Growth is a natural human need. Throughout our life we seek to fulfill this need in different forms. Our childhood is full of physical growth until we reach to adulthood. As we pass through college and university our mental development takes care of our growth fulfillment. Even after starting our career, we continue to grow through professional learning and career development. The problem however starts when we hit the middle.
The mid-career crises are synonymous to mid-life crises. At this stage the career growth opportunities rapidly shrink while at the same time competition intensifies. To further aggravate the problem, most mid-career professionals get extremely tied up in their current job demands so much that they even cannot find time to think about their long term career. They basically leave the fate of their career at the mercy of their employer.
Most of the successful corporate executives reach to the peak of their careers around their mid-to-late 40’s. Where do you stand today? Are you stuck in the middle and your time is running out? Even if you may have ample time, are you on the right track?
If you believe you are not growing fast enough in your career, evaluate the following situations and see what may be hurting your growth:
1. Your company is not growing:
Your career growth is seriously jeopardized if you stay too long in a company that is not growing or not profitable. The stressful work environment due to financial pressures may itself be toxic enough to poison your leadership potential.
2. You are stuck with a wrong boss:
This is seriously a killer. Every day you are required to deal with a person who does not understand you but has lot more authority to control you and your work. Don’t try to fix your boss; it may do more harm. See if you can improve anything on your side. Read my blog ‘Why Your Boss May Not Be Listening to You’ for a fresh perspective to address this issue.
3. Your work environment is unhealthy:
We spend our life at work. Being social animals we cannot isolate ourselves from the people around us. Good and healthy relationship boost our emotional energy. But the best part of the day is spent with work colleagues, not with our family. See whether your colleagues at work are feeding you with positive energy or sucking your emotional energy.
4. You are too busy and living your life in your job
Your work demands are crazy and you have no life outside work. The busyness syndrome make you feel important and inevitable for your employer. But this is at the cost of new opportunities by-passed. You become so important to your employer that it’s hard to find a replacement of you and you are stuck.
5. You lack leadership talent:
While you may have excellent professional knowledge and outstanding technical skills, when it comes to the senior leadership roles, you are simply not considered. You are either ignored or politely assured how important you are for your current role. Sounds familiar?
Well, if you are already in your career for 10-15 years and believe one or more of the above reasons are hindering your growth, this is the time to take matters in your hand before it is gets too late. Proactive self-career management is an important attribute of corporate stars that make them shine distinctly from the average performers.
As a starter, consider developing the ‘6 Mindsets for Corporate Success’. It’s a 7 minute excerpt from my talk at the MECA CFO Conference last year in Dubai. It will give you a completely fresh perspective how you look at your career and your prospects. You can view it here.
And if you are living your life in your job day-in and day-out, read my most popular blog ’10 Step Formula to Get Rid of Busyness Syndrome’. The practical tips and strategies, if executed with discipline, may create 20% more capacity in your daily schedule to manage your career more proactively and strategically.
In my next few blogs, I will continue to address how you can drastically shift your focus to enhance your career potential and speed up your leadership journey to the top. Leave me a comment or question, if you want me to elaborate on a specific issue.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Saleem Sufi is a CFO Leadership Coach and Strategy Expert with more than 20 years CFO level experience working for top world class Fortune 500 and Private Equity owned companies in Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe and United States. He is the Founder and President of MECA CFO Alliance where he leads the CFO Academy with an entire focus on leadership development and career growth among the senior Finance community.