Project Manager Career stagnation – how to overcome and avoid it?

project manager career stagnation

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Typical scenario – “Nothing is functioning as you want at present, management is not bothered, career graph shows a continual flat line, no shift in position, no job exists beyond current role, meetings with no resolution, demotivation to complete current work,” is a typical scenario.

So how to beat career stagnation and move on?

First Option:

Take a step back and think about what direction your career can go in. Think seriously about this. You may be on one path, but a slight shift in a different path may be in order.

Then learn everything you can about how to get there. Examine job opportunities for the position you desire. What do they expect you to have that you don’t? Is there any kind of training program that might be helpful? Is there any experience you may get in your current job that can help you prepare for a new position?

Begin doing everything you need to do to get ready for the job you want. The preparation process itself may be quite inspiring.

Start looking for a new job once you’ve gained confidence.

Second option:

Force change at current company. Be assertive and loud. Work with management. Tell them things need to change. Volunteer to do whatever it takes. Redefine your role to be what it needs to be. Be vocal in meetings and become a facilitator to make sure the meetings move and action items are defined. Step up and ask why nothing is working. Take on any role if needed.

Will you get a lot of pushback? Of course, you will. Are there limits to what you can do? Probably, but push them as hard as you can. Be nice about it but stern.

How you can avoid Career stagnation?

With too much comfortability comes complacency, leading to stagnation. 

  • Keep yourself fresh and motivated with courses, certifications, and reaching for new roles/responsibilities to grow your career. 
  • Don’t be afraid to make known your interest in growth opportunities. Don’t make assumptions others will simply ‘know’. 
  • Be clear, but of course, not demanding.
  •  Not always will the opportunity be available within the current setting. 
  • Open yourself up to opportunities outside, interview, learn more about what is out there. 
  • Simply marketing yourself is a motivator. 
  • Once external conversations begin, the haze lifts away and the light begins to shine through!

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Swati Upadhyay

Swati Upadhyay

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