Everyone who’s invested years of hard work and effort in a finance career expects growth and satisfaction as some of the rewards in return— and rightly so. Checking off professional targets and setting new ones to strive for greater heights spurs you to keep pushing.
But perhaps you no longer feel that way. The excitement you once felt when you came to your job is missing, and you feel stuck. But don’t worry, you’re probably experiencing career stagnation, and it’s entirely up to you how it plays out.
Suffering from stagnation in your career happens to the best of us. It comes out of nowhere and hits you like a ton of bricks, leaving you with questions like, “Is this what I want to be doing for the rest of my life?”.
If left unaddressed, it can affect productivity in the workplace and make your career go downhill real fast. And so, to prevent that from happening, we’ve outlined a few ways that can help overcome stagnation in your finance career.
6 Ways To Overcome Stagnation In A Finance Career
1. Update your skills
An integral part of career growth consists of an effective personal development plan. And skill acquisition is a crucial part of this plan. With the job market becoming more competitive by the day, you must keep updating your skills that can rival the competition in your career.
To avoid career stagnation, you must be open to acquiring newer certifications and skills to up your game.
For example, becoming a Certified Public Accountant can significantly boost your career opportunities in the finance industry. To help you pass the exam, you can enroll in a Wiley CPA prep course and gain the relevant knowledge and skills needed for your professional advancement.
2. Look for new challenges
Most people fall into a career rut when the daily routine becomes too monotonous, and they lose all enthusiasm to work. In such cases, you can ask your boss or manager to let you lead any new project or take on some other challenge— something out of your comfort zone.
Don’t be afraid of taking up a role you haven’t worked in before because this is what will push you to give your best. You can improve on your current skills or learn new ones along the way when placed in an entirely new situation. Not only will this stretch your job responsibilities in exciting new ways, but it also creates opportunities for career advancement.
You can even come up with new project ideas yourself and share them with the management to take them further. Doing this will make you more committed to your work as it will be your innovation, vested with personal interest.
3. Set short-term micro-goals
At some point in your life, someone must’ve asked you the question, “where do you see yourself in five years?”. But as time goes by, this question becomes even more challenging to answer.
In today’s economic environment, it’s tough to predict what will happen in five years. Most companies have no idea what will happen two or three years from now.
So, instead of focusing on one big goal, try thinking of small micro-goals you can aim for. Imagine these as breadcrumbs to an exciting future, even if you still might not know what precisely that future is. Write them down somewhere to solidify them into actionable plans or steps you can work towards.
Use the SMART approach to make your short-term goals more effective:
4. Keep networking
A lack of recognition and appreciation often result in individuals feeling unsatisfied with their job. Despite all your efforts, you may feel underappreciated, affecting your productivity. But one of the best ways to increase the chance of recognition and awareness is to network with people more often.
By building more connections with people in the finance industry, you can offer your expertise and suggestions. And because of this, others will come to respect you and seek your guidance.
Suffice to say, building the right network can open doors for several opportunities in your career growth. The more options you have, the greater chances you’ll have to overcome stagnation in your professional life.
5. Keep up with industry changes
Modern advancements in technology bring new trends into the business world every day. And the central role for every cooperation is played by its financial department. Therefore, professionals in the finance sector must keep up-to-date with industry evolutions, new technologies, and business practices to stay on top.
Keeping up with changing times will help you gain experience, recognize growth opportunities and give you a competitive edge over your peers. Knowledge gained from recent advancements will also help you make faster and more accurate decisions that can expand your growth beyond expectations.
Staying updated also enables you to build dynamic strategies for progression, helping you move up the career ladder and harness new opportunities along the way.
6. Find a mentor
If you’re having trouble navigating through your career fog, consider having a mentor by your side. Mentors can help you declutter the mess and provide you with the tools to overcome some of the challenges you’re facing at work.
Your mentor must be someone who clicks with you in the right way and is at least two levels above your job position. While some people might need training in a particular job role or function, others may merely need a little bit of encouragement to start afresh.
Since your mentor is likely to have years of experience ahead of you, they’ll better guide you on overcoming the challenges of facing career stagnation. Being part of your industry, they can put you on the right pathway to jumpstart your professional growth once again.
Career stagnation is different for every person and happens under unique circumstances. Figuring out how to pull yourself out of this pothole may seem challenging, but it’s not impossible. What’s important is that you don’t give up and instead keep searching for opportunities that bring back the excitement and joy to your work.
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