What are the top 5 reasons why mid-level managers get stuck in their careers?
The symptoms are there.
You’ve had this job for about five years. Friends at other organizations are being promoted. You’ve been told to wait just a bit longer for your own corporate development career path.
You’re officially stuck in your career.
Should you be worried? Yes. Now find out why this is happening.
Here are the top 5 reasons why mid-level managers like you are stuck in your career:
The narrowing pyramid
It’s simple physics. As the pyramid narrows towards the top, less senior positions are available.
You were good enough to be promoted from a junior role to a mid-level one, but because the pyramid was still wide at that level, the competition was not quite as tough and there seemed to be more opportunities along your corporate development career path.
My advice: Figure out how to make sure that you pass the next round.
2. The competition is on.
What about all of the others who are getting promoted? Well, they realized long ago that to realize the career goals of a manager, they need to compete harder.
You need to get into the game, too. Unlike your last promotion, it’s not enough to do a good job - or even an excellent job.
You have to figure out how to compete with other mid-level managers - by showing that you’re better.
My advice: find and develop your relative advantage and make sure you stand out in the crowd.
3. No slack
When you were promoted in the past, those above you cut you some slack. They recognized you for your talents and achievements - but also saw your flaws. They figured that you’d be able to work on these as a mid-level manager.
But now, don’t expect any slack. Candidates for senior positions are scrutinized from head to toe. Those in charge of promotion are, for the most part, unwilling to compromise.
My advice: make sure that you have developed what it takes to be a senior manager.
4. They’ve changed the rules on you.
Nobody told you when you started, but what defines you as “professional” has changed.
Over the years, you might have developed as the best sales manager or the most innovative programmer. This has gotten you to where you are today.
But to move up the ladder, you’ll need to add sophisticated managerial skills to your portfolio. What helped you in the past has become less relevant. demonstrating that you’re a well-rounded manager is the most important thing you can do now.
My advice: refine your management skills and show that you’re worthy of being a senior manager.
5. Resting on your laurels = career coma
It’s nice that others have noticed you so far in your career. They’ve taken note of your talents and achievements and have promoted your accordingly.
No more. You can’t rest on your laurels and wait for a promotion. Managers who do not take a proactive part in shaping their career fall into career coma, never to wake up again to new opportunities.
My advice: don’t wait for someone to shake you out of your comfort zone - find ways to actively shape your career. It’s all up to you.
And always remember:
Great managers are made. Not born.
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