Self-Help

5 Tips to Combat Career-Block

Career-block is when a manager, co-worker, or an advisor hold you back from achievement. In one job I held, I had the drive. I spent hours working on presentations, and I was in the office on weekends. One day I hoped to get recognized for it.

You may relate to my situation. Over time I saw management promote coworkers who’d spent less time at the company than me. I worked harder but fell short in the eyes of my manager. I had an advisor who enjoyed pointing out my shortcomings while elevating team members who lacked effort.

Insecure management is an underlying reason, but I’ve found the following five tips below offer some relief from this frustrating situation.

1. Find support

It’s easy to quit your job when it feels you’re hitting a brick wall. But one person’s encouragement can help you jump the hurdles and reach for the life you want. Support can be a parent, trusted friend, or guide. Look to see if you have any of those around you and run the situation by them. When I went through my career-block, I confided in my mom and a trusted guide. Their support and belief in me helped me forge ahead when the going got tough.

Have a problematic boss? Have you been stuck in the same position for two years while others get promoted? You may be getting career-blocked. Use my checklist to find out!

Career Block – Check List 

2. Grit

Grit is the strength of character. Make a commitment to yourself to move forward through this tough time. You won’t let anyone stand in the way of the life you want. Remember you can’t control how others act, but you can control yourself. I would repeat that quote to myself each time I encountered irrational behavior. But back to Grit, I woke up each day determined to succeed at this company. I made sure the quality of my work was the best I could produce. Doing the best I could was a reward in itself. I pushed for opportunities and did not let myself be shut down by others.

3. Treat yourself

You’ve had a bad day, but a little indulgence can bring out the sunshine, and the clouds will melt away. An indulgence could be a small cake at a local French bakery or purchasing a new blazer, so you feel your best at work.

4. Positivity

Combat negative mental states with affirmative action. Let’s say your boss is down your throat about deadlines a perfect counter-action is to visit a recruiter who will match your talents and vision with the right company. That’s what I did. When things weren’t looking up at my job, my trusted guide told me about recruiting agencies. I’d never used one before and was skeptical. However, the recruiter I worked with placed people in full-time positions. I ended up finding a great job with smart co-workers. This job would’ve slipped under my nose if I hadn’t used a recruiting agency.

5. Visualize

Write down your goals and visualize them one by one. Do this until you feel confident they’ll manifest into your life. You’re one step closer to living your dream.

Is It Temporary?

Sometimes career-block can be temporary while other times finding a new job is your only solution. I thought my situation would be temporary so I tried to ignore it hoping one day my manager would say “You’re doing great!” That didn’t happen. Look for the signs. If your boss continues to undermine you, gives you less work, you’re excluded from meetings, or are criticized for every little thing you do. I would say it’s time to go if things haven’t changed in around 3 months.