Lately, I have heard from and work with more people who are working and are not satisfied with their career progression. Here’s one example where a young professional was stalled in her career.

This young professional is a 10+ year employee who is not being considered for promotional opportunities but is continually asked to train others to take over her boss’s position.

She approached me because it had become clear that the company was not going to promote her and she believes she is ready for more responsibility. She was very unhappy and knew it was time to make a change.

What are her alternatives? A situation like this is not always clear-cut and requires some discussion to pull out all the facts. Here are some the questions that I asked her that you should ask yourself:

  1. What has her performance been rated as? Is it documented?
  2.  Does the company or her boss give constructive feedback?
  3. What kind of training has she done to advance her skill sets?
  4. Does she have a development plan in place?
  5. Does she have an internal advocate, mentor or confidante?
  6. What kinds of conversations have others had with her about her career progression?
  7. What is the company’s philosophy on employee development?
  8. Is she being given assignments that test and stretch her skill sets?
  9. How does the company culture impact career progression or promotions?
  10. Are job progression paths defined?
  11. Does the company have a succession planning process?
  12. What kind of activities, behaviors or things is she doing that need to stop (otherwise known as career limiting behaviors?)
  13. What kind of activities, behaviors or things does she need to start doing?
  14. What kind of activities, behaviors or things does she need to continue doing?
  15. Is educational or other credentialing inhibiting her career progression?
  16. Can she fix it?

The list could go on…in fact, share your favorite thought-provoking question!

While the background of this situation may differ from your own, my experience is that many of these same questions apply because it is important to understand the big picture. Individual details represent only part of the equation.

It is important to figure out if you are reason career progression has stalled or if the company or its culture is just not aligned with your expectations. Let’s be honest, stalled career progression is often a mixture of both.

There are several approaches and things you can do to increase career progression opportunities. However, the main decision is to decide to stay or go. Your answer defines the priorities and what to do next.

If you stay, the bottom line is you will have to act, behave and do things differently. Remember the adage – if continue to do the same thing – you will get the same results. What to change may be include you skills, political astuteness, relationship building, or possibly increasing your self-promotion.

If you decide to go, the biggest challenge is not to repeat the same mistakes or to let your current company experience unduly influence your next career move.

Don’t blow your opportunity to assess a new company during the interview and selection process. Successful company searches require careful preparation of interview questions and research.

One of the ways my clients understand the areas to explore more fully during their interviews uses the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) assessment process. Your individual HBDI results enable you to devise a balanced interviewing approach by pin pointing the questions that may not be traditionally asked – yet are the deal killers for your career progression.

So if you find your career floundering, think about what changes you can make to put it back on the right track. If you something worked for you – what was it?