Limited progress in your career? Or maybe no progress? Wondering if it is your fault or if it is your work environment?

This site is filled with tips to making yourself more valuable to your boss, colleagues and company.  [Type “more valuable” in the search box.]  If you have been following that advice, done everything you can to make yourself a more valuable employee, and still believe your career has dead-ended, here are some signals that may confirm your suspicions.  [This site has plenty of tips about resumes and interviews, too. ]

  • Your management team flows from one business fad to the next. Your manager or leaders are leading from business best-sellers rather than from wisdom and experience. Business is not an equation like those in torsion physics or quantum electro-dynamics that needs changing because each day brings a new discovery of a quark that has great influence.  Business is basic commonsense with people and big bucks wrapped around it. Your management team should be exemplifying that commonsense by operating on a predictable, solid foundation, rarely making major changes. A management team which constantly reshapes the nature of the company because of this or that best selling author is a weak management.
  • Your manager boasts rather than sprinkling credit and approbation. No matter how hard you work, your manager will take the credit and keep you and your talents as his or her hidden secret. At first this may stroke your ego. In time, you will wither on the vine.
  • Your manager succeeds because of the contribution of others, not of his or her doing. That is, your manager rides the coattails of colleagues, yet fails to recognise that, but you do. Or, if he or she does recognise that, he or she is apt to alter the facts just enough to steer the attention and spotlight to him-, or herself instead of to you.
  • Your manager confuses sternness or even anger for managing.  Or confuses sarcasm for humour. Or criticising as a motivational technique. Or any other negative quality as having a role in managing others. Managing is an art involving positive, uplifting interactions that ought to leave you with positive emotional feelings that will encourage you to want to spend your time and effort on various tasks. Working for someone who is a “downer” is going to hold back your progress.
  • Your manager bails when the shit hits the fan and leaves you to fend for yourself, instead of acting as a shield. Worse, your manager tries to rationalise his or her cowardly behaviour by trying to convince you that you taking the flack directly is good for your development.
  • Your manager is moody, sensitive, and easily offended. A manager needs to have very thick skin.
  • Your organisation is no longer prosperous or highly regarded in the market sphere.
  • The successful people in the company, harmonious teams, (metanoic teams), are elsewhere in the company and you are not part of that.
  • Despite your skills, knowledge, prowess, someone is blocking you from being recognised more widely within the company. Uncover and deal with that “evil villain”. If you can’t, then your career will be capped.
  • Your manager is a “tight ass” with helpful advice or with useful information. To get information that is helpful is like pulling teeth.
  • Your manager shares useful information or provides useful advice… to others, but not to you.
  • You are working for an incompetent. Your manager has no expertise or very little skill sets in your area of knowledge work. You find yourself teaching your manager and realise you can learn little or nothing from the years you will be subjected to his or her tutelage.
  • You hear the talent complaining about relevant matters. Be especially mindful if you hear talent complaining about dead-ended careers. That problem will likely spill over to you, too. Talent is the fuel that allows a company to stay in motion. When the talent is complaining, it may be an early sign that there are serious problems looming for the company.

Disappointed with your job/career?  Jumping ship is not always the best answer. It is often possible to rejuvenate an existing career by seeking a lateral move to a job of equal or even lessor pay, then, to work your way up within a much more supportive atmosphere.

  • Your manager is a type-1 sycophant. A yes person. A person with no backbone who is leading your group or division will cause confusion in the long run.
  • Your manager is a type-2 sycophant A yes person who tells you what you want to hear but is not helpful. He or she may tell you what you want to hear, instead of what you need to hear, thinking it will help to gain your trust and allegiance.
  • Your manager is deliberately misleading, misinforming you to cause your failure.
  • Your manager appears to have the aim of dominating everyone under his or her command. Almost everything becomes a power play.
  • Your manager does not appreciate, solicit, or want independent thinkers. You are an independent thinker and often have plenty of innovative ideas. You just don’t seem to be valued.
  • Your manager keeps you isolated from other functions and other groups within the company. And that hampers your learning and especially your exposure to opportunities and other managers who may value you much more.
  • Others are often volunteered by your manager to participate in useful and visible teams or projects, but you seldom or never are.

When job hopping, (changing companies), be wise.  Do not leave a good job until you have another good job securely in hand.

When job hopping laterally, that is, within your own company, don’t be too eager to accept just any job. A management technique for disposing of employees is to move them sideways then out of the company. Investigate and plan lateral moves. Don’t set yourself up for failure.