From a career perspective, there are different reasons people “hit the wall”, meaning their careers come to a sudden stop. A few of them are:
- Stuck-in-place: There appears to be no upward opportunities for you
- Underutilized: Your going stale, in place, and can’t use your talents
- Hostile environment: Someone doesn’t like you, with more influence than you
- Termination: Either voluntary or involuntary
- Downsizing: The company is in a slump and you may take the hit
- Reorganization: There’s been a change of direction and your redundant
- Spin-off/Take-over/Merger: While in flux, your competing for your own job
- And so on…
If you’re moving toward the wall, for whatever reason, here are some thoughts to consider:
- Never allow yourself to actually “hit the wall”. It may be too late to fully recover
- Always take pre-emptive action. Find a solution before you become the problem.
- Talk to your boss or a decision maker if possible about your situation, for a discussion of potential solutions
- Begin to put our resume together. Collect data about the results you’ve produced.
- Give some thought about how to differentiate yourself from your peers
- Talk to a professional coach (at no charge) about the marketplace, your background and experiences, and some steps you can take for the better
- Prepare a job search strategy, both internal and external, so you are prepared for any eventuality
- With some help, quietly “test” the marketplace. Find out what’s your probability of success and the potential time-line to connect with a more fruitful position and career
And lastly, when you know you’re about to hit the wall, initiate your contingency strategy immediately. You don’t want to be the last one out the door because you weren’t prepared.
Hitting the wall is painful and avoidable. At the very least, set up your basic foundation of information, documentation and contingencies. Get some help if you need it. You’ll be very happy you did.
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