in professional certification courses or training to acquire additional skills. The same will not go unnoticed and may result in career and pay growth. 
  • Friction with your superiors: It’s a known fact that people leave managers, not companies. If your boss shows apathy towards you, is unprofessional, your thoughts don’t align, or you have frequent disagreements, this may impact your work-life adversely. Feeling of being undervalued and disrespected leads to frustration and reflects in the performance as well. If that is the case, look for opportunities outside your current role or explore options outside the organization.


It is essential to identify the exact reason for your career stagnation to find a way to fix it. Set a goal for yourself, take stock of your skill sets and what is required to stay ahead in this competitive job market. Invest time and money in developing new skills that can differentiate you from your peers. Build a reputation as someone who can go above and beyond by challenging yourself and asking for additional responsibilities or projects. Talk to your employers to voice out your concerns. Build your resume Last but not least, connect with others both inside and outside your company. Professional networking can open up significant options for change and growth.  

If you are interested in building your career in different fields do check out various courses by UNext.


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