Keep Growing When Your Career Feels Stalled

Short-term issues can require us to temporarily change course: If you’ve lost your job, you urgently need income. If in-person schooling isn’t available, someone has to stay home and supervise virtual learning. If you’re the primary caregiver to a family member, you need to secure flexibility for responsibilities at home. Prioritizing these short-term concerns over long-term goals, while painful, may be necessary right now. But a temporary detour from your professional path doesn’t mean you have to put aside your ambitions. You can regain control over your career arc with these strategies:

  1. Reframe the situation. Even if you’re not advancing toward your professional aspirations right now, you’re still making a difference and providing value in other areas of your life.
  2. Push back against standard options. The WFH boom has led many organizations to provide more flexible work arrangements. Express what you want; most offers can be negotiated.
  3. Allocate small amounts of time toward your goals. It may not seem significant to spend three minutes sending a networking email or reading a few articles on a topic you’re interested in. But these little investments add up.

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