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The Low and High Moments of Career Progression

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

A friend of mine recently asked me if I had ever felt stuck in my career. He felt like that for a while and was going through a mix of feelings of disappointment, and anger, followed by a strong will to try again. His attempts to move up had been unsuccessful. Whenever he learned something, he integrated it into his next steps. This is why he felt powerless in the situation.

There was nothing surprising about his question. It was a question based on the assumption that I had never been stuck in my career, given the progress I have made.

When you look at someone from the outside, it's easy to assume their growth was linear. The danger also lies in the fact that we unconsciously set unrealistic expectations for ourselves during that process. We do it more often than we think, in different aspects of our lives.

Over the course of my career, I have felt stuck many times. At one point, I took three lateral roles before I got a promotion. For others, some of these moves were seen as demotions, not promotions. There was a period of time when I wondered if I would ever get promoted.

What I learned in the process is that even when we believe nothing happens, things do happen. It is only from another angle that we can see them.

  • We find clarity about what we really want. We stop pursuing things we don't want.

  • We experiment with different approaches and we learn what works and what doesn’t.

  • We become humble and more open to serving others.

  • We question and shift many beliefs which are blockers to our growth.

  • We meet people who will help us later in our journey.

  • We find out who we really are and what we stand for.

Our missions don’t take shape in our peak moments. Those are the moments when we bring our missions to life.

Missions and alignment are taking shape in the quiet moments. Those are the moments when the real magic happens.

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