Managing Career Proactively

I feel my career is going nowhere and my peers are growing fast.

This is not a comment you hear from people many times, but most people have it in their mind.

Career Hopelessness

There are many reasons why someone may feel this way. Here are some reasons we have seen in the past:

  1. Performance Review – Your performance review (and associated raise) hasn’t been great for last few times.
  2. Boring projects – You have been working on projects which doesn’t challenge you enough and you feel bored.
  3. Lack of passion – You are not passionate about the industry/domain/role that you work in
  4. Lack of perspective – You only look at the star performers around you
  5. Goal Clarity – You are not sure what you want to achieve in your career.

Resolution – Career and Goal Review

When you are faced with this situation, following these steps:

  1. Review goals and milestones – Slow down and take stock of your career. The first thing you should do is to spend some time in rediscovering your career goals and milestones and make sure you understand your them and are working towards them.
  2. Evaluate Career Trajectory – In the hectic pace at workplace, sometimes, without our realization, our career trajectory deviates from our career goals. Many times, this happens when you keep doing what the company and your manager ask you to do, without thinking much about what you want to do.
  3. Identify alignment issues – When you spend time analyzing your career trajectory and career goals, you can identify lack of alignment between the two. In this case, you need to work with your manager to see if you can align your career goals with organizational goals. Most of the time, if you have a good manager, it is possible to do so.
  4. Fix alignment issues – You can fix many alignment issues by changing your project with the help of your manager. In the cases where it is not possible, it may be time for a bigger change – in role, company, or even domain. It depends on source and extent of mis-alignment.