There’s a great article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal (CLICK HERE) about people who have broken through some self-imposed barriers at work to progress their careers.

This is a pretty common scenario: you get assigned a particular job and you do it really well, but you don’t grow or advance in your job.  In this scenario, it’s easy to get stuck or ‘pigeon holed’ in your job with few opportunities for Problem is Opportunity Blackboard Conceptadvancement.  People view you as good at one thing or never really consider you for other opportunities.

The Wall Street Journal article takes a good look at one such scenario and how a woman was able to break through some barriers to improve her leadership skills and become more of a leader than a follower.

All too often, professionals get frustrated when they feel ‘stuck’ in their current jobs and deflated when they don’t get a promotion.  The first thought is to quit with the rationale, “Why stay at a place that doesn’t appreciate me?!”

Do you see yourself in this scenario?

If so, before you decide to quit, begin some hard and honest self examination that includes:

Talking to your boss. Ask  them to do an honest evaluation of your skills and what skills you need to gain in order to be promoted.  In addition, ask you boss for more responsibilities in areas you consider weaknesses so that you are forced to improve your abilities.

Talk with your human resources staff.  Often, they have the best knowledge of career paths within your company and can offer great advice about things they look for in hires and promotions.

Look for professional development opportunities.  Often, your company will offer educational reimbursements for classes, degree programs or even seminars that can help you improve your skills.

Remember, sometimes, you might not be lacking ‘hard’ skills, but ‘soft’ skills.  Communications with others, organization, manners – there are a lot of other things to pay attention to that may help you increase your chances of progressing your career at your current job.

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