Are you in a holding pattern with your career?

Is hitting a plateau in your career a cause for complaint or complacency? It could be a reason for celebration.

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Whether a new start is in order, or you're looking for ways to make the most of your current circumstances with a changed outlook, finding yourself at a static level on your career could provide the necessary space for new opportunities.

As a legal professional, the pressures of a fast-paced career can mean things sometimes come to a halt. Sally, business development executive, shares her tips for climbing out of a career plateau.

Priorities: consider what you want in life

Setting your priorities can help you examine exactly where you want to go in your career and lift you up, providing clarity and determination to keep yourself focused.

  • Exercise and health
    Keeping on top of your fitness improves your physical well-being and stamina. It can also boost your mental wellbeing, helping you stay focused on your career and other commitments.
  • Reading
    Biographies and articles can inform you about other people's career paths and the steps they took. LinkedIn can be used to look at the roles you want, and the career steps people took to those roles. Twitter can show you a day in the life of your role model.
  • Networking
    By taking part in an industry relevant conference or a seminar you could hear about potential new roles, as well as meet like-minded people, or discover what your next step(s) could be.
  • Travel
    Taking some time out of your schedule to relax could help give you some perspective on your current role, and help establish new priorities for the future.

Making the most of your current job

Making the most of your current role, without moving up, doesn't have to be a concerning prospect. You may be unwilling to make the trade-offs that can often be required for senior positions (such as less time with family, travel obligations, more daily responsibility/stress).

Instead you could try:

  • Moving laterally
    Could you find a similar job in a slightly different area? Or a new role at the same firm? Using the skills picked up from your current job could mean you adapt well to a variety of roles, and the new start could mean you have new tasks to work at each day, without taking a pay cut.
  • Refining your expertise
    Become the go-to person in your company for what you're best at, and work hard at that. Training new employees for example could be a great new way to feel that you're moving forward too.
  • Non-material rewards
    Staying in your current job may mean that there is less prospect of a salary increase, but remaining comfortable (and less stressed) in your day-to-day work could mean you have more capacity for activities outside of the office

Should you start looking for a new job?

A change of scene is the logical first step if you feel you've achieved all the aspects of your current role, and your prospects aren't looking likely to change for the foreseeable future.

It can seem daunting to change jobs - especially with mortgage or rental commitments, and daily expenses - but if you need to move on, start by setting up job alerts, update your LinkedIn profile, tell the colleagues you know you can trust. Good luck!


Views expressed in our blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Law Society. 

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