You’ve reached a peak at work, and you’re not sure exactly what to do next. Sound familiar? This instalment of the Better At Work series looks at some of your options when it comes to dealing with a plateau at work.
Do a self-assessment
One of the key things to know about yourself, stuck or not, are the key skills and attributes you bring to the workplace. When you know your skills, you are best placed to know what roles and growth opportunities suit you.
There are numerous ways you can self-assess, including personality quizzes and books that guide you in finding your strengths. Find a method that works for you, and stick with it until you’ve got a better sense of your strengths (for me, it was a personality quiz).
Fill a skills gap
Once you’ve identified the skills you have, you’re well placed to start filling these gaps. You can do this by taking a course to fill a gap you’ve found, or volunteering your time.
The key at this stage is to be strategic in your skill selection. While there are a few ways to go about this, the basic principle is: pick something you can actually use in most work environments. There’s nothing wrong with taking a course for the fun of it (in fact I can recommended it!) but in terms of the workplace, finding a course that can be applied at work, and is enjoyable, is the sweet spot.
Take on a new project
Are there any new projects starting at your workplace? If so, put your hand up! With the right attitude and skills, you can easily make a case to join a new project.
The key here might be to convince your manager your performance in other areas won’t suffer as a result of the new work. If you genuinely believe you can take on new work – and let’s face it, if you’re feeling stuck chances are you can do your job with one arm behind your back – make the case for yourself to your superiors.
And if there are no new projects going? Again, chances are you know your work inside out, so pick a problem you and your colleagues are having, devise a solution and turn it into an unofficial project.
One other thing…
Another thing to remember about being stuck at work is that it’s okay to feel stuck at work. Not every day is going to make you feel challenged or inspired, and that is perfectly normal. Everyone feels stuck at one time or another, and today might just be that day for you. Only start self-assessing, taking courses and new projects when you’re sure it’s a real plateau, and not just an off day.
Until next time,