What Marketers Can Do to Breakthrough a Career Plateau

— May 23, 2018

If you wake up and find yourself dreading to go into work, it may be time to consider what your next step is in moving your career forward. However, not everyone knows how to do it.

You may be at a point where you don’t think upward mobility is an option in your current organization, or where you’re facing unsatisfying and unfulfilling work in your role. You probably feel antsy, restricted, and frustrated.

If you relate to these feelings of being trapped and unexcited about your job, you’ve hit something marketing recruitment agencies see professionals encounter often: the dreaded career plateau. Hitting a career standstill surely isn’t fun. These stagnant signs might mean it’s time for you to move on to something bigger and better. But, how?

How Marketing Recruitment Agencies Advise You to Move Forward

As marketing headhunters, we often engage with marketing professionals who hit plateaus and glass ceilings in their careers and who are unsure of what their next step should be.

Instead of drowning in the pit of a career plateau, you must be proactive in overcoming it to pull yourself out of a rut. Whether you’re looking to stay in your current organization or seeking a new company to venture out to, there are plenty of steps you can take to push your career out of a dead end.

Plan Out a (Flexible) Career Strategy

The first step in propelling your career ahead is having a strategy that includes your long-term career goals in place. Have a vision of where you want your career to go and use that as a roadmap to guide you. This should, in fact, be set early on in your career and should be a continuous work in progress as you grow.

When planning it out, focus on your skill sets, strengths, weaknesses and the things you are passionate about. This will help direct you on the right path and ensure you’re mindful of your true career goals when you encounter a plateau.

Your career path and strategy doesn’t necessarily have to be super-detailed nor a strict manual for you to follow. Don’t be so harsh on yourself if it doesn’t go completely as planned. You may grow to realize that you want your career to go toward a different path over time, which is quite normal. However, having a flexible plan in place will better prepare you for any changes or standstills you encounter along your career journey.

Openly Express Your Aspirations and Opinions

Take charge of your own growth in your organization if you feel that you aren’t being challenged enough. Consider reaching out to your manager for mentorship to help you get out of a career standstill. Talking to someone who once was in a similar position as you can help you understand the steps they took and help you grasp a better view of your own goals and aspirations.

Express to your boss the skills and areas you’d like to develop or improve on. This will show that you’re taking charge of your own professional growth, and open up more opportunities if you’re looking to grow within your current company.

Your boss should care about your personal and professional growth and should be willing to guide you in the best way they can. If they don’t, this is a major red flag, and one telling you to move on to another company.

Get Certified and Trained Like a Pro

Don’t allow yourself to become easily dispensable. Certifications are valuable in setting yourself apart from other candidates if you’re seeking a new opportunity, especially in the digital marketing space. There are always new skills to learn, and certifications through online courses are some of the quickest ways to do that.

Prevent yourself from falling deeper into a plateau by expanding your capabilities and driving your own personal education. The more skilled you are, the better you’ll feel about making an active step in progressing your career. An improved skill set will only help further develop your career and open up the doors to new opportunities.

Network, Network, Network

What Marketers Can Do to Breakthrough a Career Plateau


Networking is a major part of developing your career. Making valuable connections and building relationships with the right people can get you into a position that may not have been possible before.

Growing your career doesn’t mean you have to move on out of your current organization. Sometimes, the most valuable connections are in your own company. Reach out to people from different departments that you feel you’d thrive and enjoy being in. You can, then, possibly explore and try out different functions within your organization without having to leave if you don’t want to.

Nurturing your network can be as simple as catching up with acquaintances or colleagues for a quick lunch. Establishing yourself as credible professional and acquainting yourself with the right people can be all you need to climb out of a major plateau.

Pick Up Valuable New Projects

It’s important to find ways to keep work challenging and interesting to make sure you’re highly engaged with your work and feel that you’re contributing.

If you feel that you’re at a standstill and that you’re not challenged enough, consider picking up new projects that pique your interests. The extra work and greater responsibilities may help you discover something you’re good at and open up new possibilities.

Get your hands on a new project with another team that stimulates your imagination. Focusing on projects that cultivate your creativity and challenges you will help you feel more motivated and driven. This is your chance to take the initiative in branching out to do something exciting and different for yourself.

Parting Words

Marketing recruitment agencies realize a career plateau isn’t entirely a bad thing. Don’t take it as a form of failure or a reason to prevent you from reaching more success, but rather a way to propel your professional career forward. It could merely be a signal that you’ve grown over time in your current role and that you’re seeking something more challenging.

However, it’s important to acknowledge any career standstill you encounter. You may be outgrowing your role or company, or hitting a goal and wanting to move on to something bigger and better. This is the time to take control of your career and direct your marketing career in the way you want through commitment and dedication.

Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community

Author: Bob Van Rossum

View full profile ›