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Are you stuck in a dead-end job?

Photo credit: Catalin Petolea, Shutterstock

Photo credit: Catalin Petolea, Shutterstock

Sometimes, a job can seem fine on the surface level, but if you look deeper, there isn’t room for growth or advancement, or you know that promotion or raise just isn’t going to happen. Being in a position like that can seem like a dead-end.

HR Bartender recently tackled this issue, talking to Career Sherpa’s Hannah Morgan and Ron Thomas, director of talent and human resources at Buck Consultants, a Xerox Company. Ron highlighted that a dead-end job could be just a matter of perception, saying “One man’s dead end job is another man’s dream job.” And Hannah noted that the warning signs of a dead-end job usually indicate problems within the organization’s culture:

More concrete examples of a dead end job could be:

The promotion chain in the company is stalled. Is there someone in the position you want but they have been in the job a long time with no indication or mention of leaving the role anytime soon?

The company culture is one of “do your job, period”. Is your manager not allowing you the opportunity to take on new challenges or assignments?

You aren’t ready. Have you been passed over more than once for a promotion? Perhaps you are lacking skills suitable for a promotion or maybe you don’t have the “right stuff” to get promoted in that company.

While she added that it might be time to explore new opportunities outside of the organization, she also suggests ways to prevent getting stuck, like asking your manager for specific feedback and taking credit for work you’ve done. Ron added that individuals should do as much research as they can prior to starting a job, to learn about the company culture and organization, and to think long-term and strategically about this position and any moves they make.

Do you think there is really such as thing as a dead-end job? What advice do you have for avoiding or getting out of one?

1 Comment

  1. Virginia Leek

    Dead-end jobs are a matter of perception but if you know you’ve hit the ceiling & you bored it’s time to jump ship! There’s just no two ways about it. Focus on your current role to become aware of your unique skills & abilities…gathering and allowing yourself more aware of your unique gifts and talents to market yourself into a new or similar field. Be totally present with your current situation will help you bide your time and control the tendency to experience the doldrums until you find your next position to flourish you forward. All too often things shift so quickly & when we’re finally forced to re-write our resume or pitch ourselves for that next position our unique talents elude us or we can’t remember those key traits that make us the exception! Take notes…who are you? What get’s you excited? By focusing on the positive aspects of your current situation things will feel less fatal. You might even miss your old job after you leap out of the perpetual fish tank!