What will ultimately derail the progression of your career?

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If you believe automation is coming for 1 in every 2 jobs (it may well be), then perhaps career progression doesn’t matter a ton long-term. But for the short-term, it definitely does. People often have defined career goals, but it’s a murky path through to them right now. Employees want to be trained, but oftentimes employers don’t want that (it’s a cost, after all). When they do offer training, it’s often low-impact BS led by HR.

The final elephant in this family room is the role of job-hopping. That’s often the only way to make more money these days (i.e. career progression), but we still have a stigma among HR reps that if you job-hop, you’re somehow a “loose cannon” or something. It can paint people into corners. Combined with generally awful hiring practices, we create an ecosystem where many companies miss out on the absolute best person for their role — often because of some antiquated HR belief. Sad.

Most of the above was the organizational side of a career arc. Now we come to the personal.

As people move through a career, though, they also have “derailment periods.” These are aspects of personality or working style that can push your career progression in the wrong direction if not managed. And what are those?

The five aspects that derail career progression

  • Relational issues with other people (by far the biggest hit to career progression)
  • Can’t hack it as a manager after being a good employee
  • Clinging to what you know instead of growing
  • Very good at execution; no clue on strategy
  • Over-commit and struggle to prioritize

All seem fairly logical and I’m sure you’ve all seen people experience all five. Let’s go one-by-one quickly.

Relational issues with people

Can’t hack it as a manager

Clinging to what you know

Don’t understand strategy

Can’t prioritize

The elephants in the career progression room

How can we improve career progression?

But here’s what I’d argue:

  • This is an individual-level concept, not an organizational one.
  • (Most organizations probably don’t care about your career progression, unfortunately.)
  • “Look out for №1 and try to avoid stepping in №2.”
  • Try to make decisions that make sense at the time.
  • No decision is going to be perfect.
  • “Skate to where the puck is going.”

And then maybe this:

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What else you got on career progression?

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Blogging, largely about work and how to improve it. How I make (some) money: http://thecontextofthings.com/hire-freelance-writer-ted-bauer/

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