How to identify when you are stuck in your career (and what to do about it!)

It can be hard to face the reality that you’re either making progress in your career, marking time, or falling behind…

And if you’re marking time or falling behind, you’re probably stuck!

Here are some “tell-tale” signs that your career may have stalled…

  • You feel stuck in a dead-end job, with limited opportunities to advance.
  • You are waiting for your boss or HR to manage your career.
  • You have interviewed for a promotion a few times but haven’t gotten selected.
  • You love your job but know it’s time to move on.
  • You are already on the hi-po track, but you’re not moving fast enough and you need to stand out in the pile.

If any of these scenarios resonate with you, it’s time to take back control over your career.

Don’t look back with disappointment. 

Take action now…

Start with a shift in mindset to empower yourself to make change happen.

Here seven mindest shifts to get you back on track…

1. Find happiness

Success is hard to come by if you’re not happy in your life and work.  True happiness starts within. Consider who and what are important to you. Carve out time to spend with the special people in your life. Make room for things you like to do. Though you won’t always have work-life balance, there are times when you can create it. When things are going well in your personal life, you can better focus on and create happiness at work. 

  • Who / what is important in my life?
  • Who / what drains my energy and happiness?
  • At what points am I most happy?

2. Commit to a positive, can-do attitude

Negative people are always complaining… “I can’t”, “That’ll never work”, “We’ve always done it this way.” 

Don’t let that be you.

With a positive, can-do attitude, you’ll have more friends and opportunities in your career.

Your attitude impacts not only others but also how you feel about yourself and what you can accomplish.

  • What kind of attitude do I bring to work every day?
  • What negative self-talk keeps me from believing in myself?

3. Set short-term career goals

To consistently make progress, set smaller, shorter-term goals that are stepping stones toward your longer-term career goals. Setting short-term goals will help you make decisions about your work, development priorities, and sought experiences.

  • What do I want to have accomplished by the end of this year?
  • What experience and expertise do I need to gain this year in order to make progress toward my career goals? 

4. Choose to lead

Titles don’t make the leader, your actions and ‘how’ you engage others make you a leader.  You don’t need a title to be accountable for achieving business results or to influence others. Take initiative to speak up or ask the tough questions. Take action when you see something needs to be done. Don’t wait to be asked. Influence others to engage in solving problems and getting things done.

  • What opportunities do I have to step up and be a leader?
  • In what situations might I need to influence others, especially where I don’t have direct authority?

5. Set personal stretch goals

You’ve probably established official goals with your manager. If you want to stand out, you need to go beyond that. Your stated performance goals are really minimum expectations. Strive to hit the ball out of the park, not just run all the bases. Your track record of execution is the foundation for future career opportunities.

  • What can I reasonably accomplish beyond my stated performance goals?

6. Live in the present

Avoid missing out on life because you’re always wondering ‘what if’…. “If only I had this.” “If I just had that job.”  Enjoy ‘life’ where you are. Be grateful. Make the most of what you have and where you are right now. Stop wishing your life away with what could be, and take advantage of ‘what is’. You are given 1,440 minutes each day. Appreciate the gift of each moment.

  • Am I truly appreciating where I am right now?
  • What are all the things I can be grateful for?

7. Take action

Challenge yourself to try each of these strategies.

Find out what a difference your intention will make in fueling your career forward! 

And if you’re serious about taking action and taking back control of your career…

Download my guide for 5 Ways to Breathe New Life Into Your Career.

Go for it!



She’s a woman on a mission, prepped and ready to help you create resilient leaders and a workplace that is poised to succeed. Having weathered her fair share of corporate and career crises of all sizes, Vivian Blade MBA, MBB, PMP, is a global leadership expert and thought leader who equips leaders with the resilience that inspires teams to recover quickly in the face of ongoing disruption and thrive in spite of insurmountable odds.

Vivian empowers leaders and organizations as a frequent keynote speaker for association conferences and in delivering transformative leadership development programs, executive coaching and consulting for corporations.

Leave a Comment

Copyright 2023 Vivian Blade