Overcoming saturation in career


Reducing hierarchy and removing management layers empowers employees. This, in turn, leads to faster professional growth. However, the downside is that people then possess a desperate urge to climb the corporate ladder. If the organization does not grow to match aspirations of employees with new opportunities, the feelings of being ‘stuck’ is bound be there. There are critical reasons for the same.

It is a notion of change in grades say promotion, change in designation and finally a wish that the organization should take care of them that leads to employees following the traditional path pausing to think whether it is relevant for them or whether this is what they genuinely enjoy.

When you’ve been stuck in the same job for years, you tend to get into a groove. That is when ‘plateau-ing’ or ‘flattening’ begins. Such workers start experiencing ‘growth pangs’. This is the point where their careers start taking a plunge.

Lack of periodic career planning is the main reason why a ‘career plateau’ occurs. Many employees think career planning is about getting that big once-in-a-lifetime promotion. In reality, career planning is a constant process that needs to be revisited at least once a quarter. Instead of hoping to make few big jumps, employees should be encouraged to continuously identify small improvement and growth areas on a monthly basis. At the firm Synygy, the mentors (each employee has a mentor) meet with the men tees every other week to discuss such items and are constantly aware of where the employee is planning to reach.

No talented or high-profile employee would prefer to stand in a queue for career growth in an organization which has a long hierarchy ladder. Longer the period of waiting to achieve anticipated growth results in frustration. This in turn increases the turnover ratio and also harms productivity.

Some of the top management members of different companies say they need employees who are deeply involved in their business success to gain a competitive advantage.

Managing Director of a new airline company says that they are at a startup stage and it is essential, to take care of the employees, right from the beginning to prevent switchovers. Career counseling and job preferences in terms of change of location or job rotation are given as the need rises.

Another Director of a reputed firm said that with job rotation and departmental transfer opportunities, they are able to retain their corporate knowledge and also cross-fertilizing to create better results.

The firm has a strong reward and recognition programs to keep employees away from ‘plateauing’. Longevity awards are given to felicitate long-serving employees. Snap Awards are given by mangers for individual and team achievements to their team members. Popular Awards are peer recognition awards.

A plateau can be a stable period of rest and security that provides an opportunity to regain perspective and digest new ideas.

A plateau can also be a healthy experience for professionals, particularly those who have just accomplished a breakthrough in their careers. Recognizing the difference between plateau and a permanently stalled career is essential. Individuals who have comfortably leveled off during this plateau are more likely to regroup and plan better for the next stage of their career development, than those who have not.